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2017 January

January 23, 2017

Ten new testing grounds approved for self-driving vehicles

According to The Verge, the US Department of Transportation approved ten designated sites in nine states to serve as proving rounds for self-driving cars:

  1. City of Pittsburgh and the Thomas D. Larson Pennsylvania Transportation Institute
  2. Texas AV Proving Grounds Partnership
  3. US Army Aberdeen Test Center (Maryland)
  4. American Center for Mobility at Willow Run (Michigan)
  5. Contra Costa Transportation Authority and GoMentum Stadium (California)
  6. San Diego Association of Governments
  7. Iowa City Area Development Group
  8. University of Wisconsin-Madison
  9. Central Florida Automated Vehicle Partners
  10. North Carolina Turnpike Authority

According to the article quoting the Department of Transportation, “automakers and tech companies will share data with each other and the government as they test their autonomous vehicles at these sites… The proving grounds are intended to test autonomous vehicle safety and handling in a variety of road conditions. According to the former and newly appointed secretaries for the agency, the goal is to form a Community of Practice around safe testing and deployment and to work with Congress to position the federal government as a catalyst for safe, efficient technologies. Notably, two of the sites will be in California close to Silicon Valley as to test the technology and in Michigan to work with the big US automakers there.

For more information on this, check out the article from The Verge.

January 13, 2017

Norway is starting to shut down FM radio now

Flag of Norway

The national flag of Norway

As reported by this blog from a couple years ago, the Norwegian government has commenced the shutdown of its nationwide FM radio network in favor of a digital signal. The process began on Wednesday in the town of Bodø, in the Nordland province in north-central Norway. The government decided to move to a digital format called DAB+ and says that due to the operating costs of FM, the switch will save money by nearly eightfold in powering their broadcast operations. Advocates for the switch say that DAB+ will have a clearer sound than FM especially in areas where fjords and mountains interfere with FM signals.

Despite this, a recent poll shows that two-thirds of Norwegians are against ditching FM with the concern that they would miss warnings for emergencies that are typically broadcast on FM. Additionally, opponents of the shut down say the hardware needed to listen to DAB+ through a $170 adapter to listen in a car.

FM signals will be available in parts of Norway through 2022 as local and regional stations start the transition process. NRK, Norway’s largest national radio station, is now on DAB+ in the Nordland province.

For more information, check out NPR’s article or TheLocal.no

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CASIT Web Services completed projects Fall 2016

Here is the list of projects completed over Fall:

Sites moved to CAS design toolkit:

Drupal Projects:

  • History Courses: Drupal site created for the History Department. It is used by faculty to submit courses they would like to teach. History administrator then take the requests and plan the year’s course offerings.
  • International Environmental Agreements Database Project: It was previously a custom PHP application. The site has 100K+ nodes. The site uses common Drupal modules and a custom module to provide the rich data in structured reports that you can see. The site also is a tool for the client as well as end-users to analyze the data and use it in their research.
  • The Medieval Elbe: It was developed for History professors Lisa Wolverton and Jonathan Lyon who are developing and presenting research and teaching materials about the interactions between Slavs and Germans in the Central Middle Ages along the Elbe river and beyond. The site allows the professors to highlight the texts and tag them with various labels. This is then presented to users to interact and review texts under those labels.

Other Projects:

  • CAS Personnel 2.0: Reworked CAS Faculty Review Tracking (requires login) module to include CAS defined review milestones such as due dates for candidate materials, department head reviews and class visits.
  • Chinese Flagship Website: Migrated the site from CASLS hosting to our servers and secured it after it was compromised.
  • Environmental Studies Advising Database: Helped ENVS update their Access database for the new term. They use the Access database to track their students through the program.
  • Mapping History Phase II: Converted key European maps from Adobe Flash format to HTML 5 and added completed US and European maps to the Mapping History site.

You can see more information about those sites on our portfolio: http://casitwebservices.uoregon.edu/.

Big thank you to everyone in the web team.