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Progress North Texas 2017


Vehicle Technologies

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Vehicle technologies are some of the most visible examples of innovation in transportation. They improve mobility by creating
more travel options, while keeping North Texans safer and helping the environment. In fact, 44 percent of ozone forming emissions (nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds) in the
Dallas-Fort Worth area come from on-road vehicles such as passenger cars,buses and trucks.

NCTCOG promotes air quality funding opportunities and occasionally distributes funding directly. From 2006-2016, nearly 2,000 activities were funded and grants worth more than $56.6 million were awarded. These activities have reduced NOx by an estimated 1,300 tons and CO2 by over 636,300 tons. The Air Quality Funding Opportunities web page,, contains regional funding opportunities and promotes the use of incentives available from other agencies for activities that improve air quality.


Innovative and advanced vehicle technologies are nothing new to NCTCOG. Since the 1990s, initiatives aimed at reducing emissions have been a cornerston of NCTCOG's air quality program. The agency also engages local governments, vehicle and equipment manufacturers, fuel providers, and other interested parties through education and outreach programs.

Clean Cities

The Dallas-Fort Worth Clean Cities Coalition, part of the US Department of Energy's Clean Cities program, has encouraged the adoption of alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles since its inception in 1995. Alternative fuel vehicles have specialized engines, tanks and other components that allow them to run on fuels such as natural gas, propane and ethanol (E85).

 This graphic explains that 25.35 million gallons were saved with the efforts of  DFW Clean Cities stakeholders

As automobile manufacturers began responding to increasing fuel economy standards by introducing hybrid and electric vehicles, NCTCOG formed Electric Vehicles North Texas, a subcommittee of Clean Cities. EVNT seeks to advance EV adoption by providing technical resources and education to workplaces, fleets and the general public.

In 2016, DFWCC stakeholders were responsible for reducing 25.45 million gallons of petroleum. That is approximately 2,800 tanker trucks. NCTCOG's National Drive Electric Week event, held annually in September, has set Texas records for the largest gathering of EVs.

Last year, nearly 130 vehicles were available for displays and
test drives. Automated Vehicles North Texas is working to move autonomous vehicles from the drawing board to the streets. In 2016, NCTCOG established an automated vehicle program area to explore the benefits of this emerging technology.

Some 94 percent of crashes are attributed to human error or the
choices drivers make, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Automation could improve safety, efficiency and access to transportation. There are also potential environmental benefits since greater system efficiency could result in the need for fewer vehicles. Automated cars and trucks could follow one another more closely, increasing the capacity of existing roadways. With fewer opportunities for human error, there likely will be fewer crashes in a world with more automation.


Additionally, most automated vehicles are electric; more reliance on this type of technology could improve the environment. There is a continuing effort across the country to use data to improve mobility. Recent developments demonstrate how important North Texas will be in the delivery of automation.

This graphic explains that 25.35 million gallons were saved with the efforts of  DFW Clean Cities stakeholders
linked to larger image


Fort Worth became the first city in Texas to join the Waze Connected Citizens Program. Waze shares user reports with local officials, and officials provide information on road closures and events, leading to a more efficient system.

Frisco demonstrated an in-vehicle application from Audi that indicates to drivers when a light will turn green, how long a red light will last and what speed they could drive to optimize their chances of getting green lights at intersections. This was the first demonstration in Texas of how traffic-signal data can be used to power vehicles.


Coming Soon


2017 is shaping up to be a landmark year for vehicle automation in Dallas-Fort Worth. In February, the Autonomous Vehicle Road Trip stopped in Arlington to allow residents and leaders to ride in a vehicle without a steering wheel. EasyMile's EZ10 shuttle is an example of a vehicle that could be used at universities and business parks as a last-mile connection. Autonomous vehicles are being tested by governments and universities across the US, including in Texas, which was recently named an Automated Vehicle Proving Ground by the US Department of Transportation.

This graphic explains that 25.35 million gallons were saved with the efforts of  DFW Clean Cities stakeholders
Linked to a Larger Image Photo: NCTCOG

Residents caught a sneak peek at driverless technology
when the EZ10 shuttle stopped in Arlington on a cross-country tour.

As part of this designation, the technology will be examined in North Texas beginning in 2017– at the University of Texas at Arlington, on Arlington streets and the IH 30 TEXpress Lanes. NCTCOG has issued requests for applications from public partners interested in transportation data sharing. This would advance automated vehicles and accelerate their integration into the transportation system.

Unmanned Aircraft Systems

Unmanned aircraft are growing more popular for hobbyists, commercial users and agencies interested in using their video capabilities for planning and rescue operations. No longer are these aircraft limited to military operations. With lower costs, the opportunity for growth in governmental, recreational and commercial UAS usage is at an all-time high. There are approximately 710,000 unmanned aircraft systems registered in the US, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.


The FAA predicts an increase to almost 4 million by 2021, a projected growth rate of nearly 500 percent. This growth rate can lead to more jobs and business opportunities. It also has potential negative effects, including an increase in the number of reckless users. Data shows the Dallas-Fort Worth area is third nationally in the number of reckless UAS sightings.

Since Dallas-Fort Worth has the most registrants in the state at approximately 15,000 (Texas is second nationally to California in the number of registered UAS), considerable effort is being made to improve safe operation of unmanned aircraft. NCTCOG's Air Transportation Advisory Committee and regional partners are discussing how to manage this increase in demand. ATAC's UAS subcommittee is working on a draft ordinance intended to help cities better understand the rules for operating unmanned aircraft and ensure they are used safely, consistently and responsibly. The ordinance could be completed by summer 2017.

This graphic displays the number of reckless UAS sightings by region.


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