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Center for Transportation Research - UT Austin
Collaborate. Innovate. Educate.
Collaborate. Innovate. Educate.

Center for Transportation Research - UT Austin's posts

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CTR's Kara Kockelman & Lisa Loftus-Otway will be presenting at a SXSW panel with Joltt on March 12, 3:30–4:30, at the Austin Chamber of Commerce (500 E 4th St., 78701). Topic: Assimilating Self-Driving Cars Into Our Society

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CTR's own Chandra Bhat will be presenting at a SXSW panel with former US Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx and Allstate's Don Civgin on March 14, 3:30–4:30, at the Marriot's Salon 7 (110 E 2nd St, 78701).

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One of the challenges with research in the autonomous/connected vehicle (CAV) field is that CAVs can be disruptive, according to CTR/NMC's Natalia Ruiz Juri. How do we anticipate what's going to happen in the future when this type of technology can change not only transportation system performance, but also travel choices and behavior?

How are people going to react to this technology? Are they going to purchase more cars, fewer cars? Are they going to travel further? Are they not going to care about travel time any longer so they move further away from downtown?
Researchers want to understand how they need to modify existing models so that they can consider all these complex, interrelated impacts, when assessing the effects of CAV technologies into the future. Advanced models require significant computational resources, and CTR turned to the world-class Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC), also at UT Austin, for help modeling the massive amounts of data obtained from approximately 2,700 cars, trucks, and transit buses whose activities were logged through on-board sensors over two months.

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Come to the first ever ATX Hack the Traffic event, co-hosted by the City of Austin Transportation Department and CTR.

Sat, March 4, 2017
12:00 PM – 6:00 PM CST
Galvanize Austin at 118 Nueces Street

We welcome everyone from first-time hackers to industry experts, and we’ll have tasty local food and beverages to keep you going through the afternoon.
Developers, designers, analysts, and transportation enthusiasts, join us to #HacktheTraffic!

We’ll have single-board computers, travel sensors, and gigabytes of travel-time data for you to experiment with. If you’re able to help us develop an open-source travel sensor, an awesome analytics tool, or beautiful visualizations, your work could be piloted on real-life Austin streets as part of Austin’s Smart City initiatives!


Don't miss tomorrow's UTexas ITE speaker:

We are excited to host Dr. Meredith Cebelak, Senior Traffic and ITS Engineer at Gresham, Smith and Partners, as a part of the CTR Seminar Series this semester.

• Date: Wednesday, February 1, 2017
• Time: 3:00 - 4:00 PM - Snacks will be served by courtesy of Dr. Cebelak.
• Location: CTR Main Conference Room, 4th Floor UT Administration Building, 1616 Guadalupe Street (4.518)
• Topic: Employment after graduation and innovative methods and technologies in transportation engineering projects

In this talk, Dr. Cebelak will share her insights into life as a consulting engineer with focus on what to expect as a recently graduated engineer and what consultants are looking for in new hires. She will also share transportation project experiences that include Diverging Diamond Interchange (DDI) deployments, the Tennessee Department of Transportation’s Fast Fix 8 project that utilized innovative project delivery methods, Complete Streets, and Intelligent Transportation System projects, including adaptive signal, connected vehicle, and TSM&O projects.

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Austin is installing new traffic signals for bicyclists at 12 locations. About half of these lights will give bicyclists a head start on crossing the intersection when traffic lights turn green, similar to what pedestrians get at the South Congress crosswalk signals. FOX7 interviewed CTR researcher Randy Machemehl on this topic, as he has been leading a project since September to monitor cyclist behavior at Austin stop lights. Machemehl noted that so far, "we've seen really pretty good fact, better compliance than I anticipated." The city is also adding bike sensors in the pavement at 20 standard signal lights, allowing cyclists to more easily trigger the lights (which can sometimes be difficult without the weight of a vehicle to trigger the sensor).

Look for cyclist-specific signals at these locations:
• Lance Armstrong Bikeway at Sandra Muraida Way
• Lance Armstrong Bikeway at B.R. Reynolds Drive
• Morrow Street at North Lamar Boulevard
• Wilshire Boulevard at Airport Boulevard
• Fourth Street at Red River Street
• Rio Grande Street at MLK Jr. Boulevard
• Rio Grande Street at 24th Street
• Third Street at Brazos Street
• Third Street at Congress Avenue
• Third Street at Colorado Street
• Third Street at Lavaca Street
• Third Street at Guadalupe Street

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CTR & D-STOP Director Chandra Bhat given Lifetime Achievement in Transportation Research & Education (Academic) award at CUTC Banquet.

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D-STOP selected Michael Motro as our 2016 Outstanding Student of the Year. Michael works with Dr. Joydeep Ghosh in the areas of data mining, probability, and optimization. He also contributed to CTR's CAR-STOP project, studying collision prediction/avoidance using publicly available trajectory data and simulators. Michael is shown here with his award, which was presented at the Council of University Transportation Centers annual banquet.

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CTR is proud to announce that its students have continued their tradition of excellence, receiving recognition in recent months from ITS Texas—the Texas chapter of the Intelligent Transportation Society of America (ITS America)—as well as the Council of University Transportation Centers (CUTC).

Three CTR students won 2016 ITS Texas Scholarships: Michael Levin received a scholarship of $2,500, Ehsan Jafari received a scholarship of $2,000, and Pragun Vinayak received a scholarship of $2,000. These were awarded at the 2016 Annual Meeting in Richardson, Texas on November 11, 2016. Notes Gopindra Sivakumar Nair, President of the ITS UT Austin Chapter, “We hope to continue this streak of winning scholarships in the years to come.”

And further congratulations go to Venktesh Pandey for winning the CUTC’s Milton Pikarsky MS Thesis Award. Venkteh's advisor, Dr. Stephen Boyles, notes that “Venktesh’s thesis is aimed at better pricing strategies for dynamic toll lanes, like the ones recently opened on Mopac... He has done excellent work in this area, and I’m glad that he has chosen to stay at CTR for his doctoral studies!”
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