ResearchPad - roads https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Standardized on-road tests assessing fitness-to-drive in people with cognitive impairments: A systematic review]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_15729 The on-road assessment is the gold standard because of its ecological validity. Yet existing instruments are heterogeneous and little is known about their psychometric properties. This study identified existing on-road assessment instruments and extracted data on psychometric properties and usability in clinical settings.MethodA systematic review identified studies evaluating standardized on-road evaluation instruments adapted for people with cognitive impairment. Published articles were searched on PubMed, CINHAL, PsycINFO, Web of Science, and ScienceDirect. Study quality and the level of evidence were assessed using the COSMIN checklist. The collected data were synthetized using a narrative approach. Usability was subjectively assessed for each instrument by extracting information on acceptability, access, cost, and training.ResultsThe review identified 18 published studies between 1994 and 2016 that investigated 12 different on-road evaluation instruments: the Performance-Based Driving Evaluation, the Washington University Road Test, the New Haven, the Test Ride for Practical Fitness to Drive, the Rhode Island Road Test, the Sum of Manoeuvres Score, the Performance Analysis of Driving Ability, the Composite Driving Assessment Scale, the Nottingham Neurological Driving Assessment, the Driving Observation Schedule, the Record of Driving Errors, and the Western University’s On-road Assessment. Participants were mainly male (64%), between 48 and 80 years old, and had a broad variety of cognitive disorders. Most instruments showed reasonable psychometric values for internal consistency, criterion validity, and reliability. However, the level of evidence was poor to support any of the instruments given the low number of studies for each.ConclusionDespite the social and health consequences of decisions taken using these instruments, little is known about the value of a single evaluation and the ability of instruments to identify expected changes. None of the identified on-road evaluation instruments seem currently adapted for clinical settings targeting rehabilitation and occupational priorities rather than road security alone.Study registrationPROSPERO registration number CRD42018103276. ]]> <![CDATA[Road lighting density and brightness linked with increased cycling rates after-dark]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14738 Cycling has a range of benefits as is recognised by national and international policies aiming to increase cycling rates. Darkness acts as a barrier to people cycling, with fewer people cycling after-dark when seasonal and time-of-day factors are accounted for. This paper explores whether road lighting can reduce the negative impact of darkness on cycling rates. Changes in cycling rates between daylight and after-dark were quantified for 48 locations in Birmingham, United Kingdom, by calculating an odds ratio. These odds ratios were compared against two measures of road lighting at each location: 1) Density of road lighting lanterns; 2) Relative brightness as estimated from night-time aerial images. Locations with no road lighting showed a significantly greater reduction in cycling after-dark compared with locations that had some lighting. A nonlinear relationship was found between relative brightness at a location at night and the reduction in cyclists after-dark. Small initial increases in brightness resulted in large reductions in the difference between cyclist numbers in daylight and after-dark, but this effect reached a plateau as brightness increased. These results suggest only a minimal amount of lighting can promote cycling after-dark, making it an attractive mode of transport year-round.

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<![CDATA[The influence of spouses and their driving roles in self-regulation: A qualitative exploration of driving reduction and cessation practices amongst married older adults]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14735 There is growing evidence to suggest the importance of self-regulatory practices amongst older adults to sustain mobility. However, the decision to self-regulate driving is a complex interplay between an individual’s preference and the influence of their social networks including spouse. To our best knowledge, the influence of an older adult’s spouse on their decisions during driving transition has not been explored.Materials and methodsThis qualitative descriptive study was conducted amongst married older adults aged 60 years and above. All interview responses were transcribed verbatim and examined using thematic approach and interpretative description method.ResultsA total of 11 married couples were interviewed. Three major themes emerged: [1] Our roles in driving; [2] Challenges to continue driving; and, [3] Our driving strategies to ensure continued driving. Older couples adopted driving strategies and regulated their driving patterns to ensure they continued to drive safely. Male partners often took the active driving role as the principal drivers, while the females adopted a more passive role, including being the passenger to accompany the principal drivers or becoming the co-driver to help in navigation. Other coping strategies include sharing the driving duties as well as using public transportation or mixed mode transportation.DiscussionOur findings suggest spouse play a significant role in their partners’ decision to self-regulate driving. This underscores a need to recognise the importance of interdependency amongst couples and its impact on their driving decisions and outcomes. ]]> <![CDATA[Impact of law enforcement and increased traffic fines policy on road traffic fatality, injuries and offenses in Iran: Interrupted time series analysis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N9254ca97-b759-40e9-8001-23227e05911a

