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Emerging Technologies in Transportation

INCREASING AFFORDABILITY, ENERGY EFFICIENCY, AND RIDERSHIP OF TRANSIT BUS SYSTEMS THROUGH LARGE-SCALE ELECTRIFICATION

Sponsored by the Department of Energy (DOE)

This project will develop a set of innovative planning and operation tools and identify improvement strategies to help transit agencies gradually and effectively deploy and operate electric buses. As electric vehicle technology advances, a key area to electrify within the US vehicle fleet is transit buses. Thus, it is crucial to develop strategies that transit agencies can use to facilitate the transition to electric buses.

Work on this project involves two user studies to be conducted in both Salt Lake City, UT, and Portland, OR. These studies aim to determine transit agency approaches that can be deployed to better satisfy user needs. The first study will analyze the decision-making processes of transit users and non-users along with their attitudes towards electric buses. This will help to identify how the bus electrification may impact satisfaction with a given transit system. The second study aims to analyze current modes of first mile/last mile (FM/LM) transportation in these cities and how transit users may perceive improvements these modes. Such FM/LM modes include traditional options such as walking and biking as well as more recent innovations such as electromobility options and bike-sharing. This study will help transit agencies identify strategies for effective integration between transit bus systems and FM/LM mobility options.

Ongoing - Est. Completion Date Feb. 2025

For more information, contact:

Jonathon Sinton

FORECASTING SHIFTS IN HOOSIERS' TRAVEL DEMAND AND BEHAVIOR

Sponsored by the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT)

The main objective of this project is to develop long term future forecasts of transportation demand conditions for people and freight—both conventional and micro-freight (e.g., individual meal or small package delivery to inform INDOT therefore allowing the agency to properly adjust its business practices, planning models/applications (e.g., Statewide Travel Demand Model or traffic microsimulation), and investment decisions to best serve those future conditions; and to carry out long-range scenario planning.

Ongoing - Est. Completion Date Oct. 2023

For more information, contact:

Saloni Deodhar

THE IMPACT OF COVID-19 ON USER PERCEPTIONS OF PUBLIC TRANSIT, SHARED MOBILITY/MICRO-MOBILITY SERVICES, AND EMERGING VEHICLE TYPES

Sponsored by the Center for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAT)

The objective of this project is to investigate the impact of COVID-19 on user perceptions of public transit, shared mobility services, and emerging vehicle types (electric, connected, and autonomous vehicles). As transportation systems remain at the forefront of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is critical to examine the transportation trends and behaviors of shared modes’ and emerging vehicle types’ users to best plan for transportation policies in the long-run. We propose to conduct user surveys and behavioral experiments in select communities with different levels of transit and smart mobility usage [Indianapolis (low), Salt Lake City(medium), and Chicago (heavy)] to assess user perceptions for public transit, emerging technologies such as ridesharing, electric vehicles, and micro-mobility services in the COVID era. The impacts of the pandemic on user perceptions for public transit, shared mobility/micro-mobility services, and emerging vehicle types will be discussed followed by the corresponding planning/policy implications on transportation system utilization. This project will be of interest to the research community, transit operators, shared mobility and micro-mobility services operators, and other transportation professionals to help them gain a better understanding of the impacts of the pandemic on user perceptions for public transit, shared mobility, and micro-mobility services.

Ongoing - Est. Completion Date Jan. 28 2022

For more information, contact:

Ricardo Chahine

A STRATEGIC ASSESSMENT OF NEEDS AND OPPORTUNITIES FOR WIDER ADOPTION OF ELECTRIC VEHICLES IN INDIANA

Sponsored by the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT)

The project will investigate the challenges and opportunities associated with the provision of appropriate infrastructure to support EV operations and develop a strategic plan for INDOT that involves new business opportunities by developing EV charging stations and related infrastructure systems and technologies that are synergistic with EV operations, including connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs) and shared transportation. 

Completed in March 2022

DESIGN OF NOVEL RECONFIGURABLE INTERIORS FOR AVS TO MEET THE NEEDS OF OLDER OCCUPANTS

Sponsored by the Ford Motor Co. via the Ford-Purdue Alliance Program

Age-related cognitive and physical decline contributes to mobility and/or sensory limitations that could require accommodation in vehicle interiors for older passengers.  Autonomous vehicles (AVs) allow for the design of novel vehicle interior configurations and provide an opportunity to not only meet the transportation needs of older adults but do so in a way that increases their safety and comfort.  The objective of the proposed research is to conduct focus groups to understand older adults' needs, preferences, and qualitative assessments of novel vehicle interior configurations than can be used in AVs and shared AVs to meet their self-reliant transportation needs longer.

The research team also includes the director, operations manager, and policy fellows of the Purdue Policy Research Institute (PPRI).

