Focus Area 1: Disaster & Community Resilience
- Resilient infrastructure
- Emergency evacuation
- Impact of disasters on vulnerable communities
- Wind effects on buildings, other structures, and community
CEE researchers are working on novel methodologies to extend our understanding of the actual impact of disasters on communities by providing the decision makers’ and communities’ perceptions of the risks and constraints shaping their environment, across a range of ages, income, ethnicity and functional abilities. The ultimate goal is to create more effective evacuation and emergency response strategies and policies that reduce the community-dwelling public vulnerability to injury or death in hurricanes in the Florida, the state with the greatest hurricane susceptibility in the U.S.
Focus Area 2: Intelligent Mobility and Logistics
- Intelligent transportation systems
- Smart logistics and optimization
- Connected and automated vehicles
- Traffic operations and safety
Established as a Tier 1 University Transportation Center (UTC) and funded at $4.2 million by the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT), ASAP Center is a multidisciplinary collaboration organized to conduct research in the primary area of transportation engineering, as well as performing educational and outreach programs. With motivation from Florida's large number of senior residents, the reported relatively high involvement of seniors in traffic crashes nationwide, and their special needs for transportation, the theme of the center is to provide safe and accessible transportation to the aging population. The center is supported by a strong research team from various disciplines including civil and environmental engineering, urban planning, geography, psychology, sociology and health care management.
The State of Florida acquires about 300 cutaway buses every year. The Transit Office of the Florida Department of Transportation established the Crashworthiness Evaluation of Cutaway Buses Program in 1999. The Crashworthiness Evaluation Program has a mission of using a cutting edge computational mechanics and experimentation to ensure the safest paratransit services in the State of Florida. CIAL research interests and expertise include applied computational mechanics and numerical analysis, non-linear, dynamic finite element methods, computer modeling, contact, impact and penetration problems, crashworthiness, safety, vulnerability and survivability, energetic materials and detonation science.
Transportation Engineering Laboratory aims to develop innovative and novel solutions to meeting mobility, accessibility and safety needs. Fully equipped with the state of the art equipment and software, the laboratory research areas include connected and automated vehicles, smart cities and urban mobility, freight logistics and traffic operations and safety.
- Integrated Hazard and Traffic Modeling for Massive Evacuation in Florida under Uncertainty of Hurricane Track
Considering that large and high-density populations concentrated in Florida coast are vulnerable to hurricane impacts, it is extremely necessary and significant to prepare massive hurricane evacuation plans with considerations of the uncertainty of hurricane tracks. Based on the significant needs for massive evacuations for hurricanes in Florida, this study aims to: (1) conduct uncertainty analysis of hurricane tracks; (2) conduct modeling of hurricane-induced coastal hazards; (3) develop massive emergency evacuation models; (4) develop an optimization methodology to maximize the accessibility and capacity of hurricane shelters.
- Senior Community Resilience: Assessing the Interdependencies between Critical Transportation Infrastructures and Implications on Aging People’s Households
The main goal of the project is developing uncertainty-based mathematical models in order to (a) enhance resilience, safety and accessibility for aging people’s communities and households, (b) improve the preparedness of these households and communities for and recovery from disruptions. In doing so, conventional approaches will separately deal with buildings, bridges, and transportation networks affected by disruptions (e.g., day-to-day disruptions such as congestion and accidents, or emergency disruptions such as flooding or debris due to hurricanes).
- Development of Efficient Algorithms to Facilitate Emergency Evacuation in Areas with Vulnerable Population Groups
This project aims to develop a mathematical model and a set of solution algorithms for assigning evacuees to the available evacuation routes and emergency shelters, considering major socio-demographic characteristics of evacuees (e.g., age, gender, driving experience, health conditions), evacuation route characteristics (e.g., number of lanes), driving conditions (e.g., day of the week), and traffic characteristics (e.g., time headway, space headway). A number of computational experiments are being performed to showcase applicability of the proposed methodology for real-life emergency evacuation scenarios.
- UHDNetCity: User-centered Heterogeneous Data Fusion for Multi-networked City Mobility
This project focuses on a novel approach for characterizing and quantizing mobility in a sociotechnical urban system through heterogeneous data, which comprises and connects transportation, energy, water, air quality, telecommunication, and social network data/user-generated content. The project aims to bring measurable mobility benefits and improves residents’ experience in terms of lowering energy consumption, reducing congestion, crashes, and traveler frustration.
- Evaluation of Connected Vehicle Applications on Mahan Corridor
The overall goal of this project is to determine the efficacy of a cooperative intersection program in improving efficiency and safety along a signalized-intersections corridor. Advancements in connected/automated vehicle technologies are offering an opportunity to greatly enhance efficiency and safety of motorized and non-motorized traffic through the implementation of V2I, V2X, and two way communication between an intersection and non-motorized traffic – that is, pedestrians, bicyclists and vulnerable road users. Deployment of these technologies at the intersection level will make an intersection “cooperative” by allowing for a dynamic transfer of data between vehicles and the intersection and between the intersection and motorized/non-motorized road users with mobile platforms.
- Spatial-Context Intersection Safety Analysis for the Aging Population: An Integrated 3-D Visualization and Human Factors Simulation Approach
Through the utilization of Geographic Information Systems (GIS), 3D modeling, and the usage of the UTC’s driving simulator, the study will determine regions where elderly drivers are involved in dangerous collisions, develop driving simulations where elderly and younger drivers will be expected to maneuver, and analyze the differences in behaviors between the elderly and younger drivers. Additionally, this research strives to investigate the usage of a Flashing Turn Signal Head with Pedestrian Indication (FPI) to assist in reducing the number and level of collisions involving pedestrians and vehicles attempting to turn right.