Rail-Volution 2018 Comes to Traffic21

October 22, 2018
Posted in What's Happening

October 22, 2018

Rail-Volution, a national transit-orientated conference, hosted in Pittsburgh, included a “Walkshop” that featured several of Mobility21’s projects and researchers including Steve Smith with Surtrac. The walkshop included a visit to Smart Traffic Lights and presentations by Mobility21.

Stan Caldwell Speaks at Odyssey Day

October 12, 2018
Posted in What's Happening

October 12, 2018

Stan Caldwell, Executive Director of the Traffic21 Institute and Mobility21 University Transportation Center, spoke at the Pittsburgh Region Clean Cities 2018 Odyssey Day at the Community College of Allegheny County – West Hills Center.  Over thirty alternative fueled vehicles on display as well as vendors in the alternative fuels arena.   Almost one hundred fifty attendees that were able to see all the different vehicles from cars, trucks, vans, buses, tractor trailers and other utility vehicles.

UTC Director, Chris Hedrickson Attends ISETT 2018

October 6, 2018
Posted in What's Happening

October 4 – 6, 2018

International Symposium on Emerging Trends in Transportation in Waikiki Beach, Hawaii with the Chinese Overseas Transportation Association (COTA) and the University of Hawaii. With a theme on Emerging Technologies for Future Mobility Systems, this inaugural symposium aims to stimulate the exchange of ideas among transportation professionals in academia, industry, and government on emerging policy, technology, and innovation trends. CMU’s Chris Hendrickson presented and represented UTC research.

Modular robots being developed to navigate tunnels and caves

September 30, 2018
Posted in News

The project is being entered into the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s Subterranean Challenge, a multi-year robotics competition with a $2m prize.

The Carnegie Mellon team is one of six teams that will receive up to $4.5m from DARPA to develop the robotic platforms, sensors and software necessary to accomplish complex underground missions.

According to CMU, the robots will be tasked with rapidly mapping, exploring and exploiting underground environments that range from spaces that humans can only crawl through, to areas big enough to accommodate an all-terrain vehicle.

The challenge is designed to provide armed forces and emergency services with the capabilities they need to accomplish a variety of missions in caves, tunnels or underground facilities in towns and cities.

“Successfully completing these missions will require multiple robots, including both drones and ground vehicles,” said Sebastian Scherer, who will lead the team with Matt Travers, both of CMU’s Robotics Institute. “Our team has a wealth of experience in operating robots in mines, enclosed spaces and the wild, and in coordinating the activity of multiple robots.”
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Mobility21 UTC Faculty Attend PennDOT Symposium

September 27, 2018
Posted in What's Happening

September 27, 2018

Eight Mobility21 National UTC faculty and two students presented research at the 2018 Research Symposium Sponsored by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and the Pennsylvania Divisional Office of the Federal Highway Administration.

Viswanathan and Team Pitch Electric Vehicle Charger Solution at Global Mobility Hackathon

September 26, 2018
Posted in What's Happening

September 26, 2018

On September 6, a team of Carnegie Mellon University researchers led by Venkat Viswanathan, energy fellow at the Wilton E. Scott Institute for Energy Innovation and Mobility21 UTC researcher at Carnegie Mellon, in collaboration with Ather Energy, was a finalist in the MOVE: Global Mobility Summit’s Hackathon.

The hackathon provides a platform for participants to generate innovative ideas and solutions on issues concerning topics such as commuter mobility, freight, charging infrastructure design and alternative energy.

The CMU team, which was one of 30 teams from around the world, presented its solution for efficient charging infrastructure design in New Delhi, India. The team’s approach, Infrastructure Networks for Charging EVs through Physics-based Transient Systems (INCEPTS), addressed key challenges limiting the wide-spread penetration of electrifying urban modality. The team developed a model to map out charging points and battery swapping stations for electric vehicles (EVs) depending on factors such as traffic, most used routes, time taken, route-wise peak times and range anxiety, vehicle charging patterns, malls, parking areas and conventional fuel stations.

“Many challenges emerged in order to make this model realistic such as effects of weather, user behavior and penetration rates of two vs. three vs. four-wheeler vehicles. Leveraging our supercomputing cluster, we were able to explroe all of these cases in a timely manner by running a massive number of scenarios in parallel on the cluster,” said Viswanathan, assistant professor of Mechanical Engineering at CMU.

This approach is in contrast to current, simpler solutions for the problem.

“Several charging infrastructure design algorithms implement ‘based on distance limits’ to the closest charging station, but what becomes extremely important in dense cities is to spatially vary the scale of charging infrastructure set up to adequately cater to several areas where the charging power demand is extremely high relative to the average,” said Dilip Krishnamurthy, a Ph.D. candidate in Mechanical Engineering and member of the INCEPTS team.

