Multimodal mobility center advancing research on transportation

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Established in December 2016, the Center for Advanced Multimodal Mobility Solutions and Education (CAMMSE) has numerous projects underway. UNC Charlotte is the lead campus for this multi-institutional initiative, which is funded by a $7.7 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

 “There are a number of projects now up and running that were part of the original grant proposal,” said Wei Fan, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering and principal investigator for CAMMSE. “We have made significant progress at this point in all areas, including research, education and outreach and technology transfer. Many of our projects are ahead of schedule and under budget.”

Multimodal transportation refers to the integrated network of roads, airports, seaports, rails, transit systems, bicycle and pedestrian trails and walkways. CAMMSE researchers are applying the multimodal term to the movement of people and goods, with the aim of developing innovations to relieve congestion and improve efficiency for both.

Ten research projects are being conducted in 2017. At UNC Charlotte, Ph.D. students in the Infrastructure and Environmental Systems program are working on two of the projects.

As part of the “Estimation of Origin-Destination Matrix and Identification of User Activities Using Public Transit Smart Card Data” project, students are mining data to determine patterns for how people are moving. Smart cards are now used in many urban areas to pay bus and rail fares, and the data from such cards provides a great deal of data on passenger demand and transportation system performance. The purpose of the project is to develop a systematic method to demonstrate how passenger information can be mined from smart card data.

The project “Improving the Movements of People and Freight: A Case Study of the Piedmont Atlantic Megaregion” is being done in anticipation of significant population growth in the Southeast United States. The project will direct local and state leaders in developing a blueprint for the region’s rail network and establishing a Southeast Rail Commission that will develop multimodal solutions through 2050.

In the area of educational outreach and workforce development, civil engineering professors Miguel Pando and Martin Kane have been actively developing a number of initiatives, including the University’s first transportation summer camp. This weeklong day camp will introduce the many aspects of the transportation field. Campers will have hands-on lab activities, go on local supervised field trips, and learn about the transportation field directly from transportation and civil engineering professionals and experts.

To facilitate the transfer of CAMMSE research to the community, Lee College of Engineering professor Dave Weggel has been actively working with UNC Charlotte’s Office of Technology Transfer to develop an effective plan for technology transfer and implementation. CAMMSE faculty and student researchers have also been actively presenting their research at several conferences.

Other institutions involved in CAMMSE are Texas Southern University, the University of Connecticut, the University of Texas at Austin and Washington State University.

Click here to read more. Also, read about the announcement of the grant and center formation (includes video of John Daniels).

Photo: Wei Fan, center, with doctoral students Zhen Chen (left) and Miao Yu discussing the CAMMSE Smart Card project.