Ongoing - Est. Completion Date Dec. 2022

For more information, contact:

Ricardo Chahine

ASSESSING THE TRAVEL DEMAND AND MOBILITY IMPACTS OF DISRUPTIVE TRANSPORTATION TECHNOLOGIES IN INDIANA

Sponsored by the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT)

Emerging disruptive transportation technologies are impacting vehicle ownership and ridership and will continue to change the transportation landscape as they are more widely adopted.  These changes call for revised city planning and policy making procedures. This research project is intended to assist INDOT and MPOs with planning and policies as these emerging technologies become more prevalent.  Key questions include the effects of emerging transportation options and policy incentives on vehicle ownership and vehicle use decisions, whether or not the disruptive technologies substitute or complement existing modes and how will they impact demand, and what some appropriate key performance indicators to measure the impacts of the technology might be.  Case studies will be conducted in Indianapolis, Indiana, West Lafayette/Lafayette, Indiana, and Bloomington, Indiana.  The current trends of disruptive transportation will be analyzed in each study area using historical trip information and surveys.  Key performance indicators (KPIs) will be derived to evaluate the influential mobility and economic aspects of these technologies.  Those KPIs will then serve as variables in an agent-based simulation, the results of which will greatly relieve some of the uncertainty regarding the implementation of emerging disruptive transportation technologies.  The results of this study will likely be applicable to other small urban areas. 

Completed April 2022

Related Publication:

Luo et al.(2021)

FEASIBILITY STUDY AND DESIGN OF IN-ROAD ELECTRIC VEHICLE CHARGING TECHNOLOGIES

Sponsored by the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT)

Electric roadways offer an alternative charging method that holds the potential of giving the electric vehicle limitless range as long as it moves on paths specifically adapted for dynamic en-route charging.  Hardware demonstrations and feasibility studies around the world have shown great interest in the dynamic charging technology of electric roadways.

The goal of this project is to assess the feasibility of electric roadways in Indiana and design a test bed for on-road electric vehicle charging technologies, focusing on trucks.  Based upon the literature review, this feasibility study will identify factors that determine the optimal locations of electric roadways in Indiana.  These criteria will be used in a suitability analysis that will indicate the most suitable segments to deploy the technology in the road network. 

A localized analysis of the selected corridors will follow to provide information on subjects such as traffic modeling, road cost estimation, maintenance and general technical needs.

The design of the test bed will be examined for the two main classes of charging technology (i.e. inductive and capacitive).  The overall architecture of the interconnection of the test bed with the electric utility will be studied and will include all equipment that is downstream from a local substation feeding power to the testbed.  In addition, this project will determine the architecture of the onboard pick-up and charging system(s). 

The study's team also includes faculty and students from the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Purdue University.

Completed May 2021

Related Publication:

Konstantinou and Gkritza(2021)

A STATED PREFERENCE AND CHOICE STUDY FOR ASSESSING PEOPLE'S ATTITUDES TOWARDS AUTONOMOUS AND SHARED AUTONOMOUS VEHICLES

  • Identifying the factors influencing the behavioral intention to ride in AVs
  • Identifying the characteristics of AV market segments
  • Evaluating the attributes impacting personal vehicle ownership decisions (i.e., decisions to postpone the purchase of non-AV due to the emergence of AVs)
  • Assessing the factors affecting mode choice decisions after the emergence of autonomous ride-sharing services operated through AVs and evaluating the corresponding value of travel time savings

This work is related to Christos Gkartzonikas's doctoral dissertation, successfully defended on November 6, 2019.

BEHAVIORAL INTENTION TO RIDE IN AN AUTONOMOUS VEHICLE AND IMPLICATIONS ON MODE CHOICE DECISIONS, ENERGY USE AND EMISSIONS

Sponsored by the Center for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAT)

The project was awarded under USDOT Center for Connected and Automated Transportation (CCAT) and the objective is to examine the potential effects of automation on energy demand and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from vehicles. To achieve this, improved projections of future travel demand and patterns in response to autonomous vehicles (AVs) will be obtained using a behavioral experiment (survey), and the energy and carbon intensity of vehicle travel will be estimated. A stated-preference survey is designed and distributed in Indianapolis, IN to assess the behavioral intention to ride in AVs and investigate the attributes which impact people’s opinion as their preferred mode of transportation in the short and long run. Lastly, the energy and environmental implications due to the emergence of AVs will be evaluated.

Completed 2019

For more information, contact:

Lisa Losada

FEASIBILITY STUDY OF ELECTRIC ROADWAYS

Sponsor: US DOE Arpa-E

Through funding awarded by the DOE ARPA-E IDEAS program, the electric roadway study will analyze freight and passenger vehicle corridors in lower Los Angeles County and evaluate in-road inductive wireless and overhead conductive electric roadway technology solutions. The year-long study's results will be extended to other major US cities and interstates and will assess

  • First adopters
  • Value proposition for incremental rollout
  • Technology gaps for accelerated market adoption
  • Localized impact on utilities and emissions reduction

The study's team consist of faculty from Utah State University, Purdue University, and Colorado State University; industry partner AECOM; and Southern California Edison, the area's electricity supply company.

Completed: 2019

For more information, contact:

Theodora Konstantinou