USDOT Region V Regional University Transportation Center

Completed Research Projects

2012-2013 Y4 Projects

Final Research Report

TRID Database Entry

  • Dynamic Multi-modal Multi-objective Intersection Signal Priority Optimization

    Abstract

    Current practice in traffic signal timing mainly focuses on the mobility needs of motor vehicles, while the needs of users of other transportation modes are often considered secondary factors. Efforts to integrate the auto users’ needs and other modes of transportation have been very limited, even though the interactions among users of transportation modes have significantly increased. This study aims at analyzing the signal timings not only from a multi-mode perspective, but also using real-time decision support tools based on continuous learning.

    Final Research Report

    TRID Database Entry: http://trid.trb.org/view/2012/P/1235433

  • Optimized Active Traffic Management and Speed Harmonization in Work Zones

    Abstract

    Active traffic and demand management (ATDM) is a collection of innovative approaches to dynamically manage traffic demand and efficiently utilize available roadway capacity by using real-time operational strategies. Speed harmonization in ATDM is possible by placing dynamic advisory speed signs and activating them based on real-time demand and capacity. The spacing of the dynamic signs and the degree of speed control would determine the degree of harmonization. This study will aim to find the optimal level of speed harmonization by addressing the following issues: i) what level of speed harmonization is needed; ii) how far apart and how many speed signs should be used in a given condition; iii) what speeds would be optimal solutions and how dynamic should they be over time; and iv) what level of demand control would create maximum speed harmony.

    Final Research Report

    TRID Database Entry: http://trid.trb.org/view/2012/P/1235432

  • Agent Based Real-time Signal Coordination in Congested Networks

    Abstract

    This study is a continuation of an ongoing NEXTRANS study on agent-based reinforcement learning methods for signal coordination in congested networks. The ongoing study is a joint effort between University of Illinois and Purdue University, where each intersection is controlled by and agent and some information is shared between adjacent agents. Researchers will aim to develop a framework to study signal coordination and real-time adaptive routing within an agent based model. The agent based approach has clear advantages over more traditional approaches as the learning method does not require modeling the system and the operation is free of restrictions imposed by cycle-based strategies.

    Final Research Report

    TRID Database Entry: http://trid.trb.org/view/2012/P/1235431

  • Joint Parameter and State Estimation Algorithms for Real-time Traffic Monitoring

    Abstract

    Traffic congestion is a major problem. As the U.S. population continues to grow and move towards urban areas, the impact of traffic congestion on human mobility, the economy, and the environment is ever increasing. In many cases, solutions to traffic congestion will ultimately depend on improved management of existing infrastructure through the use of innovative, integrated solutions in technology and policy. This research will investigate the problem of simultaneously estimating the traffic state and the traffic model parameters online and in real-time, through the development of a new joint traffic state and parameter estimation algorithm relying on ensemble Kalman filtering.

    Final Research Report

    TRID Database Entry: http://trid.trb.org/view/2012/P/1235436

  • Research, Education, and Outreach Derived from Campus Transit Laboratory

    Abstract

    NEXTRANS investigators, various OSU entities, and Clever Devices, Inc., will continue their work upgrading OSU's Campus Area Bus Service (CABS) with a state-of-the-art "smart bus" system. The implementation of technological upgrades including: sensing, communications, and passenger information systems, has improved the level of service to riders while providing valuable high-resolution data on operating performance and rider characteristics. Through research, education, and outreach, the results of this showcase project will have positive implications for a variety of stakeholders within the NEXTRANS region and beyond.

    Final Research Report

    TRID Database Entry

  • Documenting Truck Activity Times at International Border Crossings

    Abstract

    In a previous report the authors described their geo-fence approach for determining truck activity times at the United States-Canadian border. The approach took advantage of onboard position, timing, and communication systems already installed on many truck fleets. In this study, the authors collected additional data and processed these and other recently collected data to produce updated activity times. The data collection and processing effort is summarized in Section 2. Parallel to past efforts, Transport Canada (TC) and the Ontario Ministry of Transportation were using a Bluetooth-based approach to collect truck data at these major border crossings. In the project described in this report, the authors refined and expanded the empirical comparisons between their single carrier, geo-fence based crossing times and the TC crossing times determined from the broader population of carriers using the Bluetooth-based approach. The reprocessed data also allowed a better temporal match of “approximately concurrent” crossings in the two datasets. In Section 3, the authors present the revised investigations conducted with these reprocessed data and additional investigations that confirm the strong positive associations seen in the previous investigation for both directions of traffic at the Ambassador Bridge facility and for the Ontario-to-Michigan direction at the Blue Water Bridge facility. The authors also conducted multiple empirical studies using the newly processed data. In Section 4, empirical results are presented that quantify changes in geo-fence times resulting from a change in inspection facilities for Canada-bound traffic at the Blue Water Bridge, document the effect on truck times of the Black River Bridge construction project, identify systematic changes to duty free times for US bound trucks, and portray time-of-day patterns in times incurred on surface streets in Windsor.

    Final Research Report

    TRID Database Entry

  • Exploring the Opportunities and Barriers to Intermodal Rail Freight

    Abstract

    This study seeks to explore the opportunities and barriers to maximize rail line-haul capabilities and expand the types of equipment utilized in intermodal rail freight operations so that systematic steps can be identified to propose solutions for the rail freight sector to harmonize their capabilities for collaborative intermodal rail-truck transportation. Since such collaboration is typically market-driven, the study will analyze the commodities transported using the trucking sector to identify where win-win propositions exist for the rail and trucking sectors through collaboration. Further, it will examine the roles of government policy and the increasing emphasis on green transportation as potential additional catalysts for such collaboration.

