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News and Updates

A CTIL thumbnail.FRA Launches the CTIL Clean-Ops Plan (October 2020)

In coordination with the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), the Volpe Center developed the Cab Technology Integration Lab (CTIL) Clean-Ops Plan (available on the Reports and Presentations webpage), which details the health and safety precautions that the lab will take when conducting human-subjects research to protect the health and well-being of research participants and experimenters during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Happy 10th Anniversary to FRA’s Cab Technology Integration Lab (March 2020)

FRA's CTILFRA’s Cab Technology Integration Lab (CTIL) celebrated its tenth anniversary in March, 2020. Operated and maintained at the Volpe National Transportation Research Center in Cambridge, MA, the CTIL provides a simulated locomotive cab environment that examines the safety risks of new technologies, and seeks to advance the boundaries of operator capability and performance to improve safety through human factors and systems research.   

During the past 10 years, researchers have studied a wide variety of topics, ranging from engineer crewstation design, to head-up displays, to mitigating in-cab distractions. Findings from CTIL research are made available through technical reports and briefings at transportation and rail industry conferences. (See the Reports and Presentations webpage.) The research itself has also resulted in invention disclosures, applications for copyright and patents for products that could make locomotive operations safer, as well as addressing one of the safety recommendations the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) made to FRA. 

One of the program’s strengths is that it brings together a wide variety of stakeholders to work together on research projects and consider research needs. Through industry stakeholder meetings, leaders from labor unions, railroad management, and academia discuss ongoing research projects as well as emerging safety and performance issues that further research in the CTIL can address.  

Last updated: Tuesday, February 16, 2021