Background

Road traffic law enforcement was implemented on 1st April 2011 (the first intervention) and traffic ticket fines have been increased on 1st March 2016 (the second intervention) in Iran. The aim of the current study was to evaluate the effects of the law enforcement on reduction in the incidence rate of road traffic fatality (IRRTF), the incidence rate of road traffic injuries (IRRTI) and the incidence rate of rural road traffic offenses (IRRRTO) in Iran.

Methods

Interrupted time series analysis was conducted to evaluate the impact of law enforcement and increased traffic tickets fines. Monthly data of fatality on urban, rural and local rural roads, injuries with respect to gender and traffic offenses namely speeding, illegal overtaking and tailgating were investigated separately for the period 2009–2016.

Results

Results showed a reduction in the incidence rate of total road traffic fatality (IRTRTF), the incidence rate of rural road traffic fatality (IRRRTF) and the incidence rate of urban road traffic fatality (IRURTF) by –21.44% (–39.3 to –3.59, 95% CI), –21.25% (–31.32 to –11.88, 95% CI) and –26.75% (–37.49 to –16, 95% CI) through the first intervention which resulted in 0.383, 0.255 and 0.222 decline in casualties per 100 000 population, respectively. Conversely, no reduction was found in the incidence rate of local rural road traffic fatality (IRLRRTF) and the IRRTI. Second intervention was found to only affect the IRURTF with –26.75% (–37.49 to –16, 95% CI) which led to 0.222 casualties per 100 000 population. In addition, a reduction effect was observed on the incidence rate of illegal overtaking (IRIO) and the incidence rate of speeding (IRS) with –42.8% (–57.39 to –28.22, 95% CI) and –10.54% (–21.05 to –0.03, 95% CI which implied a decrease of 415.85 and 1003.8 in monthly traffic offenses per 100 000 vehicles), respectively.

Conclusion

Time series analysis suggests a decline in IRTRTF, IRRRTF, and IRURTF caused by the first intervention. However, the second intervention found to be only effective in IRURTF, IRIO, and IRS with the implication that future initiatives should be focused on modifying the implementation of the traffic interventions.

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<![CDATA[Do railway lines affect the distribution of woodland birds during autumn?]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N5f69b466-8155-4760-b7fb-9a995be0d1c7

Research results on the impact of railway noise on birds show a variety of bird responses. These behaviours are often different from those exhibited by birds occupying habitats along tarred roads. Knowledge of this subject is still incomplete. We attempted to define the influence of a heavily transited railway line on bird communities at stopover sites near the tracks during the autumn migration period. Birds were counted using the point method at 45 observation points located at three distances (30 m, 280 m, 530 m) from the tracks. At each point we determined the habitat parameters and the intensity of noise. A total of 614 individuals from 29 species were recorded on the study plot. The results of our observations indicate that the railway line does not adversely affect woodland birds during the autumn migration. The results showed that the abundance of birds and the species richness were actually the highest near the railway line. Species foraging on invertebrates preferred the neighbourhood of the tracks. The number of the most common species did not differ widely in relation to distance from the tracks. These data may be helpful in planning and managing the environment in the context of bird conservation, protection from railway noise and collisions with trains.

