Connected Autonomous Vehicles (CAVs) are expected to create new opportunities by enhancing the mobility, safety, efficiency, reliability, affordability, and sustainability of transportation systems while rapidly disrupting traditional transportation technologies. This proposal brings together a strong and diverse team of researchers from North Carolina A&T State University (NCAT), North Carolina State University (NCSU), and University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNCC) with the goal of
....establishing a multidisciplinary Center of Excellence in “Advanced Transportation Technologies" to investigate the adoption, utilization, and deployment of CAVs and their impacts on the transportation system in North Carolina and the nation.
In addressing the solicitation, the proposed Center, NC-CAV, incorporates three interwoven research thrusts that achieve the stated goal, namely: Thrust 1: CAV Impacts; Thrust 2: CAV Infrastructure, and Thrust 3: CAV-UAV Emerging Applications. These research thrusts collectively aim at achieving transformative objectives in the following ways:
- Investigating the impacts of CAVs on North Carolina's transportation system (while explicitly accounting for mixed vehicle fleet with different levels of CAV adoption under different traffic situations) and associated revenue,
- Assessing North Carolina's readiness for CAVs in traditional and emerging transportation infrastructure,
- Developing and deploying CAVs and UAVs for advancing transportation systems,
- Sustaining the Center's activities by attracting larger funding at the national level on advanced transportation systems, and
- Developing an outreach program and a diverse workforce within the scope of the Center with the involvement of more graduate and undergraduate students, particularly those belonging to underrepresented groups.
These objectives will be realized through innovative, cutting-edge, synergistic, interdisciplinary approaches built upon the existing facilities and strong foundation within leading research institutes and centers across North Carolina including the Autonomous Control and Information Technology (ACIT) Institute at NCAT, Institute for Transportation Research and Education (ITRE) at NCSU, USDOT University Transportation Center for Advanced Multimodal Mobility Solutions and Education (CAMMSE) at UNCC, TECHLAV Center of Excellence in Autonomy at NCAT, and their affiliated research laboratories.
The proposed Center's activities will lead to deliverables that include analysis reports on the impacts of CAVs on the transportation system and associated revenue, roadmaps and strategic long-term planning reports about the required transportation infrastructure for CAVs, and the development and deployment of deployment of mixed transportation systems including manned vehicles, CAVs, and UAVs for transportation solutions and aerial traffic monitoring. Including NCDOT, Downtown Greensboro and Greensboro Department of Transportation will serve as the other public stakeholders for this project and provide equipment and logistics needed for a pilot program deployment of CAVs in its downtown district from the NCAT campus. T
hese developments and deliverables will assist NCDOT and transportation policy/decision-makers to better understand and proactively plan for future developments and long-term trends in the deployment of CAVs for advanced transportation systems. Critically, this Center will leverage the ongoing CAV-related research at participating universities in concert with the center thrusts to competitively advance North Carolina's transportation research on CAVs at the national level. This is done through the relationships developed in this Center, with NCDOT, and its national research partners such as the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA), the NASA Langley Research Center and industrial partners (including General Motors and National Instruments) in developing and deploying innovative CAV-UAV applications that address the needs of the State.
Lead Institution: NC A&T State University
Peer Institutions: University of North Carolina Charlotte; North Carolina State University
#1: CAV Impacts on Traffic
Intersection Capacity and Transportation
UNCC*: W. Fan; ITRE: A. Hajbabaie, D. Findley, S. Bert, N. Norboge;
NCA&T: S. Jiang
Project #2: Assessing North Carolina Readiness
for CAVs in Traditional and
Emerging Infrastructure Needs
ITRE*: T. Chase NCSU: S. Lin; NCA&T: J. Kelly, A. Eroglu
Project #3: Developing and Implementing CAV-UAV
Collaboration for Advancing the
NC A&T*: A. Homaifar, A. Karimoddini, L. Hashemi-Beni;
*First institution listed on each project is the lead for that specific effort
ITRE: N. Rouphail, C. Cunningham; UNCC: W. Fan