September 18th, 2015: 2:15 PM-3:15 PM, Ketter Hall room 140, University at Buffalo, North Campus

Professor Linda Boyle.

Li Zhang, Ph.D., P.E., F.ASCE. F.ITE Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering Mississippi State

Insights on Traffic Operations Research

In recent years, Dr. Zhang has focused his research on traffic operations. With the emerging connected vehicle technology, Dr. Zhang has worked with Leidos Inc. and FHWA to advance traditional traffic signal control research to a new frontier that could potentially lead to a breakthrough to a new generation of traffic control. In his research, real time traffic data are acquired through a SPaT (Signal Phasing and Timing) system which will be inside future traffic signal control cabinet.  The SPaT system is connected to a RSU (Roadside Unit) that receives accurate real time vehicle trajectory information every 1/10 of a second. He is also transferring the objective function from a delay based model to an emission and fuel consumption based model.

Dr. Zhang also has led a project to mitigate congestions at freeway merging area with an innovative Cycle Based Variable Speed Limited (CVSL). Simulation has indicated over delay reduction and throughput gains simultaneously, measured in the combined freeway and ramp sections. His team is further expanding the research to incorporate connected vehicle technologies.

Dr. Zhang is also working with US DOT to build a new generation of traffic simulators to incorporate the most advanced computing technologies, including parallel computing, distributed computing, mobile computing and cloud computing that could facilitate future traffic operations research. The research will provide a fundamental framework for US DOT’s future research, including connected vehicle research.

Dr. Zhang will also briefly describe his other research, such as Integrated Corridor Management, traffic network impact and disruption mitigation due to natural disaster such as earthquakes and hurricanes, transit evacuations and real time scheduling.