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<![CDATA[Roads and livelihood activity choices in the Greater Serengeti Ecosystem, Tanzania]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c8c1940d5eed0c484b4d270

Road development is occurring at an unprecedented rate in important conservation areas in tropical countries with limited understanding of how local people will adjust their livelihood activities in response. We use a discrete choice experiment to explore the effect of road development on respondents ex-ante preferences for changes in livelihood activities—crop and livestock production, hunting and trading bushmeat, and business and wage employment—under different incentives—provision of loans, livestock and crop extension services–in scenarios with reduced travel time to nearest district town in the Greater Serengeti Ecosystem in Tanzania. We test four hypotheses about the effects of roads with opposing implication for conservation. Hypothesis 1 predicts that increased market access will lead to intensification of crop and livestock production activities (achieved through extension services and loans), and Hypothesis 2 that market access will facilitate the development of non-farm Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) providing new livelihood opportunities (e.g. business income and wage employment)–both reducing environmental pressure. Hypotheis 3 on the other hand predicts that improved market access will lead to extensification and expansion of crop and livestock production activities, while Hypotheis 4 suggests that it will encourage exploitation of environmental goods (here in the form of hunting and trading bushmeat and illegal grazing inside protected areas)–both increasing environmental pressure. We find increasing preferences for more cropland and more cattle as travel time to market is reduced but no preference for increased allocation of household members to hunting and trading bushmeat supporting hypothesis 3 while contradicting hypothesis 4. However, second-order effects might support hypothesis 4 as we find aversion towards decreasing effort invested in hunting and trading bushmeat. Preferences for increased cropland and livestock may furthermore interact to increase land use change and illegal grazing inside protected areas. Crop extension services had a negative modifying effect on preferences for more cropland (supporting hypothesis 1) while livestock extension services had a positive modifying effect on preferences for more cattle (contradicting hypothesis 1). Providing loans had a negative modifying effect on preferences for increasing cropland and number of cattle. Marginal rates of substitution suggest that 950,000 TSH borrowed at a 10% interest rate will reduce preferences for more cropland and cattle by 11.8 and 38.4% respectively. Crop extension services reduce preferences for more cropland by 27% whereas livestock extension services increase preferences for more cattle by 104%. Contradicting Hypothesis 2, we found no preference for increasing the number of households members engaged in business and wage employment in response to reduced travel time. Targeted efforts to increase the educational level as well as entrepreneurship skills in the GSE could promote engagement in the labour market and development of business enterprises diverting focus from traditional activities such as farming and livestock production and hence reducing pressure on the ecosystem.

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<![CDATA[Human traffic and habitat complexity are strong predictors for the distribution of a declining amphibian]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c8acce2d5eed0c484990222

Invasive species and habitat modification threaten California's native pond-breeding amphibians, including the federally threatened California Red-legged Frog (Rana draytonii). The relative contributions of invasive species, including the American Bullfrog (Lithobates catesbeianus), and of habitat changes to these declines are disputed. I conducted a field study over several years in central California to examine the presence/absence of these two species at 79 breeding ponds to determine the predictive role for occupancy of factors including vegetation, pond characteristics, and measures of human activity. I used a boosted regression tree approach to determine the relative value of each predictor variable. Increased measures of human activity, especially proximity to trails and roads, were the best predictors for the absence of California Red-legged Frogs and California Newts. Historical factors and habitat conditions were associated with the extent and spread of the American Bullfrog. The extent and complexity of aquatic macrophytes and pond surface area were good predictors for the presence of these and other amphibian species. Surprisingly, invasive species played a relatively small role in predicting pond occupancy by the native species. These findings can inform conservation and restoration efforts for California Red-legged Frogs, which apparently persist best in small vegetated ponds in areas of low human disturbance.

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<![CDATA[An open source algorithm to detect natural gas leaks from mobile methane survey data]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6dc9e7d5eed0c48452a459

The data collected by mobile methane (CH4) sensors can be used to find natural gas (NG) leaks in urban distribution systems. Extracting actionable insights from the large volumes of data collected by these sensors requires several data processing steps. While these survey platforms are commercially available, the associated data processing software largely constitute a black box due to their proprietary nature. In this paper we describe a step-by-step algorithm for developing leak indications using data from mobile CH4 surveys, providing an under-the-hood look at the choices and challenges associated with data analysis. We also describe how our algorithm has evolved over time, and the data-driven insights that have prompted these changes. Applying our algorithm to data collected in 15 cities produced more than 6100 leak indications and estimates of the leaks’ size. We use these results to characterize the distribution of leak sizes in local NG distribution systems. Mobile surveys are already an effective and necessary tool for managing NG distribution systems, but improvements in the technology and software will continue to increase its value.

