Self-Designed Project: Sustainable Transportation

A professor knowledgable in civil engineering and transportation would be happy to serve as capstone project advisor for a team that wishes to self-design a project in one of the following two topic areas (or variants thereof). A team wishing to pursue one of these options would be asked to flesh out the basic parameters of the project by the end of the Fall 2019 semester, in consultation with the potential faculty advisor.

A.  Data Sharing and Public/Private Collection for Sustainable Transportation Solutions 

This project would explore ways that data sharing and public/private collection can be integrated into sustainable transportation solutions. It would likely involve an exploration of various public/private activities relating to urban data-sharing, e.g., Sidewalk Labs, Hack-a-thons, projects connected with CUSP (Center for Urban Science and Progress), and various emerging government initiatives focused on innovation, data analytics, and shared platforms of public/private data.  The team would select and explore one or more examples of how multiple data points—whether originating in cameras, noise monitors, emissions sensors, taxis, vehicle data from on-board diagnostics, etc.—could be combined, analyzed and modeled.  An overall project aim would be to analyze and assess how such data-sharing can be integrated into urban transportation solutions that promote reduced carbon emissions, increased equity and livability, shared mobility and multi-modal integration, and more resilient transportation systems.

B.  Shared Use Automated Vehicles

A project in this topic area would begin with an overview of shared mobility, including sustainable transportation modes such as bike sharing, car sharing, ride hailing, and microtransit. A project objective would be to explore how such innovative new services can be integrated into a driverless or automated car future. How might the use of multi-modal smartphone applications and the concept of Mobility as a Service (MAAS) contribute to the integration of public and private transit with driverless vehicle planning, including first and last mile solutions?  The project team would explore pilot programs and international best practices, and set forth a governance and mobility plan that would articulate how shared use automated vehicles can promote sustainable transportation goals, as part of a master urban plan for the future. The plan would need to address transportation equity, service to senior populations, under-served communities, transportation deserts, and wheelchair accessible service. An overall objective would be to assess whether and how carbon footprint reduction in a fully automated world can be accomplished.