    Final Research Report

    TRID Database Entry

  • Integrated Framework to Capture the Interdependencies between Transportation and Energy Sectors due to Policy Decisions

    Abstract

    This study intends to build upon previous work in the field of general equilibrium by developing an analytical framework that integrates the transportation and energy sectors in terms of their interdependencies, and policy instruments, to provide a quantitative tool that can analyze the long-term effects of different types of transportation policies (such as pricing, and various other demand-side or supply-side ones) on the energy sector. The tool will also aim to capture the qualitative evolution of transportation systems due to specific policy decisions related to energy usage or energy mandates (such as fuel efficiency rating of vehicles, and those related to blended fuels and alternative fuels, etc.).

    Final Research Report

    TRID Database Entry

  • Integrated Deployment Architecture for Predictive Real-Time Traffic Routing Incorporating Human Factors Considerations

    Abstract

    This study seeks to develop an integrated deployment architecture for predictive real-time traffic routing that considers the human factors aspects related to information processing. It has multiple dimensions of research: (i) developing predictive routing algorithms by combining historical and instantaneous traffic feeds as well as employing behavioral models in real-time, (ii) data fusion from multiple sources to obtain reliable estimates of traffic flow conditions, (iii) developing a mechanism for personalized travel information to travelers based on their individual preferences and attitudes; that is, behaviorally-consistent information, and (iv) identifying information dissemination mechanisms that are safe from the perspective of human factors related to information processing while driving.

    Final Research Report

    TRID Database Entry

  • Design of Personal Rapid Transit Networks for Transit-Oriented Development Cities

    Abstract

    This study seeks to address the transit network design problem which identifies the optimal route and location of stations considering user behavior and advanced traveler information systems. In general, network design problems are mainly focused on finding solutions to minimize the travel cost and delay without explicitly considering traveler behavior related to travel mode and route choices. Using the mode choice models, travel demands by travel mode will be projected and used as inputs to the network design problem. The study will also explore the ability to leverage Advanced Traveler Information Systems (ATIS) technologies to enhance the amenability of Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) services.

    Final Research Report

    TRID Database Entry

2010-2011 Projects

  • Smart Campus Transit Laboratory for Research and Education

    Abstract

    NEXTRANS investigators, various Ohio State University (OSU) entities, and Clever Devices, Incorporated, will continue their work upgrading OSU's Campus Area Bus Service (CABS) with a state-of-the-art "smart bus" system. The implementation of technological upgrades including: sensing, communications, and passenger information systems, has improved the level of service to riders while providing valuable high-resolution data on operating performance and rider characteristics. Through research, education, and outreach, the results of this showcase project will have positive implications for a variety of stakeholders within the NEXTRANS region and beyond.

    Final Research Report

    TRID Database Entry

  • The Regional Economic Impacts of Bypasses: A Longitudinal Study Incorporating Spatial Panel Econometrics and Multilevel Modeling

    Research Information

    RiP Database

    TRID Database Entry

    Final Research Report

    Summary of Research

    This project seeks to understand the economic impacts of bypasses on communities at the ZIP code-level. The simultaneous analysis of 60 different bypasses across Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio, will allow researchers to make broader conclusions, while keeping in mind the individual characteristics of communities across the Midwest. Research findings are expected to have real-world applications in terms of enhancing mobility and safety by diverting trucks and other traffic; maintaining or restoring the economic vitality of affected communities' central business districts; and minimizing transportation costs.

  • Measuring and Documenting Truck Activity Times at International Border Crossings

    Abstract

    Efficient international commerce is critical to the U.S. economy. This project will allow researchers to continue to provide unique and valuable empirical information on activity times of freight trucks at both public and private major North American gateways into Canada. Working with Canadian investigators, NEXTRANS researchers will provide data related to congestion and overall efficiency based on an innovative approach to technology already in use.

    Final Research Report

    TRID Database Entry

  • Estimating the Economic Impacts of Disruptions to Intermodal Freight Systems Traffic

    Abstract

    Disruptions to the movement of goods can have significant long-term and short-term consequences. This collaborative project intends to identify and estimate the impact of such disruptions through the integration of engineering, economics, and policy frameworks. Researchers will critically evaluate data from two case studies in the Midwest: one along the Borman Expressway and another at the Markland Locks and Dam. There is potential to strengthen transportation systems by analyzing the effects of disruptions to the movement of goods across multiple modes.

    Final Research Report

    TRID Database Entry

  • Agent-Based Traffic Management and Reinforcement Learning in Congested Intersections

    Abstract

    The loss of time and resources due to congestion, especially in urban areas, is significant. Appropriately operated traffic signals help to smooth the flow of traffic, leading to a reduction in commute time and fuel consumption. This study seeks to develop an agent-based traffic management technique with reinforcement learning principles. Agents, working independently within the same network, will learn from their environments to minimize travel time and reduce stoppage. The information produced by this innovative research will be applicable to improvements in mobility and reliability in the region.

    Final Research Report

    TRID Database Entry

  • Computing Moving and Intermittent Queue Propagation in Highway Work Zones

    Abstract
    Long queues and heavy congestion are common in busy highway work zones. These congested areas can be dangerous for drivers entering stop-and-go traffic unexpectedly. Alerting drivers to presence in work zones could reduce the frequency and severity, increasing safety and efficiency. In this research project, user-friendly computer programs will be developed to accurately calculate queue propagation and shrinkage. Real-world applications would include the implementation of online systems placed work zones to manage the growth of queues based on the data collected.

    Final Research Report

    TRID Database Entry

  • Incorporating High Speed Passenger Rail into a Multimodal Network Model for Improved Regional Transportation Planning

    Abstract
    .