By combining the same smart routing as most robotic navigation systems with the team’s vehicle dynamics model and traffic flow data, the researchers were able to accurately simulate the depletion of a vehicle’s battery during operation and determine which of the possible charger locations it should visit.

“We were able to combine this with our previously validated battery models to ensure that battery’s state-of-change and state-of-health can be tracked accurately as a function of different operating conditions, like weather, traffic flow or driving behavior,” said Shashank Sripad, another team member and Mechanical Engineering Ph.D. student.

Mechanical Engineering PhD Candidate Matt Guttenberg is also a part of the INCEPTS project. The result of the team’s hard work was a high-resolution map of where the optimal charging locations are, how much demand they are expected to see and how that demand changes with seasons.

The team collaborated with Ather Energy, an electric vehicle company based in India, to adapt the solution to the Indian context.

“In India, where the electric vehicle market is still nascent, there are some challenges before the hockey stick growth can start,” said Nishant, senior manager of Charging Infrastructure for Ather Energy. “One of the biggest such challenges, is setting up a cost-effective charging infrastructure network to support the EV ecosystem. Modeling for a future market, which is dependent on many variables like traffic, weather, road density, vehicular density, etc., is the challenge for which Ather and CMU came together.”

Although the INCEPTS team did not win the grand prize, Viswanathan says, “We received an exceptional amount of positive feedback about our approach and numerous new collaboration opportunities have emerged. We hope to take this analysis forward and apply it to other cities and other vehicle types like trucks.”

By Amanda King and Lisa Kay Schweyer

LEARN MORE ABOUT THIS PROJECT

Mobility21 at American Public Transportation Association

September 25, 2018
Posted in What's Happening

September 25, 2018

Lisa Kay Schweyer, Program Manager for Mobility21 attended the 2018 national American Public Transportation Association meeting in Nashville, Tennessee.  She participated in several sessions and shared information about the Mobility21 University Transportation Center with fellow attendees.

Register Now! Moving America Forward: Next Generation of Truck Freight Transport Summit

September 18, 2018
Posted in What's Happening

The Mobility21 Center, in partnership with the PRECISE Center, at the Engineering School of the University of Pennsylvania will be hosting a two-day event entitled “Moving America Forward: Next Generation of Truck Freight Transport Summit.” The keynote speakers for the summit will be Raymond P. Martinez, administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, and Leslie Richards, secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.

The event will be held on October 24-25, 2018 at the Singh Center for Nanotechnology, University of Pennsylvania. More details about the event can be found on PRECISE’s website

Ohio State interns help build Smart Columbus Operating System

September 18, 2018
Posted in News

Two graduate students from The Ohio State University are helping to develop the operating system that will power the Smart Columbus project.

The Smart Columbus Operating System is the “technological backbone” of the smart cities project. The operating system is an open data platform to collect and share data. Data collected and developed as part of the Smart Columbus project will help develop programs to make connected vehicles avoid accidents, help develop a common payment app for services or solve parking problems for major events.

“So if you’re a student who wants data for a project, you can use it and then share your findings back to the operating system,” said Anirudh Ganesh, one of the interns who worked on code application and data design for the operating system project.
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Mobility21 Exec. Director Attends the ITS World Congress

September 17, 2018
Posted in What's Happening

September 17, 2018

Mobility21 Executive Director Stan Caldwell was a delegate the 2018 Intelligent Transport Systems World Congress in Copenhagen Denmark where he was joined by ITS experts from academia, government and industry from around the world.

Mobility21 Director, Raj Rajkumar, joins Panel at University of Virginia

September 15, 2018
Posted in What's Happening

September 15, 2018

Mobility21 Director, Raj Rajkumar attended the International Workshop on Next-Generation Cyber-Physical Systems at the University of Virginia. He participated on a Panel Discussion: Future of Cyber-Physical Systems with – Chenyang Lu (moderator), Tarek Abdelzaher, Chris Gill and Al Mok.

Learn more about the event here.

Mobility21 Director, Raj Rajkumar Moderates Panel at Intersect@CMU

September 14, 2018
Posted in What's Happening

September 14, 2018

Mobility21 Director, Raj Rajkumar, moderated a panel on the Intersection of Tech & Business: Smart Home, Smart Car and Smart City at Intersect@CMU during the Tepper Quad Grand Opening, featuring Secretary Anthony Foxx, Homaira Akbari, Brian Olsavsky & Jay Apt.

Mobility21 Director on Panel at Value of Data Bloomberg Conference

September 13, 2018
Posted in What's Happening

September 13, 2018

Mobility21 Director, Raj Rajkumar attended the Value of Data: How Emerging Technologies are Redefining our Future Bloomberg Conference in New York, New York. He was on a panel titled “Driverless Cars Run on Data Not Gasoline.”

