Q&A With Darío Hidalgo

Colombian transportation expert Darío Hidalgo reveals how Bogotá built one of the world's best bus rapid transit systems

4 min read

When it comes to moving lots of people on buses, transportation experts are quick to mention one particular project these days: the Transmilenio.

The Transmilenio, in Bogotá, Colombia’s capital, is a bus rapid transit (BRT) system with an 80-kilometer-plus network of lines that transports about 1.2 million passengers per day. The system relies on high-capacity articulated coaches, and to speed up boarding its stations feature elevated platforms and off-vehicle fare payment—much as in a subway.

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Self-Driving Cars Work Better With Smart Roads

Intelligent infrastructure makes autonomous driving safer and less expensive

9 min read
A photograph shows a single car headed toward the viewer on the rightmost lane of a three-lane road that is bounded by grassy parkways, one side of which is planted with trees. In the foreground a black vertical pole is topped by a crossbeam bearing various instruments. 

This test unit, in a suburb of Shanghai, detects and tracks traffic merging from a side road onto a major road, using a camera, a lidar, a radar, a communication unit, and a computer.

Shaoshan Liu

Enormous efforts have been made in the past two decades to create a car that can use sensors and artificial intelligence to model its environment and plot a safe driving path. Yet even today the technology works well only in areas like campuses, which have limited roads to map and minimal traffic to master. It still can’t manage busy, unfamiliar, or unpredictable roads. For now, at least, there is only so much sensory power and intelligence that can go into a car.

To solve this problem, we must turn it around: We must put more of the smarts into the infrastructure—we must make the road smart.

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