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Transportation

At some colleges, students are playing an important role in developing high-tech transportation tools, including driverless shuttles. These four institutions provide hands-on experience in the transportation technology of the future.

Stanford University:

The Center for Automotive Research at Stanford has been including students in autonomous vehicle research since its 2008 launch. As part of a recent project, engineering students tested an algorithm to help driverless vehicles avoid obstacles.

Operating shuttles without drivers and adding ride-share traffic on campuses raises questions about pedestrians. Here are three safety protection actions to take:

1. Reach out for resources.

With no sidewalks on the road leading from the campus of Garrett College in McHenry, Maryland, into town, students must walk along the edge of the state-maintained road.

What are the biggest challenges colleges and universities face when it comes to moving students around campus and to destinations in the surrounding community?

Transportation & Parking Services at Princeton University is committed to providing reliable, safe parking and transportation services that enhance the quality of life while promoting sustainability, accessibility and mobility on campus for the Princeton University community. For students, our focus at Transportation & Parking Services is to support campus life in a way that is pleasant and convenient; specifically to provide access to travel within campus, around campus, and off-campus.

The University of Utah will launch a fleet of electric buses this fall to shuttle some 47,000 students, staff, and administrators around its 1,500-acre campus. Forty buses, similar to the one pictured here, have been ordered from BYD, a Chinese company that is the world’s largest manufacturer of electric vehicles. The drawback to electric buses in the past has been battery weight. But the BYD buses use a much lighter rechargeable battery, so they can carry more passengers.

When Zach Waickman was a senior at Loyola University Chicago, he had just completed an internship with a major news network in Chicago and planned to pursue a career within his communication major. But, a course focused on biodiesel completely changed his path.

Waickman, who graduated in 2008, is now working toward obtaining his MBA and is biodiesel lab manager for Loyola's Center for Urban Environmental Research, facilitating students in the process of turning waste grease into biodiesel to fuel the university's shuttle busses.

Colleges and universities are competing to build the most green, sustainably designed facilities. But some projects, by nature alone, have end uses, or are constructed with materials, that make it nearly impossible to secure U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) LEED certification. Single-use, standalone parking structures are one such genre of building, and parking design consultants have struggled for years to crack this green building code.