Watch the full video of the panel

See the full agenda

National Electric Drive Week’s Electric Lunch in Market Square (Pittsburgh)

September 12, 2018
Posted in What's Happening

September 12, 2018

Duquesne Light Company and the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership, with support from Pittsburgh Region Clean Cities, teamed up to celebrate National Drive Electric Week in downtown Pittsburgh.  Traffic21 Institute’s Program Manager, Lisa Kay Schweyer stopped by the Market Square Electric Lunch today to check out the electric cars, busses, scooters and bicycles.

Congressman Bill Shuster and State Senator Guy Reschenthaler visited Carnegie Mellon University’s National Robotics Engineering Center

September 11, 2018
Posted in What's Happening

September 10, 2018

Congressman Bill Shuster, Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and State Senator Guy Reschenthaler visited Carnegie Mellon University’s National Robotics Engineering Center for a tour and round table discussion with representatives from local autonomous and connected vehicle companies. Mobility21 UTC faculty member Chris Hendrickson moderated the discussion and Mobility21 UTC faculty member Steve Smith represented his spin off company Rapid Flow Technologies. Also participating was Raodbotics, another UTC spin off company.

UTC Researcher Fei Fang in the Qatar Tribune

September 11, 2018
Posted in What's Happening

September 11, 2018

UTC Researcher Fei Fang is quoted in the Qatar Tribune’s article today titled “AI Helps Humans Bring Poachers To Justice.”  Click here to link to the article: http://www.qatar-tribune.com/news-details/id/138612.

 

 

Mobility21 Faculty Awarded 2.5 Million in Combined Funding from the DOE

September 11, 2018
Posted in What's Happening

To continue to improve energy efficiency and increase mobility intelligence, Sean Qian and Costa Samaras were awarded over $2.5 million in combined funding from the Department of Energy. This funding will be used to advance Sean Qian’s project in understanding and improving energy efficiency of regional mobility systems leveraging system-level data and Costa Samaras’ project on drones, delivery robots, driverless cars, and intelligent curbs for increasing energy productivity of first/last mile goods movement.

ITS PA MASITE Conference Highlights UTC Researchers and Students

September 11, 2018
Posted in What's Happening

September 9 – 11, 2018

The 2018 Annual Conference of ITS PA and MASITE was held in Pittsburgh, PA from September 9 – 11. Over 230 ITS professionals attended the 3 day event. The conference agenda included twelve sessions on various intelligent transportation topics.

Several UTC researchers, staff and students were featured during the conference:

Dr. Steve Smith spoke on smart infrastructure for future urban mobility and innovative real-time traffic controls. He discussed how real-time traffic signal control presents a difficult challenge in urban road networks where (unlike simpler arterial settings) there are competing dominant traffic flows that shift through the day. And that further complicating matters, urban environments require attention to multi-modal traffic flows (vehicles, pedestrians, bicyclists, buses) that move at different speeds and may be given different priorities.

He shared recent research that has produced an innovative new technology that uniquely addresses these challenges, by taking a fresh perspective and combining principles from artificial intelligence, multi-agent systems, and traffic theory. The initial deployment of this technology, called Surtrac, in the Pittsburgh East End produced significant performance improvements and the technology is now being installed in other US cities.

Dr. Smith explained that starting from this technology backbone, a broader future vision of smart transportation infrastructure where, as vehicles become more connected and more autonomous, the intersection increasingly becomes the gateway to real-time traffic information and navigation intelligence.

He explained that the current technology development efforts centering on additional use of direct vehicle- (and pedestrian-) to-infrastructure communication to further enhance mobility, on online analysis of traffic flow information for real-time incident detection, and on integrated optimization of signal control and route choice decisions are summarized.

Dr. John Paul Shen and Abhinav Jauhri spoke on synthetic data generation for modeling human mobility in urban areas. In their work, they demonstrate a novel technique to generate synthetic data sets of human mobility patterns for a number of large cities in the world. The explained that the availability of large datasets has been a long-standing challenge for the research community. Human mobility patterns are highly dynamic, for meaningful and reproducible research results the availability of representative datasets is essential.

Their work highlights methods to extract spatial and temporal properties which help characterize each city’s human mobility patterns. Such properties can be used to validate similarity between synthetic and real human mobility datasets. To capture human mobility, they specifically target at generating datasets similar to those accessible to ride-sharing services which have become ubiquitous in major cities in the world.

They explained that there are multiple motivations for generating such synthetic datasets. First, it demonstrates a non-trivial application of recent advances in Al techniques. Second, to generate synthetic dataset can be used in various what-if scenarios by civic authorities and researchers to provide insights on future patterns of urban mobility and traffic congestion to help advance planning by civic authorities. Researchers that do not have access to large real datasets can now use the synthetic datasets as benchmarks for research on traffic congestion, pre-placement of vehicles, passenger pooling and many others.

