ITS Faculty, Alums at NAE Frontiers of Engineering

The Institute of Transportation Studies was well represented at the 2017 China-America Frontiers of Engineering Symposium (CAFOE) in Shanghai, China June 22-24, 2017 with two faculty members Alexandre Bayen and Scott Moura and the three alumni Daniel Work, Ram Rajagopal, and Christian Claudel in attendance and participating.

“CAFOE was an invigorating experience. The best part is interacting with other researchers. Honestly, I cannot think of any other meeting where one can learn from world-class academics on topics ranging from transportation & energy storage to synthetic biology and robotics,” says Civil and Environmental Engineering Assistant Professor and ITS affiliate Moura. “Moreover, I am personally excited about better integrating research communities in China and the U.S. In fact, I am a core-PI at the Tsinghua-Berkeley Shenzhen Institute. In my field (batteries, smart grid, electric vehicles), China and Shenzhen in particular are the front lines for scaling up these technologies. I am delighted that the U.S. and Chinese Academies of Engineering support young researchers across these two economic powerhouses.”

ITS Director Bayen co-chaired the Intelligent Transportation session with Tsinghua University’s Dianga Yang, which explored massive road, transit and pedestrian traffic congestion trends in megacities and urban areas through three major disruptions: connectivity and automation, electrification of transportation, and the shared economy.

The session brought together experts on the three major disruptions and how connection and automation will dramatically change the technologies underlying the transportation system as we know it, while operations will be drastically different with the rapid growth of the shared economy and its new paradigms. Ultimately, when the three merge, leading to automated electrified shared vehicles, mobility patterns in large scale metropolitan cities will be significantly affected by the new state of things.

At the session, Work, currently faculty at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, spoke on From Mobile Sensing to Mobile Control of Vehicular Traffic. He discussed a 22-vehicle experiment, using human driven cars driving in a circle in one scenario and adding one intelligently controlled autonomous vehicle in another to determine how much influence the autonomous car has on traffic patterns.

“This was a great opportunity for engineers to gather in an international setting and learn from each other,” says Work. “It was an honor to be amongst them and present my research.”

Results indicate that even a 5 percent rate of autonomous vehicles can eliminate stop and go traffic and improve total traffic fuel efficiency and safety. Other session topics included Parallel Learning Theory and Its Applications on Automated Vehicles, Development of Electricity Supply Infrastructures for Large-scale Adoption of Electric Vehicles: Challenges and Opportunities, and Dynamic Pricing and Matching in Ride-Sharing.

In addition to Bayen’s session, the symposium covered Energy Storage, Synthetic Biology, and Robots Everywhere: Air, Sea, and In Close Proximity. ITS alumni Rajagopal, now faculty at University of Texas Austin, and Stanford University faculty Claudel, also attended the exciting symposium.