Plenary Lecture 1: Dr. Petros A. Ioannou, University of Southern California


Title: Safe Merging and Lane Changes of Autonomous Connected Vehicles in Traffic Congested Environments

Abstract:  Despite the recent advancements of autonomous vehicle technology, performing lane changes and merging in dense traffic environments remains an open challenge. An important driving task is to find a suitable space to merge into without placing any vehicle in a collision prone situation. While humans often put themselves at risk for brief periods of time, autonomous vehicles cannot do the same by design due to obvious safety and liability issues. In this talk, we discuss how safe is an intervehicle spacing and propose a cooperative lane change approach that relies on vehicle connectivity to achieve safe merging or lane change under different traffic conditions. The proposed approach requires that the merging vehicle negotiates the creation of a safety gap in the destination lane and, till the lane change maneuver is completed, it operates as having two possible leaders, one in its own lane and one in the destination lane. Moreover, the future following vehicle in the destination lane operates as if the merging vehicle has already changed lanes. This solution leads to a smooth creation of spacings for the vehicle to merge into while safety is guaranteed. Once the gaps are created, the vehicle performs the lane change maneuver using a proposed robust combined longitudinal and lateral controller. Simulations are used to demonstrate the safe lane change maneuvers under different traffic conditions.

Short Bio: Petros A. Ioannou received the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois, in 1980 and 1982, respectively. In 1982, Dr. Ioannou joined the Department of Electrical Engineering-Systems, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California. He is currently a Professor in the same Department and holds the A.V. ‘Bal’ Balakrishnan Endowed Chair. He is the Director of the Center of Advanced Transportation Technologies and Associate Director for Research of METRANS, a University Transportation Center. He also holds a courtesy appointment with the Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering and the Department of Industrial Engineering. His research interests are in the areas of adaptive control and applications, intelligent transportation systems and marine transportation. Dr. Ioannou was the recipient of the 1985 Presidential Young Investigator Award for his research in Adaptive Control; the 2009 IEEE ITSS Outstanding ITS Application Award; the 2009 IET Heaviside Medal for Achievement in Control by the Institution of Engineering, Technology (former IEE), the 2012 IEEE ITSS Outstanding ITS Research Award and the 2016 IEEE Transportation Technologies Award and the 2017 Transition to Practicve Award by the IEEE Control System Society Dr. Ioannou is a Fellow of IEEE, Fellow of International Federation of Automatic Control (IFAC), Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) and  Fellow of AAAS. He is the author/co-author of 8 books and over 300 research papers in the area of controls, vehicle dynamics, neural networks, nonlinear dynamical systems and intelligent transportation systems. 


Plenary Lecture 2: Prof. Stephane Hess, University of Leeds


Title: Travel behaviour modelling with novel data sources

Abstract: Mathematical models of travel behaviour form a key component of the toolkit for transport planning. Traditionally, these models have been developed on the basis of travel survey data or stated preference surveys, but in the last few years, there has been growing interest in novel data sources. This presentation looks in detail at two specific topics in this context, namely a) the use automatically collected location data from mobile phone networks and GPS devices as an alternative to traditional revaled preference surveys, and b) the use of virtual reality data as an alternative to stated preference data. For both types of data, I present results from case studies and discuss the implications for model specification, estimation and use of results. In addition, the presentation discusses the potential use for new non-numeric data, such as video and social media feeds, looking at the possible benefits as well as issues with such data.