    This project will study the interplay of four modes of transportation: auto, commercial air, on-demand air service (ODAS), and rail, with the purpose of reducing travel times for regional intercity trips. Investigators will update their current multimodal transportation analysis model to include high speed passenger rail, while considering transportation policy and economic variables. Shorter doorstep-to-destination travel times could have significant effects on regional economies, demographics, land use, and quality of life, and lead to shifts in business activity.

    Final Research Report

    TRID Database Entry

  • Determination of Network Origin-Destination Matrices Using Partial Link Traffic Counts and Virtual Sensor Information in an Integrated Corridor Management Framework

    Abstract
    .

    Origin-destination (O-D) patterns are crucial in traffic operations and transportation planning. This research will estimate a network O-D demand pattern using information from partial link counts, obtained by strategically installing detectors/sensors. The strategic placement of sensors allows researchers to make O-D demand estimates about the entire network under a limited budget. This research will help transportation/highway management agencies to develop transportation planning and infrastructure strategies by leveraging limited fiscal resources.

    Final Research Report

    TRID Database Entry

  • Highway Reservation System Design and Its Application to Freight Transportation

    Abstract
    .

    Efficient and reliable freight transportation is a key contributor to economic development in both the United States and Taiwan. A lack of adequate government funding has motivated both nations to look to the private sector for innovative solutions to the various problems in the existing transportation systems. Researchers have proposed a highway reservation system for freight carriers using a truck-only lane that guarantees a threshold speed by charging a fee. The mutually beneficial system can potentially help to mitigate congestion; improve freight transportation efficiency and safety; and create a new financing source for highway infrastructure.

    Final Research Report

    TRID Database Entry

  • Field Deployment to Quantify the Value of Real-time Information by Integrating Driver Routing Decisions and Route Assignment Strategies

    Abstract
    .

    This showcase project aims to adequately understand the value of real-time information in real-world contexts for multiple stakeholders. An Indianapolis-based field experiment will allow researchers to study the actions of participants as they respond to real-time traffic information during their morning commute. A secure Web site will be developed for the initial survey of participants, as well as daily recording of trip diaries. Implications of real-time traffic information will be considered in terms of mobility, safety, and efficiency.

    Final Research Report

    TRID Database Entry

2008-2010 Projects

  • Effect of Friction on Rolling Tire - Pavement Interaction

    Research Information

    Start Date: 2009/6/15
    Status: Completed
    Total Dollars: $74,575
    Source Organization: Purdue University, West Lafayette
    Principal Investigator: Ilinca Stanciulescu, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    Co-Principal Investigator: Imad Al-Qadi, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

    Summary of Research

    The research focused on the development of nonlinear finite element frictional contact models. The tire-road interfacial behavior was investigated. Models for contact simulations with coefficient of friction dependent on the sliding velocity were developed and implemented in a mortal contact formulation framework. These models were then used to accurately determine the contact tractions distribution on the road surface. As part of the research, parametric studies were performed that will help determine the ideal combination of mechanical and tribological properties of tire and pavement leading to shorter breaking distances and a safer driving environment.
    Final Research Report

  • Traffic Signal Coordination and Queue Management in Oversaturated Intersections

    Research Information

    Start Date: 2009/8/14
    Status: Completed
    Total Dollars: $66,189
    Source Organization: Purdue University, West Lafayette
    Principal Investigator: Rahim Benekohal, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

    Summary of Research

    Traffic signal coordination in congested networks is complex and requires in-depth understanding of traffic flow characteristics. This research aimed to advance the basic understanding of optimizing traffic flow in congested networks. Oversaturated conditions in these networks can cause queue spillbacks that affect adjacent lanes or nearby intersections. Researchers developed a traffic signal coordination methodology for a network of oversaturated intersections, based on the concept of queue minimization.
    Final Research Report

    Traffic signal timing optimization when done properly, could significantly improve network performance by reducing delay, increasing network throughput, reducing number of stops, or increasing average speed in the network. The optimization can become complex due to large solution space caused by many combinations of different parameters that affect traffic operation. In this study three different methods are used to find near-optimal signal timing parameters in transportation networks. The methods are: Genetic Algorithms (GA), Evolution Strategies (ES), and Approximate Dynamic Programming (ADP). Each method is introduced, the signal timings associated with them are explained and some important measures of performance of the networks are determined and compared. One small network with 9 intersections and one medium network with 20 intersections were used for evaluating the optimizations methods. Three general cases (Cases 1, 2, 3) are discussed in this report. For the small symmetric network, three levels of traffic loading are used (no overload, 10% overload and 20% overload). For the medium network (modified Springfield IL downtown network), two levels of entry volumes are used (750 and 1000 vehicle per hour per lane).

    TRID Database Entry

  • Determining Queue and Congestion in Highway Work Zone Bottlenecks

    Research Information

    Start Date: 2009/8/14
    Status: Completed
    Total Dollars: $69,566
    Source Organization: Purdue University, West Lafayette
    Principal Investigator: Rahim Benekohal, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

    Summary of Research

    There is very little study in shockwave propagation in work zone bottlenecks. This study investigated shockwave and queue formation in congested work zones where traffic flow breaks down, and validated the theory using field data. The theoretical aspect of this research is to look at the shockwave formation and propagation in work zone bottlenecks. The real-time application of results requires integration of communication, computing, and vehicle sensing techniques into online queue management strategies. This study combined advanced and applied research to address the issue of work zone congestion. The findings will help practicing engineers design and operate work zones in safer and more efficient ways.
    Final Research Report

  • Thermal Cracking Performance Prediction and Asset Management Integration

    Research Information

    Start Date: 2009/8/14
    Status: Completed
    Total Dollars: $46,200
    Source Organization: Purdue University, West Lafayette
    Principal Investigator: William Buttlar, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    Co-Principal Investigator: Glaucio Paulino, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

