NC Transportation Center of Excellence in Advanced Technology Safety & Policy (TSAP) was undertaken to leverage multi-disciplinary skill and knowlege across multiple universities toward a longer-term view and cutting-edge approaches in transportation research and implementation. The Team consisted of UNC-Chapel Hill's Highway Safety Research Center and assocated universities - Appalachian State University, NC A&T University, NC Central University and UNC-Charlotte. The research areas of emphasis included advanced technology solutions and pedestrians, connected and automated vehicles (CAV) operational and economic impacts and CAV data and travel effieciency. TSAP had five research projects with two key themes: using and improving existing infrastructure to advance safety and mobility and help North Carolina communities, particularly vulnerable road users and using CAVs to advance mobility, with a focus on economic impact and data.
Project 1: Impacts of CAV-ready infrastructure on vulnerable road users: Guidance fo North Carolina's local and state transportation agencies
Project results included: (1) analysis of cities and states leading the way on preparing CAVs to arrive on city streets in the coming decades, and the strategies they have adopted or are considering; (2) a replicable method for visualizing intersections in order to test various physical design options, supported by a replication reference guide; and (3) a demonstration of surveying non-motorized travelers about the percieved quality and safety of intersections. Key recommendations include facilitating CAV-readiness discussions among diverse stakeholders, designing intersections to serve CAVs but prioritize pedestrian safety and comfort, developing methos to understand impacts on non-vehicular travelers and supporting research on post-pandemic public engagement.
Project 2: IOT Solutions for Near Horizen Challenges in Smart City Pedestrian Travel
Tasks included enhancing pedestrian travel and safety in smart cities by reviewing, developing and illustrating the use of advanced technologies, address potential solutions involving walk request buttons and exploration of the transmission of corner orientation and crossing information via Bluetooth communication with personal smart phones. Collectively these tasks contribute critical componenets in the development of I2P and P2I protocols.
Project 3: Operational and Economic Impacts of CAVs
Focus of study was to quantify the effect of CAVs on traffic operations, safety and the economy. Results revealed that an increase in the penetration of CAVs would significanlty reduce travel times, delays, buffer times and the number of crashes. The impact of the reduction in buffer time and crashes on the economy was quantified and values for the crash cost and buffer time per vehicle per mile were recommended for forecasting statewide impacts.
Project 4: Intellegent Data Exploration & Analysis for New & Existing Transportation Technology (IDEANETT)
Project focused on reducing traffic congestion by examining the interplay between two distinct groups of drivers - those with access to rerouting information and those without. Through simulation modeling results indicated that congestsion is reduced during abrupt phase transistion. The study also explored decision-making models that can indirectly learn and transfer online information from simultaneous observations of a probability distribution. The proposed methods contribute towards data-intelligent techniques for evaluation and planning of transportation systems under uncertainty.
Project 5: Pan for Advanced Technology Data Readiness
Study summarizes best practices for CAV data collection and tracking, captures and analysis the perception of practitioners and industry experts, and recommends a novel data readiness framework. The proposed data readiness framework sets priorities for stakeholders in formulating policies and upgrading infrastructure for a CAV-inclusive transportation environment.