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<![CDATA[Advantages offered by the double magnetic loops versus the conventional single ones]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6c7571d5eed0c4843cfdb2

Due to their simplicity and operating mode, magnetic loops are one of the most used traffic sensors in Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS). However, at this moment, their potential is not being fully exploited, as neither the speed nor the length of the vehicles can be surely ascertained with the use of a single magnetic loop. In this way, nowadays the vast majority of them are only being used to measure traffic flow and count vehicles on urban and interurban roads. This is the reason why we presented in a previous paper the double magnetic loop, capable of improving the features and functionalities of the conventional single loop without increasing the cost or introducing additional complexity. In that paper, it was introduced their design and peculiarities, how to calculate their magnetic field and three different methods to calculate their inductance. Therefore, with the purpose of improving the existing infrastructure and providing it with greater potential and reliability, this paper will focus on justifying and demonstrating the advantages offered by these double loops versus the conventional ones. This will involve analyzing the magnetic profiles generated by the passage of vehicles over double loops and comparing them with those already known. Moreover, it will be shown how the vehicle speed, the traffic direction and many other data can be obtained more easily and with less margin of error by using these new inductance signatures.

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<![CDATA[Trace metals in Northern New England streams: Evaluating the role of road salt across broad spatial scales with synoptic snapshots]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6dc9bfd5eed0c48452a11b

Mobilization of trace metals from soils to surface waters can impact both human and ecosystem health. This study resamples a water sample archive to explore the spatial pattern of streamwater total concentrations of arsenic, cadmium, copper, lead, and zinc and their associations with biogeochemical controls in northern New England. Road deicing appears to result in elevated trace metal concentrations, as trace metal concentrations are strongly related to sodium concentrations and are most elevated when the sodium: chloride ratio is near 1.0 (~halite). Our results are consistent with previous laboratory and field studies that indicate cation exchange as a metal mobilization mechanism when road salt is applied to soils containing metals. This study also documents associations among sodium, chloride, dissolved organic carbon, iron, and metal concentrations, suggesting cation exchange mechanisms related to road deicing are not the only mechanisms that increase trace metal concentrations in surface waters. In addition to cation exchange, this study considers dissolved organic carbon complexation and oxidation-reduction conditions affecting metal mobility from soils in a salt-rich environment. These observations demonstrate that road deicing has the potential to increase streamwater trace metal concentrations across broad spatial scales and increase risks to human and ecosystem health.

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<![CDATA[Identifying developmental trajectories of worldwide road traffic accident death rates using a latent growth mixture modeling approach]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c76fe61d5eed0c484e5b9a7

Road Traffic Accidents (RTA) are a major worldwide public health problem. The aim of this study was to use the growth mixture model for clustering countries on the basis of the mortality rate patterns of RTAs from 2007 to 2013. We obtained the data on RTA death rates from World Health Organization reports and Human Development Index (HDI) of United Nations Development Programme reports for the years 2007, 2010 and 2013. Simple Latent Growth Models (LGM) in 181 countries were applied to estimate overall RTA mortality rate growth trajectories and the latent growth mixture modeling utilized to cluster them. According to non-linear LGM, the overall mortality rate of RTAs showed a decrease from 2007 to 2010 followed by an increase from 2010 to 2013. The HDI covariate had a significant negative and positive effect on intercept and slope of the LGM, respectively. The extracted mixture model appeared to have seven classes with different trends in RTA mortality rates. The worldwide countries were clustered into seven classes. Further studies on each of the seven classes are suggested to provide recommendations for reducing the mortality rate of the RTAs. Additionally, increasing HDI in some countries could have a significant effect on reducing the RTA death rates.