    Summary of Research

    Low-temperature cracking of hot-mix asphalt (HMA)pavements continues to be a leading cause of premature pavement deterioration in cold regions. This study aims to deliver a user-friendly, computati onally efficient program that can be used to analyze and design against thermal cracking in asphalt pavements. This new tool will help prevent unnecessary infrastructure damage in cold regions around the world.
    Final Research Report

  • Machine Vision Inspection of Railroad Track

    Research Information

    Start Date: 2009/8/14
    Status: Completed
    Total Dollars: $37,800
    Source Organization: Purdue University, West Lafayette
    Principal Investigator: J. Riley Edwards, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    Co-Principal Investigators: Christopher Barkan, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    Narendra Ahuja, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

    Summary of Research

    The objecti ve of this project is to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of railroad track inspecti on by applying machine vision, an advanced visual sensing technology. This is being accomplished by recording images of track from a moving vehicle using digital video and imaging technology, and using advanced machine vision algorithms to detect broken or defective track components. The results will be communicated to railroad infrastructure management to enable safer and more efficient maintenance and operation.
    Final Research Report

  • A Multi-scale Approach For Near Surface Pavement Cracking and Failure Mechanisms

    Research Information

    Start Date: 2009/8/14
    Status: Completed
    Total Dollars: $75,166
    Source Organization: Purdue University, West Lafayette
    Principal Investigator: C. Armando Duarte, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    Co-Principal Investigator: Imad Al-Qadi, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

    Summary of Research

    This study aims to investi gate near surface failure and cracking mechanisms of hot-mix asphalt (HMA) pavements, using recently emerged numerical techniques. Researchers are developing a multi-scale, digital HMA pavement model that will allow distress predictions with simplified user inputs. Integrating these models into the design process will help to develop long-lasting and cost-effective flexible pavements.
    Final Research Report

  • Modeling of Collaborative Less-than-truckload Carrier Freight Networks

    Research Information

    Start Date: 2009/7/1
    Status: Completed
    Total Dollars: $50,000
    Source Organization: Purdue University, West Lafayette
    Principal Investigator: Srinivas Peeta, Purdue University

    Summary of Research

    Decreased demand, rising fuel costs, increased competition, and operational inefficiencies are threatening the viability of many small- to medium-sized less-than-truckload (LTL) trucking firms. This project developed models for carrier-carrier collaboration in the LTL industry, which will leverage existing transportation infrastructure and advances in information and communication technologies (ICT).
    Final Research Report

  • Development of a Mobile Probe-Based Traffic Data Fusion and Flow Management Platform for Innovative Public-Private Information-Based Partnerships

    Research Information

    Start Date: 2009/7/15
    Status: Completed
    Total Dollars: $100,000
    Source Organization: Purdue University, West Lafayette
    Principal Investigator: Srinivas Peeta, Purdue University
    Co-Principal Investigator: Xuesong Zhou, University of Utah

    Summary of Research

    Most existing traffic information provision and control systems are deployed and maintained by public agencies, and are built on centralized management architectures. To maximize the value of emerging mobile probe data from private sector vendors, the research aimed to exploit innovative data collection, traffic management, and road pricing/crediting mechanisms to encourage mutually beneficial information-sharing under successful public-private partnerships. Innovative Internet-connected GPS navigation-enabled traffic flow management mechanisms were developed and evaluated to balance the network traffic load by fully integrating various traffic information provision and pricing/crediting strategies.
    Final Research Report

  • Transportation and Socioeconomic Impacts of Bypasses on Communities: An Integrated Synthesis of Panel Data, Multilevel, and Spatial Econometric Models with Case Studies

    Research Information

    Start Date: 2009/1/12
    Status: Completed
    Total Dollars: $50,065
    Source Organization: Purdue University, West Lafayette
    Principal Investigator: Jon Fricker, Purdue University

    Summary of Research

    This project focused on minimizing the adverse impacts of bypasses on communities. Researchers developed statistical models to predict regional economic impacts, as well as the individual decision-making processes of affected landowners. These models can potentially reduce the subjective element of the sometimes-controversial issue of bypasses, and may help to promote partnerships between local community organizations and the private sector.
    Final Research Report

  • System Methods for Uncovering Economic, Technological, and Policy Enablers of an "On-demand air service" Regional Passenger Transportation Solution

    Research Information

    Start Date: 2009/3/1
    Status: Completed
    Total Dollars: $50,000
    Source Organization: Purdue University, West Lafayette
    Principal Investigator: Daniel DeLaurentis, Purdue University
    Co-Principal Investigator: Srinivas Peeta, Purdue University

    Summary of Research

    This project pursued an integrated, systems-oriented search for innovative solutions to regional passenger mobility, embodied in the idea of a commercial "On-demand air service" (ODAS). Our hypothesis is that if ODAS can deliver levels of speed and flexibility in door-to-door transportation not available via commercial airline service or other modes then it would in turn generate significant economic benefits in the Midwest for moderate investment. Research was conducted to explore what are the multimodal resources (air and ground), transportation policies, and economic variables likely to enhance "doorstep-to-destination" mobility for citizens seeking personal and business trips.
    Final Research Report

  • Public Private Partnerships (PPP's) in Highway Reconstruction, Rehabilitation, and Operations

    Research Information

    Start Date: 2009/1/12
    Status: Completed
    Total Dollars: $40,000
    Source Organization: Purdue University, West Lafayette
    Principal Investigator: Samuel Labi, Purdue University, West Lafayette
    Co-Principal Investigator: Kumares Sinha, Purdue University

    Summary of Research

    Researchers worked to develop an evaluation and decision support framework for highway agencies to decide on public-private (PPP) adoption for a given project, and where PPP is recommended for adoption, the type of PPP that would yield minimum possible costs or maximum possible benefits to the agency. The research will help agencies seeking innovative ways to reduce the costs associated with infrastructure maintenance and renewal, without lowering the standards of safety, mobility, or convenience for travelers.
    Final Research Report

