EBRD provides $150m loan to improve road connectivity in Tajikistan

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) agreed to provide a $150m loan to finance a major road project in Tajikistan.

As agreed, the funding will be used to build a 44km-long stretch of the M41 road, which connects the Central Asian nation with the Kyrgyz Republic, Kazakhstan and China.

The investment will also help in building pedestrian crossings, road lighting, bus stops and special family rooms at rest stops on the road.

Dubai implements new law for autonomous vehicle trials

The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) in Dubai enacted new legislation to streamline trial runs of autonomous vehicles in the city.

All autonomous vehicle manufacturers are required to abide by the stipulations while conducting trials of their vehicles.

The rules defined the responsibilities of government entities such as RTA, Dubai Police and Dubai Corporation for Ambulance Services in the facilitation of the trials.

Highways England announces early opening of $1.9bn A14 road project

Highways England (HE) announced that its £1.5bn ($1.9bn) A14 road project is set to open to traffic more than six months ahead of schedule.

The road project, which is expected to improve journeys between the East of England and the Midlands, was initially scheduled to open to drivers by the end of this year.

HE stated that it intends to open the 21-mile A14 improvement ahead of schedule this spring.

NSW Government to deliver road improvement projects to boost safety

Transport for New South Wales (NSW) in Australia planned to deliver road infrastructure upgrades to improve the region’s road safety as a part of the A$822m ($548.2m) Safer Roads Program.

Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole stated that round three of the programme will deliver 383 projects over the next financial year, with an investment of A$258m ($172m).

Under the programme, around 230km of safety barriers will be installed. These will help absorb the impact of collisions, protecting passengers in the colliding vehicles.

Dubai completes building road network for Expo 2020

The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) in Dubai completed the project for the construction and expansion of the road network leading to the Expo 2020 site.

RTA completed the work by opening the last two phases of roads to streamline connectivity to and from the expo site.

The last two phases included the opening of a flyover connecting Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road and Expo Road and two other flyovers on Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road.

Hyundai and Kia develop AI-driven gear-shifting control system

Hyundai Motor Company and Kia Motors unveiled a new artificial intelligence (AI)-driven system that enables autonomous vehicles (AVs) to automatically shift to the optimal gear based on road and traffic conditions.

The new offering was named Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Connected Shift System.

It uses intelligent software in the transmission control unit (TCU) that procures and assesses real-time input from the 3D navigation system, cameras and radar.

SwRI delivers motion prediction system for autonomous vehicles

Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) in the US developed a motion prediction system designed to strengthen the pedestrian detection capabilities of autonomous vehicles (AVs).

The system enables AVs to identify sudden changes in pedestrian movements, unlike existing technologies that predict the linear movements of pedestrians and other obstacles.

The motion prediction system observes real-time biomechanical movements around the pedestrian’s pelvic area to predict sudden movement changes.

Chinese autonomous vehicle technology company Pony.ai raises $462m

Pony.ai, a Chinese autonomous vehicle (AV) technology company, raised $462m in a funding round led by Japanese automaker Toyota Motor.

In the latest round, Toyota made an investment of $400m in the company, valuing the start-up at around $3bn.

Toyota’s investment builds on its existing partnership with Pony.ai to pilot AV operations in China, which was announced last year.

EasyMile ordered to suspend autonomous passenger shuttle rides in US

Autonomous shuttle company EasyMile was ordered by a US agency to temporarily suspend passenger hauling services following a minor mishap.

The decision was made by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) after a passenger was injured in a braking incident.

According to EasyMile, a passenger fell from their seat when the self-driving vehicle made an emergency stop. The incident happened in the Linden residential area of Columbus, Ohio.

BiH secures €204m to build key pan-European highway section

Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) secured a financial package of €204m from the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Union (EU) to build a section of a pan-European highway.

The financial package includes a €204m loan from EIB and a €64m grant from the EU.

This will be used to build a 12.4km section of the highway, which connects Budapest in Hungary and the Croatian port of Ploče through BiH.