Daily News Briefs, June 6, 2024

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What Caltrans Hopes To Achieve Through Generative AI Testing

The Mercury News reports on the reasons why California Governor Gavin Newsom (D) and Caltrans decided to pioneer the testing and development of generative AI as a tool for improving transportation. Department officials say they aim to determine whether the technology — “a branch of artificial intelligence that can create text, audio and photos in response to prompts” — has useful information management and decision support capabilities, citing its potential to “assist state workers in more quickly and accurately analyzing millions of data points to make more immediate decisions about roadway safety.” Caltrans and other state agencies also want to know whether the technology can improve customer service operations. The article looks at the unique contractual relationships Caltrans has formed with Deloitte Consulting, INRIX, Accenture, Ignyte Group and SymSoft Solutions to explore applications using OpenAI and Anthropic technologies. It also notes that officials need to be aware of risks associated with generative AI applications.

Accenture California California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA) Caltrans (CA Department of Transportation) Deloitte Highway-Tunnel-Bridge Safety (Includes COVID-19 Impacts) Information Technology Resources and Acquisitions INRIX Intelligent Traffic Management Systems Transportation and Infrastructure Research & Development


Federal Motor Carrier Safety Agency Releases $480 Million In Grants To States And Territories

On Monday, USDOT’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced approximately $480 million in Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program (MCSAP) grant awards. The IIJA-funded grant program, FMCSA’s largest, “supports safety inspections of large trucks and buses, investigations of motor carriers in response to safety concerns, and audits of new truck carriers and bus companies to reinforce responsible operation and ensure the safe movement of goods and passengers. The funding also promotes outreach and education efforts that help combat human trafficking, distracted driving, and other roadway safety concerns.” Funding amounts, which are determined by formula, are awarded annually to the lead agency of each state or territory upon completion of an FMCSA-approved Commercial Vehicle Safety Plan.

Highway-Tunnel-Bridge Safety (Includes COVID-19 Impacts) US Department of Transportation (USDOT) US Gov't Transportation Funding US Infrastructure Funding And Financing Initiatives


"Secure Your Load Day" Spotlights Highway Dangers From Unsecured Cargo

The Trucker reports, today is “National Secure Your Load Day,” an annual, nationwide observance sponsored by a campaign dedicated to encouraging all motorists to properly secure cargo so as to prevent unsecured loads from causing deaths, injuries and property damage on highways. “It’s well established that unsecure loads and subsequent roadside debris is both an environmental issue and a significant safety hazard for travelers, roadside workers and all road users.” The campaign originated in Washington State, and this article focuses on the support it has from state agencies including WSDOT, the ecology department and the state traffic safety commission.

In its coverage of this story, KNDO reports, “According to [WSDOT], an average of 300 crashes each year in Washington are caused by debris from unsecured loads. In 2023, 16 injuries and one death resulted from crashes caused by debris.”

Highway-Tunnel-Bridge Safety (Includes COVID-19 Impacts) Washington State Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT)


These are just some of the toll industry developments TRN is following.

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