  • Financial and Technical Feasibility of Dynamic Congestion Pricing as a Revenue Generation Source in Indiana − Exploiting the Availability of Real-Time Information and Dynamic Pricing Technologies

    Research Information

    Start Date: 2009/1/12
    Status: Completed
    Total Dollars: $50,000
    Source Organization: Purdue University, West Lafayette
    Principal Investigator: Samuel Labi, Purdue University
    Co-Principal Investigator: Kumares Sinha, Purdue University

    Summary of Research

    This project aimed to study the feasibility of dynamic congestion pricing (DCP), which allows toll prices to increase or decrease in response to traffic conditions. This could provide a sustainable approach to reducing traffic congestion and generating highway revenue. Researchers conducted numerical experiments to determine the technical and economic feasibility of dynamic pricing, and identify and threats or opportunities that might arise during its implementation.
    Final Research Report

  • Using Detector Data to Identify and Examine Crashes and Incidents on Freeways

    Research Information

    Start Date: 2009/1/12
    Status: Completed
    Total Dollars: $24,966
    Source Organization: Purdue University, West Lafayette
    Principal Investigator: Peter T. Savolainen, Wayne State University

    Summary of Research

    This study used data collected by the Michigan Intelligent Transportation Systems (MITS) Center to evaluate freeway operations in metro Detroit. Researchers identified factors that affect the incident response and clearance times of Freeway Courtesy Patrol (FCP) vehicles, potentially improving freeway operations and safety. Researchers also examined what incident-related factors lead to secondary crashes to determine if dynamic message sign (DMS) alerts have a significant impact on down-stream traffic flow.
    Final Research Report

  • Incorporating Image-Based Traffic Information for AADT Estimation: Operational Developments for Agency Implementation and Theoretical Extensions to Classified AADT Estimation

    Research Information

    Start Date: 2009/8/14
    Status: Completed
    Total Dollars: $84,113
    Source Organization: Purdue University, West Lafayette
    Principal Investigator: Mark McCord, Ohio State University
    Co-Principal Investigator: Prem Goel, Ohio State University

    Summary of Research

    State Departments of Transportation (DOT) commit substantial resources to collecting data used to estimate annual average daily traffic (AADT) on an ongoing basis. This data is traditionally collected from "on the road" sensors that can disrupt traffic and expose traffic crews to danger. A method has been developed to combine information in existing air photos with traditional ground-based traffic counts to produce AADT estimates that are more accurate than those presently produced. In this project, investigators worked with the Ohio DOT to transform this method into an operational system that can be used on a routine basis by state DOTs. Researchers also investigated the potential of extending this method to the estimation of classified AADT for trucks and cars separately.

    Final Research Report

  • Smart Campus Transit Laboratory for Research and Education

    Research Information

    Start Date: 2009/8/14
    Status: Completed
    Total Dollars: $444,599
    Source Organization: Purdue University, West Lafayette
    Informational Video: Campus Transit Lab Video
    Principal Investigator: Rabi Mishalani, Ohio State University
    Co-Principal Investigators: Prem Goel, Ohio State University
    Mark McCord, Ohio State University

    Summary of Research

    Through a joint effort from various OSU entities and private sector partner, Clever Devices, Inc., the information system aboard the Campus Area Bus Service (CABS), has been replaced with an advanced, commercial-grade system as part of the development of the Campus Transit Lab (CTL). The information technologies include advanced automatic vehicle location (AVL), automatic passenger count (APC) sensors, and a passenger information system. Activities included in the second year of this continuing project were: (i) development of an operations simulation tool, estimation and integration of simulation components using CTL-generated data, and use of the simulation to investigate various data collection and transit operations research questions; (ii) examination of operations and service planning research questions based on CTL-generated data; (iii) analysis of passenger perceptions collected via surveys; (iv) further exploration of ideas to exploit the CTL for educational activities at OSU; and (v) continued work with CABS and Clever Devices, Inc. on system implementation and operational analysis.
    Final Research Report

  • Innovative Vehicle Classification Strategies: Using LIDAR to do More for Less

    Research Information

    Start Date: 2009/8/14
    Status: Completed
    Total Dollars: $68,603
    Source Organization: Purdue University, West Lafayette
    Principal Investigator: Benjamin Coifman, Ohio State University

    Summary of Research

    This continuing project consisted of two complementary thrusts: more effective use of existing infrastructure and investigation of less expensive alternatives for vehicle classification. The first builds on preceding work to extend classification coverage to single loop detectors and non-invasive detectors that emulate single loop detectors. The second initiative examined alternatives to conventional classification systems. One promising alternative is the use of LIDAR to monitor passing vehicles. Such an installation could be permanent or temporary, and would cost significantly less than a comparable in-pavement system. These two thrusts are combined because the most labor intensive component of each is the collection of ground truth classification data.
    Final Research Report

  • Optimal Condition Sampling for a Network of Infrastructure Facilities

    Research Information

    Start Date: 2009/8/14
    Status: Completed
    Total Dollars: $80,824
    Source Organization: Purdue University, West Lafayette
    Principal Investigator: Rabi Mishalani, Ohio State University
    Co-Principal Investigator: Prem Goel, Ohio State University

    Summary of Research

    Infrastructure systems consist of spatially extensive sets of interconnected facilities with long life spans, which are usually constructed through public, private, or joint endeavors for public or commercial use. In response to the development in infrastructure inspection technologies, the question of optimizing condition sampling for a single facility was recently addressed. This project involved addressing the extension of the single facility level problem to the system and network levels, whereby the uncertainty due to condition sampling is captured and related decision variables are included in the inspection maintenance and rehabilitation decision-making process. In doing so, both statistical and network modeling treatments are necessary. As such, the actual definition of the network becomes essential and, therefore, was investigated as a part of this project.
    Final Research Report

