Tag Archives: MIT

MIT Presents Solutions to Climate Issues

Dr. Jeremy Gregory, Executive Director of the MIT Concrete Sustainability Hub, presented information on “Concrete as a Sustainability Solution” last week to the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis in Washington, DC.  Citing recent negative reporting on greenhouse gas emissions, he explained to committee members and staffers how cement and concrete can be part of the solution to climate change and other societal issues.

He framed the climate issue in the larger context of sustainability, commenting that in order to meet societal goals, people need highways, buildings and other structures.  He added that in spite of criticism of the industry, concrete is very much a low-impact material.  In fact, concrete has a lower embodied energy by mass than other construction materials (like asphalt, steel, timber, plastics, aluminum, etc.).

“MIT’s research and presentation adds clarity to the issue of concrete as a sustainability solution,” says Leif Wathne.  “Dr. Gregory’s presentation was well-received and provided credible, honest and meaningful information on this very important topic.  This information, as well as other information from the cement and concrete industries, will allow people to make informed decisions rooted in science.”  Click here to see the full presentation.

MIT Research Project Advances

 

ACPA is encouraging members, chapters, and technology partners to participate in an MIT pilot research project that uses smartphone technology and crowdsourcing to assess and report road conditions.  MIT researchers have developed a method to assess road roughness properties using acceleration data from a smartphone mounted inside of a vehicle. This method can also be used to map the aggregated excess fuel consumption and other factors. 

ACPA is joining MIT in encouraging participation in the research project. To begin, download MIT’s CARBIN app, which is available in both the Apple Store for iPhones and the Google Play Store for Android phones.  Please note: MIT will not collect your personnel information; the app “sees” each phone only as an anonymous, randomly assigned number that cannot be linked to any personal data. 

The next step is to activate the app by pressing “start” as you begin driving, then “end” at the end of your trip.  The data are then automatically sent to MIT for processing. Note: Please see special usage information below.*  

CARBIN will use your smartphone’s internal GPS and accelerometers to measure the road roughness as you drive your vehicle. The app will then convert the measurements to International Roughness Index (IRI) data, which are further calculated to show excess fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.  The data are mapped and visible on a special website, https://fixmyroad.us/, which shows road conditions and where repairs are needed. Currently, the view is only from data gathered around Boston, but as additional data are collected from across the country, the map will start to fill in.  In addition to viewing the results on the website, users eventually will be able to get personalized reports of IRI and excess fuel consumption on roads traveled.  

To learn more about the app, please view the video created from a recent MIT webinar, which previewed the app.  The video can be viewed at  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jfrVlUnyWoM&feature=youtu.be or in ACPA’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/ConcretePavements.  Much of the webinar covers the underlying technology of the app, so to watch specific information about CARBIN, skip to time marker 19:10 and start from there.

_________________________

For the CARBIN app to work properly, there are a couple of things to know.  First, the screen of phone always needs to be on. If the screen turns off, turn it back on to allow the CARBIN App to start collecting data again. The second issue is that the phone either needs to be in a holder or on the floor. It cannot be loose on the dash because the phone can slide around and move, which will alter the readings.  Likewise, the phone cannot be placed on a seat, which would act as a secondary suspension system because of the cushioning.  This could mask or hide the bumps/road roughness.

Use Your Smartphone to Participate in Road Research

ACPA is encouraging members, chapters, and technology partners to participate in an MIT pilot research project that uses smartphone technology and crowdsourcing to assess and report road conditions.  MIT researchers have developed a method to assess road roughness properties using acceleration data from a smartphone mounted inside of a vehicle. This method can also be used to map the aggregated excess fuel consumption and other factors. 

ACPA is joining MIT in encouraging participation in the research project. To begin, download MIT’s CARBIN app, which is available in both the Apple Store for iPhones and the Google Play Store for Android phones.  Please note: MIT will not collect your personnel information; the app “sees” each phone only as an anonymous, randomly assigned number that cannot be linked to any personal data. 

The next step is to activate the app by pressing “start” as you begin driving, then “end” at the end of your trip.  The data are then automatically sent to MIT for processing. Note: Please see special usage information below.*  

CARBIN will use your smartphone’s internal GPS and accelerometers to measure the road roughness as you drive your vehicle. The app will then convert the measurements to International Roughness Index (IRI) data, which are further calculated to show excess fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.  The data are mapped and visible on a special website, https://fixmyroad.us/, which shows road conditions and where repairs are needed. Currently, the view is only from data gathered around Boston, but as additional data are collected from across the country, the map will start to fill in.  In addition to viewing the results on the website, users eventually will be able to get personalized reports of IRI and excess fuel consumption on roads traveled.  

To learn more about the app, please view the video created from a recent MIT webinar, which previewed the app.  The video can be viewed at  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jfrVlUnyWoM&feature=youtu.be or in ACPA’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/ConcretePavements.  Much of the webinar covers the underlying technology of the app, so to watch specific information about CARBIN, skip to time marker 19:10 and start from there.

_________________________

For the CARBIN app to work properly, there are a couple of things to know.  First, the screen of phone always needs to be on. If the screen turns off, turn it back on to allow the CARBIN App to start collecting data again. The second issue is that the phone either needs to be in a holder or on the floor. It cannot be loose on the dash because the phone can slide around and move, which will alter the readings.  Likewise, the phone cannot be placed on a seat, which would act as a secondary suspension system because of the cushioning.  This could mask or hide the bumps/road roughness.

You Still Have Time for this Webinar

There’s still time to register and participate in the MIT Concrete Sustainability Hub’s (CS Hub’s) next webinar, which poses both a challenge and a question. The 1-hour webinar is scheduled for 11 a.m. (EST) tomorrow, February 28.

Fix My Road:  What can YOU do (with your smartphone) to make OUR Infrastructure Great Again while addressing Climate Change?” will propose a new, crowdsourced way to assess the state of infrastructure. 

Using acceleration data from a smartphone mounted inside of a vehicle, MIT researchers say they have developed a method to assess road roughness properties. This method can also be used to map the aggregated excess fuel consumption, associated environmental footprint, and “health” impact due to these road conditions, according to the MIT researchers.  

The webinar is free of charge, but registration is required for all participants.  The webinar will be presented by Dr. Franz-Josef Ulm, MIT Professor, and Faculty Director of the Concrete Sustainability Hub.  The webinar was developed collaboratively by the researchers at the CS Hub and several other universities. 

Click here to register.

MIT Webinar Previews Road Roughness Method

The title of the MIT Concrete Sustainability Hub’s (CS Hub’s) next webinar poses both a challenge and a question.

“Fix My Road:  What can YOU do (with your smartphone) to make OUR Infrastructure Great Again while addressing Climate Change?” will propose a new, crowdsourced way to assess the state of infrastructure.

Using acceleration data from a smartphone mounted inside of a vehicle, MIT researchers say they have developed a method to assess road roughness properties. This method can also be used to map the aggregated excess fuel consumption, associated environmental footprint, and “health” impact due to these road conditions, they say. 

The 1-hour webinar is offered at no cost and is scheduled for 11 a.m. (EST) on February 28. Registration is required for all participants. Click here to register for the webinar. The webinar will be presented by Dr. Franz-Josef Ulm, MIT Professor, and Faculty Director of the Concrete Sustainability Hub.  The webinar was developed collaboratively by the researchers at the CS Hub and several other universities. 

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