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<![CDATA[Mortality and morbidity in wild Taiwanese pangolin (Manis pentadactyla pentadactyla)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c648d1ad5eed0c484c81ffa

Globally, pangolins are threatened by poaching and illegal trade. Taiwan presents a contrary situation, where the wild pangolin population has stabilized and even begun to increase in the last two decades. This paper illustrates the factors responsible for causing mortality and morbidity in the wild Taiwanese pangolin (Manis pentadactyla pentadactyla) based on radio-tracking data of wild pangolins and records of sick or injured pangolins admitted to a Taiwanese wildlife rehabilitation center. Despite being proficient burrowers, results from radio-tracking show that Taiwanese pangolins are highly susceptible to getting trapped in tree hollows or ground burrows. Data from Pingtung Rescue Center for Endangered Wild Animals showed that trauma (73.0%) was the major reason for morbidity in the Taiwanese pangolin with trauma from gin traps being the leading cause (77.8%), especially during the dry season, followed by tail injuries caused by dog attacks (20.4%). Despite these threats, Taiwan has had substantial success in rehabilitating and releasing injured pangolins, primarily due to the close collaboration of Taiwanese wildlife rehabilitation centers over the last twenty years.

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<![CDATA[Physical co-presence intensity: Measuring dynamic face-to-face interaction potential in public space using social media check-in records]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6b26b0d5eed0c484289ea4

Urban public spaces facilitate social interactions between people, reflecting the shifting functionality of spaces. There is no commonly-held consensus on the quantification methods for the dynamic interplay between spatial geometry, urban movement, and face-to-face encounters. Using anonymized social media check-in records from Shanghai, China, this study proposes pipelines for quantifying physical face-to-face encounter potential patterns through public space networks between local and non-local residents sensed by social media over time from space to space, in which social difference, cognitive cost, and time remoteness are integrated as the physical co-presence intensity index. This illustrates the spatiotemporally different ways in which the built environment binds various groups of space users configurationally via urban streets. The variation in face-to-face interaction patterns captures the fine-resolution patterns of urban flows and a new definition of street hierarchy, illustrating how urban public space systems deliver physical meeting opportunities and shape the spatial rhythms of human behavior from the public to the private. The shifting encounter potentials through streets are recognized as reflections of urban centrality structures with social interactions that are spatiotemporally varying, projected in the configurations of urban forms and functions. The results indicate that the occurrence probability of face-to-face encounters is more geometrically scaled than predicted based on the co-location probability of two people using metric distance alone. By adding temporal and social dimensions to urban morphology studies, and the field of space syntax research in particular, we suggest a new approach of analyzing the temporal urban centrality structures of the physical interaction potentials based on trajectory data, which is sensitive to the transformation of the spatial grid. It sheds light on how to adopt urban design as a social instrument to facilitate the dynamically changing social interaction potential in the new data environment, thereby enhancing spatial functionality and the social well-being.

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<![CDATA[Multi-sensor movement analysis for transport safety and health applications]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5ca2c0d5eed0c48441ea09

Recent increases in the use of and applications for wearable technology has opened up many new avenues of research. In this paper, we consider the use of lifelogging and GPS data to extend fine-grained movement analysis for improving applications in health and safety. We first design a framework to solve the problem of indoor and outdoor movement detection from sensor readings associated with images captured by a lifelogging wearable device. Second we propose a set of measures related with hazard on the road network derived from the combination of GPS movement data, road network data and the sensor readings from a wearable device. Third, we identify the relationship between different socio-demographic groups and the patterns of indoor physical activity and sedentary behaviour routines as well as disturbance levels on different road settings.

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<![CDATA[Magnitude of road traffic accident related injuries and fatalities in Ethiopia]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c59fea3d5eed0c4841351e4

Background

In many developing countries there is paucity of evidence regarding the epidemiology of road traffic accidents (RTAs). The study determines the rates of injuries and fatalities associated with RTAs in Ethiopia based on the data of a recent national survey.

Methods

The study is based on the secondary data of the Ethiopian Demographic and Health Survey conducted in 2016. The survey collected information about occurrence injuries and accidents including RTAs in the past 12 months among 75,271 members of 16,650 households. Households were selected from nine regions and two city administrations of Ethiopia using stratified cluster sampling procedure.