Short Bio: Stephane Hess is Professor of Choice Modelling in the Institute for Transport Studies and Director of the Choice Modelling Centre at the University of Leeds. He is also Honorary Professor in Choice Modelling in the Institute for Transport and Logistics Studies at the University of Sydney, Honorary Professor of Modelling Behaviour in Africa at the University of Cape Town, and has a director position at RSG, a leading North American consultancy company. Hess holds a PhD in transport demand modelling from Imperial College London and a MPhil in Statistical Science from Cambridge University. His area of work is the analysis of human decision making using advanced mathematical models. He has made contributions to the state of the art in the specification, estimation and interpretation of such models, as well as in facilitating the transition of ideas and approaches across disciplines, notably by also working in mathematical psychology and behavioural economics. Although a majority of his applied work has been conducted in the field of transport (including leading the modelling on the most recent UK, German and Singaporean national value of time studies, as well as the reestimation of the Swiss study), he is also very active in health and environmental economics. Together with his research team at the Choice Modelling Centre, he is setting the research agenda in applying choice modelling in new fields, including education, lifestyle choices, social (network) interactions and joint decision making. Advanced choice models require high quality data, and Hess and his team are leading the field in exploring and exploiting novel data sources, with numerous applications using ‘big data’. Hess has published over 125 peer reviewed journal papers, and his work is highly cited, with a Scopus H-index of 28 (google scholar H-index of 45). He has been involved as a principal or co-investigator in academic projects with a combined income generation of over £9.5M. His contributions have been recognised for example by the 2017 ICMC award for the most innovative application of choice modelling, the 2014 Outstanding Young Member of the Transportation Research Board (TRB) award for exceptional achievements in transportation research, policy, or practice, the 2010 Fred Burggraf award handed out by the Transportation Research Board, the 2005 Eric Pas award for the best PhD thesis in the area of travel behaviour modelling, and the 2004 Neil Mansfield award handed out by the Association for European Transport. He is also the founding editor in chief of the Journal of Choice Modelling and the founder and steering committee chair of the International Choice Modelling Conference. He serves on the editorial advisory board of two other leading journals; Transportation Research Part B and Transportation, as well as academic committees at leading international conferences. Together with David Palma, he is the author of Apollo, a highly flexible and powerful free tool for estimating and applying choice models.




Plenary Lecture 3: Dr. Hani S. Mahmassani, Northwestern University

Title: If Cars Could Fly: Dynamic Operation of Urban Air Mobility Networks and 4D System Fundamental Diagrams (SFD)

Abstract: Several cities around the world are contemplating the potential of an urban air mobility (UAM) system based on aerial vehicles with vertical take-off and landing capabilities, with or without pilots, to provide relief for congested urban streets. In this talk, we discuss various service design concepts for UAM, and present an agent-based simulation framework to evaluate various dynamic operational strategies for fleet assignment and routing. The framework is applied to evaluate potential market size and system performance in a large metropolitan area under different service design parameters. The talk also examines issues of airspace capacity, and the extent to which congestion might become a consideration in the design and operation of UAM systems. Taking separation requirements and UAM vehicle attributes into consideration, a microsimulation is developed to model UAM traffic flows with a decentralized conflict resolution scheme. The results show that like highway network traffic, UAM traffic can be characterized by a macroscopic system fundamental diagram with density and flow defined consistently with a 4D adaptation of Edie’s definitions. These findings also suggest the presence of a capacity of airspace that should be carefully managed by operators to achieve optimal system performance.

Short Bio: Dr. Hani S. Mahmassani holds the William A. Patterson Distinguished Chair in Transportation at Northwestern University, where he is Director of the Northwestern University Transportation Center, and Professor in Civil and Environmental Engineering, with joint appointments in Industrial Engineering and Management Sciences, and Managerial Economics and Decision Sciences in the Kellogg School of Management. Prior to Northwestern, he served on the faculties of the University of Maryland and the University of Texas at Austin. He has over 35 years of professional, academic and research experience in the areas of intelligent transportation systems, freight and logistics systems, multimodal systems modeling and optimization, pedestrian and crowd dynamics and management, traffic science, demand forecasting and travel behavior, and real-time operation of transportation and distribution systems. He has served as principal investigator on over 150 funded research projects sponsored by international, national, state, and metropolitan agencies and private industry. He is past editor-in-chief of Transportation Science, senior editor of IEEE Transactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems, and founding associate editor of Transportation Research C: Emerging Technologies. He is a past president of the Transportation Science Section of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences, and a past President of the International Association for Travel Behavior Research. He was the recipient of a Distinguished Alumnus Award of the Faculty of Engineering and Architecture of the American University of Beirut in 2006, the Intelligent Transportation Systems Outstanding Application Award of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers in 2010, the Transportation Research Board’s Thomas Deen Distinguished Lectureship in 2016, and the inaugural Martin Beckmann Transformative Research in Network Modeling in 2019. He was elected Emeritus member of the Transportation Research Board (of the National Academies) committees on Telecommunications and Travel Behavior, Transportation Network Modeling Committee, and Traveler Behavior and Values. Mahmassani received his PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in transportation systems and MS in transportation engineering from Purdue University.