  • Impact of Public Transit Market Share and other Passenger Travel Variables on CO2 Emissions: Amassing a Dataset and Estimating a Preliminary Statistical Model

    Research Information

    Start Date: 2009/8/14
    Status: Completed
    Total Dollars: $72,001
    Source Organization: Purdue University, West Lafayette
    Principal Investigator: Prem Goel, Ohio State University
    Co-Principal Investigator: Rabi Mishalani, Ohio State University

    Summary of Research

    The primary objective of this study was to develop a set of empirically derived statistical relationships aimed at quantifying the impacts of market shares and capacity distributions across passenger transport modes on energy consumption and the environment for the purpose of assessing and validating the accuracy of "mechanistic" transportation model systems and their ability to capture these impacts. Such empirical relationships are too gross to be able to support the development of detailed policy design and evaluation, but validated and accurate mechanistic transportation model systems based on these empirical models are expected to provide better answers to policy questions. A secondary objective was to use the developed empirical relationships to arrive at some indications of potentially effective policies, and to bracket the type of results that could be achieved by certain policies before any detailed analysis or evaluation are carried out.
    Final Research Report

2007-2008 Projects

  • A Decision Support Tool for Vehicle Infrastructure Integration: Understanding Information Effects and Advancing Data Fusion Algorithms for Traffic Management Applications

    Research Information

    Start Date: 2008/2/15
    Status: Completed
    Total Dollars: $50,000
    Source Organization: Purdue University, West Lafayette
    Principal Investigator: Srinivas Peeta, Purdue University

    Summary of Research

    This research explored vehicle-to-vehicle information networks to understand the interplay between the information communicated and traffic conditions on the network. As a long-term goal, researchers developed a decision support tool for processing and storing large amounts of real-time (probe) data for advancing the state-of-the-art in Vehicle Infrastructure Integration (VII). The fundamental concept in VII is that the (probe) vehicles serve as data collectors and anonymously transmit traffic information to transportation agencies to facilitate proactive strategies for traffic management and safety. In the long-term, the project will develop new route guidance strategies and new data fusion algorithms for travel time estimation which will provide a clear representation of the benefit of information exchange between vehicles. In addition, this work will have impacts on congestion management (using technological advances in sensor and wireless technologies) by obtaining macroscopic relationships for congestion estimation.
    Final Research Report

  • Analysis of Travel Time Reliability on Indiana Interstates

    Research Information

    Start Date: 2008/2/15
    Status: Completed
    Total Dollars: $47,097
    Source Organization: Purdue University, West Lafayette
    Principal Investigator: Fred Mannering, Purdue University

    Summary of Research

    Travel-time reliability is a key performance measure in any transportation system. It observes the quality of travel-time experienced by transportation system users and reflects the efficiency of the system to serve citizens, businesses, and visitors. Travel-time reliability is critical to travelers, shippers, receivers, and carriers for trip decisions and on-time arrivals. In this study, an extensive amount of data was gathered from interstates in Indiana. This data was used to develop statistical models to estimate travel-time reliability based on explanatory variables (weather, accidents, etc.), as well as time-varying elements associated with recurrent congestion. The goal of this research is to move toward a level-of-service (LOS) concept for travel-time reliability. Thus, in addition to the Highway Capacity Manual definition of LOS, roadways may eventually have a separate travel-time reliability rating similar to the traditional A through F scale used to measure LOS.
    Final Research Report

  • Integrating Supply and Demand Aspects of Transportation for Mass Evacuation under Disasters

    Research Information

    Start Date: 2008/2/15
    Status: Completed
    Total Dollars: $50,000
    Source Organization: Purdue University, West Lafayette
    Principal Investigator: Srinivas Peeta, Purdue University

    Summary of Research

    This research addressed real-time operational needs in the context of the evacuation response problem by providing a capability to dynamically route vehicles under evacuation; thereby being responsive to the actual conditions unfolding in real-time in the traffic network, both in terms of the evolving traffic patterns and the available road infrastructure in the aftermath of a disaster. A key aspect in evacuation operations which is not well-understood is the interplay between route choice behavior and its effect on traffic and supply dynamics (composition of evacuation traffic, changes in roadway capacities, etc.). Evacuation traffic has historically been quantified with descriptive surveys characterizing the behavioral aspects from social or psychological contexts. Integration of these behavioral aspects into traffic and/or supply-side models has been limited. This study addressed such integration for generating realistic and effective evacuation strategies.
    Final Research Report

  • Network Origin-Destination Demand Estimation using Limited Link Traffic Counts: Strategic Deployment of Vehicle Detectors through an Integrated Corridor Management Framework

    Research Information

    Start Date: 2008/2/15
    Status: Completed
    Total Dollars: $50,000
    Source Organization: Purdue University, West Lafayette
    Principal Investigator: Srinivas Peeta, Purdue University
    Co-Principal Investigator: Shou-Ren Hu, National Cheng Kung University, Taiwan

    Summary of Research

    In typical road traffic corridors, freeway systems are generally well-equipped with traffic surveillance systems such as vehicle detector (VD) and/or closed circuit television (CCTV) systems in order to gather timely traffic information. However, other highway facilities in the corridor, especially arterials and surface streets in the vicinity of the freeway, mostly lack detector/sensor systems. Yet, most traffic management and control methods/frameworks in the literature assume the availability of time-dependent traffic measures (counts, flows, speeds, etc.) on all links of the corridor. Hence, there is a critical disconnect between the practical reality and methodological expectations in terms of detection capabilities. This research aimed to develop a mechanism to strategically deploy vehicle detectors to infer network origin-destination (O-D) demands using limited link traffic count data.
    Final Research Report