Results

Of the 75,271 household members enumerated, 123 encountered RTAs in the reference period and rate of RTA-related injury was 163 (95% confidence interval (CI): 136–195) per 100,000 population. Of the 123 causalities, 28 were fatal, making the fatality rate 37 (95% CI: 25–54) per 100,000 population. The RTA-related injuries and fatalities per 100,000 motor vehicles were estimated as 21,681 (95% CI: 18,090–25,938) and 4,922 (95% CI: 3325–7183), respectively. Next to accidental falls, RTAs were the second most common form of accidents and injuries accounting for 22.8% of all such incidents. RTAs contributed to 43.8% of all fatalities secondary to accidents and injuries. Among RTA causalities, 21.9% were drivers, 35.0% were passenger vehicle occupants and 36.0% were vulnerable road users including: motorcyclists (21.0%), pedestrians (12.1%) and cyclists (2.9%). Approximately half (47.1%) of the causalities were between 15–29 years of age and 15.3% were either minors younger than 15 years or seniors older than 64 years of age. Nearly two-thirds (65.0%) of the victims were males.

Conclusion

RTA-related causalities are extremely high in Ethiopia. Male young adults and vulnerable road users are at increased risk of RTAs. There is a urgent need for bringing road safety to the country's public health agenda.

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<![CDATA[Analysis of real crashes against metal roadside barriers]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c61e8d9d5eed0c48496f253

Objective

Metal Road Safety Barriers (MRSB) are one of the devices implemented in roadsides to mitigate the consequences of run-off crashes. In Europe, they have to meet the requirements of the European Standard EN-1317-2. This article analyzes a set of run-off crashes against MRSB, for which an in-depth investigation has been performed, comparing them with the standard tests. It has been observed that in many of these real crashes, the barriers have not worked properly in spite of having passed these standard tests. This paper demonstrates which variables may be responsible for this, with the objective of helping to improve the current test standard through the analysis of new test variables.

Methods

Multidimensional Scaling, a dimension reduction multivariate statistical technique, has been used to better understand how real crashes compare to standard tests, using several impact variables at the same time. Then, a statistical analysis has been developed to show the influence of the “Relative orientation impact angle” on the performance of the MRSB.

Results

Most of the real crashes analyzed are close to “TB11” and “TB32” standard tests. In many of these real crashes, the “Relative orientation impact angle” is very different from the “Impact angle”, and in these situations, the vehicle is not safely redirected to the road concerning the so-called “Exit-Box”.

Conclusions

MRSB are not working properly in some situations that are not far from the standard tests. To handle this, it could be interesting to include the “Relative orientation impact angle” as a control variable in new versions of the EN-1317-2 tests to guarantee the behavior of the MRSB. These results can help to adapt some test variables from the EN-1317-2 to what is happening in crashes.

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<![CDATA[Explicit model predictive control for linear time-variant systems with application to double-lane-change maneuver]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c1028ddd5eed0c4842484c4

Explicit model predictive control (eMPC) has been proposed to reduce the huge computational complexity of MPC while maintaining the performance of MPC. Therefore, this control method has been more widely employed in the automotive industry than MPC. In this paper, an eMPC is designed to perform a double-lane-change (DLC) maneuver. This task has been employed to demonstrate the efficacy of controllers in an autonomous driving situation. In this sense, the proposed controller shows better performance than a driver model designed in CarSim at a high vehicle longitudinal velocity. The main contribution of this paper is to present an eMPC for discrete-time linear time-variant (LTV) systems so that the proposed controller can be robust against parameter variation. In a state-space representation of the vehicle, the longitudinal velocity of the vehicle is assumed to be a constant so that the whole system is linear time-invariant (LTI). However, it is inevitable that this velocity varies in an actual driving situation. Therefore, an eMPC controller is designed using an add-on unit to consider the varying parameter without modification of the eMPC solution. The CarSim simulation results of eMPC show enhanced performance compared to that of eMPC for the LTI system.

