uSMART uses agent-based modeling, life cycle assessments, system dynamics, big data analytics, and GIS to study the environmental implications of emerging technologies from the systems perspective. The general research interests include energy-water nexus, emerging transportation systems, energy policy, and urban sustainability. Current ongoing projects are summarized below.
Environmental benefits of smart transportation and shared mobility
The recent development of information and computational technologies is transitioning our transportation system. The transportation sector is facing three revolutions: shared mobility, connected and automated vehicles, and vehicle electrification. We use large scale real world data to study how the three revolutions individually or collectively impact the sustainability of the transportation systems. Specifically, we analyze the potential environmental benefits of emerging smart transportation systems such as ride sharing, autonomous vehicles, vehicle to infrastructure connections, and mulit-model transportation systems to inform policy and decision making.
Ride sharing using autonomous vehicles:
- Lokhandwala, M., Cai, H., (2018) “Dynamic Ride Sharing using Traditional Taxis and Shared Autonomous Taxis: A Case Study of NYC”, Transportation Research Part C: Emerging Technologies, 97:45-60
Station-based and dockless bikesharing:
- Luo, H., Kou, Z., Zhao, F., Cai, H. (2019) “Comparative Life Cycle Assessment of Station-based and Dock-less Bike Sharing Systems”, Resources, Conservation & Recycling, 146:180-189
"Big-Data" informed infrastructure development
GPS devices, smart phone apps, smart cards, and other various types of sensors have significantly improved our ability to track how people interact with each other and with the urban infrastructure. We use these data to inform infrastructure development for emerging systems (e.g. identify where to build charging stations to better match charging infrastructure with charging demands).
Charging station siting for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles
Our daily environmental footprints are locked in at the moment we make purchase decisions. We use innovative approaches to collect consumer decision making data and study how product sustainability information can be best communicated to the consumers.