  • Transportation Infrastructure Implications of Development of a Cellulose Ethanol Industry for Indiana

    Research Information

    Start Date: 2008/2/15
    Status: Completed
    Total Dollars: $50,000
    Source Organization: Purdue University, West Lafayette
    Principal Investigator: Wallace Tyner, Purdue University
    Co-Principal Investigator: Frank Dooley, Purdue University

    Summary of Research

    The 2007 energy bill calls for the U.S. to produce 36 billion gallons of ethanol by 2022; restrictions exist on the number of gallons able to come from corn or biodiesel. Meaning, legislators envision moving from no cellulose ethanol production today to approximately 20 billion gallons by 2022. In this project, researchers estimated the transport system impacts of different levels of cellulose production in Indiana. A scenario approach was used for the transport of cellulosic materials to central plants. Transporting cellulose materials to a central processing plant requires more bulk material than for a corn ethanol plant. Investigators used an integer programming model to locate and size cellulosic plants in Indiana. This model optimized plant location given the potential cellulosic production from corn stover and other cellulosic inputs in each part of the state. Cellulose supply curves were developed for each sub-region in the state. The research produced different scenarios of cellulose development to compare with the base case of no cellulosic ethanol production.
    Final Research Report

  • Uncertainty-Based Tradeoff Analysis Methodology for Integrated Transportation Investment Decision-Making

    Research Information

    Start Date:2008/2/15
    Status: Completed
    Total Dollars: $50,000
    Source Organization: Purdue University, West Lafayette
    Principal Investigator: Samuel Labi, Purdue University

    Summary of Research

    This project developed a methodology for multi-program selection and tradeoff analysis of alternative sets of transportation projects, based on the benefits and costs of each alternative in terms of various performance measures. Complementing an ongoing study, the research involved the uncertainty perspective, a variety of new analytical tools from literature, and an algorithm for the developed methodology. The developed algorithm was implemented in the existing asset management software package developed at Purdue University in 2004. Data on candidate projects from at least one state was used to validate the algorithm. The research product will help fulfill national needs for integrating infrastructure renewal decisions and help to achieve the goal of maximizing utilization of limited resources. Furthermore, the research findings are expected to provide a theoretical foundation for future studies that would involve higher levels and dimensions of infrastructure decision-making.
    Final Research Report

  • Investigation of Emergency Vehicle Crashes in the State of Michigan

    Research Information

    Start Date: 2008/3/1
    Status: Completed
    Total Dollars: $24,954
    Source Organization: Purdue University, West Lafayette
    Principal Investigator: Peter Savolainen, Wayne State University

    Summary of Research

    Emergency vehicle-involved crashes are a substantial problem nationwide. One common cause of such crashes is failure of non-emergency vehicle drivers to identify an approaching emergency vehicle in time to react and yield the right-of-way. Over 13,601 emergency vehicle crashes occurred in Michigan over the past five years (as of 2007). The purpose of this research was to conduct an evaluation of emergency vehicle crashes and to identify driver, vehicle and environmental characteristics affecting both emergency vehicle crash frequency and resultant injury severity. This evaluation will allow for the identification of engineering, education and enforcement countermeasures to be integrated into a comprehensive action plan aimed at addressing emergency vehicle crashes.
    Final Research Report

  • Research and Education from a Smart Campus Transit Laboratory

    Research Information

    Start Date: 2008/2/15
    Status: Completed
    Total Dollars: $331, 505 (Year 1)
    Source Organization: Purdue University, West Lafayette

    Informational Video: Campus Transit Lab Video
    Principal Investigators: Mark McCord, Ohio State University
    Rabi Mishalani, Ohio State University
    Prem Goel, Ohio State University

    Summary of Research

    NEXTRANS investigators, various OSU entities, and Clever Devices, Inc., are currently upgrading OSU’s Campus Area Bus Service (CABS) with a state-of-theart “smart bus” system. This new system includes advanced automatic vehicle location (AVL), automated passenger counting (APC), and a passenger information system. It also creates an infrastructure for research and education: the OSU Campus Transit Lab (CTL). Activities will include researching operations and service planning questions, developing a simulation tool, and studying passenger perceptions.
    Final Research Report

  • Length-Based Vehicle Classification on Freeways from Single Loop Detectors

    Research Information

    Start date: 2008/2/15
    Status: Completed
    Total Dollars: $44,875
    Source Organization: Purdue University, West Lafayette
    Principal Investigator: Benjamin Coifman, Ohio State University

    Summary of Research

    This research developed a reliable length-based vehicle classification algorithm for single loop detectors in which traffic would be sorted into three (or more) bins based on length. The approach is an extension of dual loop detector-based vehicle classification employed by many state departments of transportation (DOT); dual loop detectors can measure vehicle speed directly, avoiding the problems encountered at single loop detectors. Single loop detectors promise to be an inexpensive alternative to spread classification coverage through the existing count stations and through mixed use of existing traffic operation detector stations. This project aimed to enable such an extension to existing detector stations.
    Final Research Report

  • Optimal Condition Sampling of Infrastructure Networks

    Research Information

    Start date: 2008/2/15
    Status: Completed
    Total Dollars: $39,505
    Source Organization: Purdue University, West Lafayette
    Principal Investigators: Rabi Mishalani, Ohio State University
    Prem Goel, Ohio State University

    Summary of Research

    In response to developments in pavement inspection technologies, the optimization problem for condition sampling for a single facility was recently addressed. This project involved addressing the condition sampling optimization problem for a network of facilities under budgetary constraints. In this regard, a precise definition of the infrastructure network becomes essential. An existing methodology to do so was also refined leading to a more robust definition of infrastructure networks.
    Final Research Report

  • Estimating AADT from Combined Air Photos and Ground-Based Data: System Design, Prototyping, and Testing

