Tag Archives: MIT

CS Hub in the News

The latest MIT Concrete Sustainability Hub newsletter (Sept. 28 edition) features news about Dr. Jeremy Gregory’s testimony before the House Energy & Commerce Committee’s Environment and Climate Change subcommittee.  The CS Hub’s executive director delivered informative and compelling remarks about the role of concrete in sustainable development and strategies to reduce its environmental impact.  His comments provided some perspectives that run counter to incomplete and inaccurate information often communicated by the media and other information sources.

The newsletter also included a summary of a research brief that details the role of pavements in meeting greenhouse gas-reduction targets.  The research brief describes an approach to network asset management in Missouri that would reduce C0emissions by 29.9 million metric tons on the state’s highways.

The newsletter also included an overview of a research brief that describes a new performance-based planning model proposed CSHub researchers that could help state DOT’s better manage what the ASCE estimates is a $420 billion backlog of projects.

To subscribe to the newsletter, click on the subscription link on the lower, right corner of the CS Hub’s website.

Are You Using MIT’s Carbin App?

MIT’s CARBIN app* allows drivers to measure road quality and sustainability factors in their area.  The app is available through either the Apple Store for iPhones and the Google Play Store for Android phones.  

Recent improvements in the app have enhanced this automatized system, which can be easily used to extract information on the quality of roads and their environmental impact at the city, state, or country scale.  In related news, MIT is reminding users using to place their phones in a stable position before they start driving. 

After using the app, be sure to check the results from your data inputs, as well as others who are contributing to this project by visiting: www.fixmyroad.us.  

The MIT Concrete Sustainability Hub (CSHub) also has a videotaped presentation on the “Fix My Road” initiative, including details about the “Carbin” smartphone app, a crowd-sourced tool that is building an ever-increasing amount of information about the condition of the world’s highways and roads. Click here to view.

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* 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. 

 

Learn More About MIT’s Carbin App

The MIT Concrete Sustainability Hub (CSHub) will present a one-hour webinar to provide an update on the “Carbin” smartphone app, a crowd-sourced tool that is building an ever-increasing amount of information about the condition of the world’s highways and roads.  Scheduled for  Thursday, September 26, at 10 a.m. (CDT) | 11 a.m.  (EDT),  the webinar is called, “The Carbin App: Cutting CO2 Emissions and Monitoring the Performance of our Roads.”

The webinar will be hosted by CSHub research assistant Jake Roxon. The webinar will include an update on the Carbin app, including recent improvements that have created an automatized system which can be easily used to extract information on the quality of roads and their environmental impact at the city, state, or country scale.  The webinar is free of charge, but registration is required.  Click here for details and to register for the webinar.

Did you know you can contribute to this project?  To start, download MIT’s CARBIN app,* which is available through either the Apple Store for iPhones and the Google Play Store for Android phones.  See the results from your data inputs, as well as others who are contributing to this project by visiting: www.fixmyroad.us.  

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Illustration shows quality of US roads, one of three data sets found on www.fixmyroad.us, the MIT CSHub’s website that shows the condition of highways and roads.  In addition to overall quality, the website also shows environmental impact and road roughness.

* 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. 

 

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.

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.

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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.

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