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<![CDATA[Patterns of brown bear damages on apiaries and management recommendations in the Cantabrian Mountains, Spain]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c0841c1d5eed0c484fcaa7a

Large carnivores are often persecuted due to conflict with human activities, making their conservation in human-modified landscapes very challenging. Conflict-related scenarios are increasing worldwide, due to the expansion of human activities or to the recovery of carnivore populations. In general, brown bears Ursus arctos avoid humans and their settlements, but they may use some areas close to people or human infrastructures. Bear damages in human-modified landscapes may be related to the availability of food resources of human origin, such as beehives. However, the association of damage events with factors that may predispose bears to cause damages has rarely been investigated. We investigated bear damages to apiaries in the Cantabrian Mountains (Spain), an area with relatively high density of bears. We included spatial, temporal and environmental factors and damage prevention measures in our analyses, as factors that may influence the occurrence and intensity of damages. In 2006–2008, we located 61 apiaries, which included 435 beehives damaged in the study area (346 km2). The probability of an apiary being attacked was positively related to both the intensity of the damage suffered the year before and the distance to the nearest damaged apiary, and negatively related to the number of prevention measures employed as well as the intensity of the damage suffered by the nearest damage apiary. The intensity of damage to apiaries was positively related to the size of the apiary and to vegetation cover in the surroundings, and negatively related to the number of human settlements. Minimizing the occurrence of bear damages to apiaries seems feasible by applying and maintaining proper prevention measures, especially before an attack occurs and selecting appropriate locations for beehives (e.g. away from forest areas). This applies to areas currently occupied by bears, and to neighbouring areas where dispersing individuals may expand their range.

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<![CDATA[Agricultural land use among mestizo colonist and indigenous populations: Contrasting patterns in the Amazon]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b4a1927463d7e428027f88e

This paper compares land use patterns of mestizo colonists and indigenous populations in the central Ecuadorian Amazon, based on data from a household survey covering mestizo colonist, Kichwa and Shuar households. As expected, colonists mostly engage in commercial agriculture and cattle ranching, but there are substantial differences in land use patterns between the Shuar and the Kichwa. The Shuar engage in cash cropping and cattle ranching, and on average, devote even more land to agricultural uses than mestizo colonists in this sample. In contrast, the Kichwa engage more in subsistence crop production and less in commercial agriculture. Such different patterns appear related to local conditions, earlier migratory and settlement patterns, and the level of exposure to markets. The implications of this for policy are explored in the conclusions.

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<![CDATA[Management-Related Traffic as a Stressor Eliciting Parental Care in a Roadside-Nesting Bird: The European Bee-Eater Merops apiaster]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da0dab0ee8fa60b786c2

Traffic is often acknowledged as a threat to biodiversity, but its effects have been mostly studied on roads subjected to high traffic intensity. The impact of lower traffic intensity such as those affecting protected areas is generally neglected, but conservation-oriented activities entailing motorized traffic could paradoxically transform suitable habitats into ecological traps. Here we questioned whether roadside-nesting bee-eaters Merops apiaster perceived low traffic intensity as a stressor eliciting risk-avoidance behaviors (alarm calls and flock flushes) and reducing parental care. Comparisons were established within Doñana National Park (Spain), between birds exposed to either negligible traffic (ca. 0–10 vehicles per day) or low traffic intensity (ca. 10–90 vehicles per day) associated to management and research activities. The frequencies of alarm calls and flock flushes were greater in areas of higher traffic intensity, which resulted in direct mortality at moderate vehicle speeds (≤ 40 km/h). Parental feeding rates paralleled changes in traffic intensity, but contrary to our predictions. Indeed, feeding rates were highest in traffic-exposed nests, during working days and traffic rush-hours. Traffic-avoidance responses were systematic and likely involved costs (energy expenditure and mortality), but vehicle transit positively influenced the reproductive performance of bee-eaters through an increase of nestling feeding rates. Because the expected outcome of traffic on individual performance can be opposed when responses are monitored during mating (i.e. negative effect by increase of alarm calls and flock flushes) or nestling-feeding period (i.e. at least short-term positive effect by increase of nestling feeding rates), caution should be taken before inferring fitness consequences only from isolated behaviors or specific life history stages.

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