Lisa Kay Schweyer and Joohyun (Sarah) Cho provided the Carnegie Mellon University’s Traffic21 Institute rapid-fire research overview. Lisa Kay provided an overview of Traffic21 Institute, explaining it is a multi-disciplinary research institute of Carnegie Mellon University and its goal is to design, test, deploy and evaluate information and communications technology based solutions to address the real-world problems facing the transportation system of the Pittsburgh region and the nation and that the Pittsburgh region serves as a “learning lab,” deploying solutions that can be applied around the nation and the globe.

She further explained that Traffic21 accomplishes this through a comprehensive program of interdisciplinary research; education and workforce development with a focus on diversity; collaboration with university, deployment, and government partners; and technology transfer and leadership efforts.

Sarah then provided a rapid-fire overview of some of the Traffic21 research currently being conducted and the new technologies being developed.

In addition, the University Transportation Center sponsored 7 students so they could attend the conference and learn from the conference presentations.

Teresa Leatherow, Traffic21 Institute’s Elsie Hillman Honors Scholar attended the Pittsburgh Department of Mobility and Infrastructure meeting

September 10, 2018
Posted in What's Happening

September 10, 2018

Teresa Leatherow, Traffic21 Institute’s Elsie Hillman Honors Scholar attended the Pittsburgh Department of Mobility and Infrastructure meeting.   The meeting included a presentation by guest speaker Jeff Tumlin on “Arriving at Mobility Solutions” covering a wide range of important topics about the ways Pittsburgers get around including: changing land use, new mobility options, parking, and more.

Elsie Hillman Honors Scholar Nominated for The Greater Pittsburgh Athena Young Professional Award

September 7, 2018
Posted in What's Happening

September 7, 2018

The Mobility21 Elsie Hillman Honors Scholar, Teresa Leatherow, has been nominated for The Greater Pittsburgh Athena Young Professional Award. The award recognizes exceptional women who demonstrate excellence in their profession, contribute to their community and help other women to succeed through mentorship. She’s also the youngest nominee! Read about all our student leaders.

The First Smart Mobility Connection of Fall 2018

September 7, 2018
Posted in What's Happening

September 7, 2018

We kicked off the Fall 2018 Smart Mobility Connection Series with Stefani Danes, Adjunct Professor of Architecture at Carnegie Mellon University, and her two students. Together they presented their work on connecting Millvale to the River. They discussed the question: is it better to go through, over or under route 28 – and how to do it.

Check out the Presentation: Millvale Mobility
Watch the Seminar 

2018 Women in Transportation Fellow Named Who’s Next: Transit

September 6, 2018
Posted in What's Happening

September 4, 2018

The Incline Published their list “Who’s Next: Transit; Meet 17 Pittsburghers helping you get around” and our 2018 Women in Transportation Fellow, Ngani Ndimbie made the list. Ngani says she “dreams of a Pittsburgh where there is no relationship between personal car ownership and quality of life.

CMU UTC Director and faculty participated in roundtable discussion with US Congressman Keith Rothfus (PA-12) and US Under Secretary of Transportation for Policy Derek Kan

August 31, 2018
Posted in What's Happening

August 31, 2018

Mobility 21 National UTC Director Raj Rajkumar and other CMU faculty including Martial Hebert and Phil Koopman participated in a roundtable discussion in Pittsburgh with US Congressman Keith Rothfus (PA-12) and US Under Secretary of Transportation for Policy Derek Kan.  Pittsburgh Law Firm Babst Calland hosted the roundtable for the Congressman and Under Secretary to discuss autonomous vehicles and drones with leading manufacturers, technology companies, and universities.

Volkswagen reportedly tried to buy Aurora, Pittsburgh’s self-driving car startup

August 24, 2018
Posted in News

Volkswagen apparently wants to be more than just friends with Aurora Innovation, a self-driving car company testing autonomous vehicles in Pittsburgh.

The German auto giant has already partnered with Aurora to develop self-driving technology, but according to Bloomberg, VW made a pass at buying the startup.

Bloomberg reported that Aurora, founded by a trio of self-driving superstars from Google, Telsa and Uber, turned down the offer…

Aurora was founded more than a year ago by Anderson, the former head of Tesla’s Autopilot program; Chris Urmson, who helped start Google’s self-driving car program, and Drew Bagnell, who led autonomy and perception at Uber’s Advanced Technology Group in Pittsburgh. Urmson and Bagnell have ties to Carnegie Mellon University. The company has offices in Pittsburgh, San Francisco and Palo Alto, California.
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