    Research Information

    Start date: 2008/2/15
    Status: Completed
    Total Dollars: $36,562
    Source Organization: Purdue University, West Lafayette
    Principal Investigator: Mark R. McCord, Ohio State University
    Co-Principal Investigator: Prem Goel, Ohio State University

    Summary of Research

    This project developed a method that combines traditional ground-based traffic data with traffic information contained in recent air photos in a statistically justified manner to produce more accurate estimates of Annual Average Daily Traffic (AADT). In two limited empirical studies, the project has demonstrated the improved accuracy in AADT estimates using Ohio DOT data. To enable the implementation of this promising method, this project (i) developed an efficient way to use it on a widespread, repeated basis in an operational setting; (ii) demonstrated the improved accuracy in AADT estimates in a large-scale, controlled study; and (iii) evaluated the performance of this method to produce AADT estimates for cars and trucks separately.
    Final Research Report

  • Traffic Flow Characteristic and Capacity in Intelligent Work Zones

    Research Information

    Start date: 2008/2/15
    Status: Completed
    Total Dollars: $74,312
    Source Organization: Purdue University, West Lafayette
    Principal Investigator: Rahim F. Benekohal, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

    Summary of Research

    Intelligent work zones (WZ) may operate differently than regular WZ due to motorist interaction with ITS technologies. A fundamental understanding of traffic flow characteristics and capacity under ITS conditions is lacking. Most of the current knowledge about WZ traffic flow is a simple extension of knowledge from regular sections of highway. Such extension may not be suitable for WZ traffic conditions. This study investigated traffic flow characteristics in intelligent WZ and determined methods for computing delay, speed, capacity, and user cost. A theoretical relationship was developed based on understanding the complexity of traffic flow characteristics in breakdown/recovery mode in WZ bottlenecks, and field data was collected and used to examine the validity of the theory. The findings from this research helped to reduce congestion and improve safety in WZ.
    Final Research Report

  • Sensor Network Design for Multimodal Freight Transportation Systems

    Research Information

    Start date: 2008/2/15
    Status: Completed
    Total Dollars: $51,171
    Source Organization: Purdue University, West Lafayette
    Principal Investigator: Yangeng Ouyang, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

    Summary of Research

    With increasing demand for freight transportation infrastructure, ensuring efficiency and sustainability of transportation networks becomes a major challenge. This highlights the need for an integrated, systems-level framework that incorporates information technologies and multimodal network modeling techniques to monitor and manage complex freight transportation systems. This project (i) investigated the possibility of combining various off-the-shelf sensors to improve granularity and accuracy of traffic data; (ii) developed an analytical framework to quantify the benefits and costs of deploying (multiple types of) sensors to major freight transportation modes; and (iii) developed discrete network optimization models to select sensor locations and communication configuration.
    Final Research Report

  • Pavement Damage Due to Different Tire and Loading Configurations on Secondary Roads

    Research Information

    Start date: 2008/2/15
    Status: Completed
    Total Dollars: $61,020
    Source Organization: Purdue University, West Lafayette
    Principal Investigator: Imad Al-Qadi, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

    Summary of Research

    The main objective of this research was to evaluate the mechanism of load distribution for dual and wide-base tires on secondary road pavements. The research team simulated vehicle loading and predicted pavement response utilizing the finite element (FE) method. Investigators developed the necessary finite element models to simulate secondary roads using a three-dimensional (3D) approach. Almost all aspects of the model were optimized to approach near actual behavior of pavement systems including the use of dynamic analysis. This includes simulating tread patterns for dual and wide-base tire configurations, incorporating an advanced constitutive model for hot-mix asphalt into the FE model, and validating the developed FE models as related to available experimental measurements.
    Final Research Report

  • Development of a Finite Element Based Thermal Cracking Performance Prediction Model

    Research Information

    Start date: 2008/2/15
    Status: Completed
    Total Dollars: $53,004
    Source Organization: Purdue University, West Lafayette
    Principal Investigator: William Buttlar, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    Co-Principal Investigator: Glaucio H. Paulino, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

    Summary of Research

    Low-temperature cracking of hot-mix asphalt (HMA) pavements continues to be a leading cause of premature pavement deterioration in cold regions. While recent modeling advances have led to new insights into cracking mechanisms, there remains the challenge of implementing these models into a stand-alone, practitioner-friendly program. The main deliverable of this project is a user-friendly, computationally efficient program which could be used to analyze and design against thermal cracking in asphalt pavements. Unlike previous cracking prediction models, the developed model can explicitly consider interactions between vehicles (highway, air passenger, freight) and new and rehabilitated pavement systems which can be directly integrated with asset management systems.
    Final Research Report

  • Nondestructive Pavement Evaluation using Finite Element Analysis Based Soft Computing Models

    Research Information

    Start date: 2008/2/15
    Status: Completed
    Total Dollars: $52,439
    Source Organization: Purdue University, West Lafayette
    Principal Investigator: Erol Tutumluer, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

    Summary of Research

    The objectives of this research were to (i) develop framework for an innovative methodology called Soft Computing Based Pavement and Geomaterial System Analyzer (SOFTSYS) for evaluating in-service flexible pavements with the purpose of determining pavement layer thicknesses as well as the layer properties from nondestructive Falling Weight Deflectometer (FWD) data without the need for pavement coring; (ii) compare and verify SOFTSYS results with those of the nonlinear ILLI-PAVE Finite Element (FE) solutions; and (iii) validate SOFTSYS for determining pavement thicknesses and layer properties with actual field data where nondestructive Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) tests can be performed for layer interface locations and/or cores can be collected from existing highway pavements in coordination with the nondestructive FWE testing and pavement evaluation activities of state highway agencies.
    Final Research Report


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