Funded Projects 2018

In June 2018, C2M2 sent out a Call for Proposals to 21 researchers at our five partner institutions, launching our 2018/2019 round of funded projects.  This call for proposals was also announced on our website, and twitter feed, inviting affiliated researchers to apply for funding. Collaboration between consortium members was strongly encouraged and several new PIs received funding to increase the breadth of research topics funded by our Center.  14 research proposals were submitted to C2M2 for potential funding, with six new principal investigators (PIs) submitting, and eight returning PIs, covering a myriad of new topics. Proposals were then sent out for blind review by industry professionals from academia, and public and private agencies.  Each proposal received at least three reviews, which were then used to select projects for funding. C2M2 Directors, Drs. Chowdhury (Clemson University), Huynh (University of South Carolina), Comert (Benedict College), Mwakalonge (South Carolina State University), and Michalaka (the Citadel) met at Benedict College, Columbia, SC to evaluate research proposals for our 2018/2019 round of funded research. At this time, 12 research projects out of the 14 submitted proposals were selected for funding based on their reviews, and will begin in early December of 2018.  Of these 12 selected projects, five are led by Clemson University, two are led by SCSU, four are led by USC, and the Citadel will lead one of the 12 selected projects. Benedict College will collaborate on 10 of the selected projects.

Assessing Potential of Bike Share Networks and Active Transportation to Improve Urban Mobility, Physical Activity and Public Health Outcomes in South Carolina

Lead Principal Investigator – William J. Davis, the Citadel

Co-Principal Investigator(s) – Kweku Brown, The Citadel; Daniel Bornstein, The Citadel; Morgan Hughey, CoC;  Dimitra Michalaka, The Citadel; Nathan Huynh, University of South Carolina; Andrew Kaczynski, University of South Carolina.

December 2018 – August 2021 – Active

Funding Amount – UTC $88,323,
The Citadel $19,162, USC $26,906, CoC $22,998

Total Funding – $157,389

Sponsoring Orgs – OST-R, the
Citadel, University of South Carolina, College of Charleston 

Description: There is need for evidence-based research and empirical measurements of active transportation mobility and perceptions of the built environment infrastructure in accommodating short distance travel demand in urbanized communities across the US. As stated in the National Physical Activity Plan, transportation and public health entities should collaborate to “improve and expand existing data collection sources to assess active transportation patterns and trends that include local-area data.” Charleston, SC has essential elements present and conducive to social, political, and stakeholder engagement to provide an illustrative case study location for exploring insightful relationships that will be informative to other communities. For the case study location, research will focus on investigation of route conditions and bike share users to better understand how built environment infrastructure is meeting health, physical activity, and transportation needs of the Charleston community.

Intellectual Merit: Qualitative, quantitative, and geospatial methods will be used to evaluate active transportation, physical activity, and health outcomes.

Broader Impacts: Research results will be beneficial to communities who are using active transportation and bike share initiatives to improve mobility, reduce congestion, adopt sustainability concepts, increase levels of physical activity, and influence desirable public health outcomes.

Technology Transfer: Engagement of local officials, decision makers, and community stakeholders through effective summary of data analysis and results (e.g., infographics, formal meeting, guidebook publication). Publication and presentation of findings will be presented in national forums for the engineering profession, city planning officials, municipalities and stakeholders via strategic technology transfer channels.



Enhanced DSRC Security

Lead Principal Investigator – Richard R. Brooks, Clemson University

Co-Principal Investigator(s) – Gurcan Comert, Benedict College

December 2018 – March 2022 – Ended

Funding Amount – UTC $69,900,
Clemson $22,000, BC $9,950

Total Funding – $104,850

Sponsoring Orgs – OST-R,
Clemson University, Benedict College

Description:  DSRC is becoming the accepted wireless connected mobility standard. DSRC development groups have told us that DSRC protocols, applications and stacks are not mature. Similarly, many DSRC applications using the protocol have not been adequately tested and verified. There is a perceived need by industry, which has been verified by interactions with both Kaspersky Labs and the International Transport Innovation Center (ITIC) in Greenville, SC, to have security validation tools for DSRC applications. Both the Clemson and Benedict partners have funded research programs looking at security of connected mobility applications. The goal of the proposed research is to develop a tool that supports the secure design and security testing of DSRC applications.

Intellectual Merit: Our approach is to develop a penetration testing tool that automates the vulnerability discovery process for 802.11p-based dedicated short-range communication (DSRC) protocols.

Broader Impacts: This project will extend that work to look for security flaws within DSRC applications, rather than their current work at the algorithm design (Clemson) and physical (Benedict) layers.

Technology Transfer: We will provide both Kaspersky Labs and ITIC with intermediate results from our work. We have agreement from both to test our concepts in their security labs. The goal is for us to implement penetration testing tools for connected vehicle applications that are easily integrated into their offerings. Clemson University is to retain IP rights on the prototypes we develop.



Framework for Accommodating Emerging Autonomous Vehicles

Lead Principal Investigator – Burak Eksioglu, Clemson University

Co-Principal Investigator (s) – Matthias Josef Al Schmid, Clemson University; Gurcan Comert, Benedict College; Nathan Huynh, University of South Carolina

December 2018 – June 2021 – Active – Report in progress

Funding Amount – UTC $119,499 Clemson $18,406,
CU-ICAR $30,509, BC $9,843, USC $26,906

Total Funding – $205,163

Sponsoring Orgs – OST-R, Clemson University,
CU-ICAR, Benedict College, University of South Carolina

Description: The emergence of connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs) and their potential for disruptively transforming freight transportation is the motivation for this project with research, education, and technology transfer components. While research into platooning has been ongoing for several decades, most of the work has focused on the control of vehicles already in a platoon. In addition, the majority of the research in platooning has addressed single platoons or individual vehicles in a platoon. The coordination and optimization of platoons over a large-scale, real-world road network have largely been neglected so far. One of the reasons for this gap in the literature is the lack of a central place to find the current location and eventual destination information of the vehicles. Another reason is the lack of a global coordinator with the authority to suggest routes that provide platooning opportunities. With the emergence of autonomous vehicles, many of these barriers are no longer valid justifications not to conduct an optimization study of platoons. Our proposed study aims to fill this gap in the literature.

Intellectual Merit: The proposed work will advance the knowledge base in the application of CAV through the development of (1) novel mathematical models and agent-based simulations to represent the flow of CAVs in a transportation network and (2) innovative solution algorithms to solve these large-scale optimization problems.

Broader Impacts: The findings from the proposed research will be of use in the development of policies to reduce traffic congestion and fuel consumption and improve safety, and travel time reliability in the presence of CAVs, thus providing significant societal benefits.

Technology Transfer Plan: Coordinate dissemination efforts with SC Logistics. Organize research seminars as part of the ongoing seminar series at ICAR. Train and educate underrepresented students. Organize workshops for teachers.



Unmanned Aircraft Systems Impact on Operational Efficiency and Connectivity

Lead Principal Investigator – Joseph M. Burgett, Clemson University

Co-Principal Investigator(s) – Dennis Bausman, Clemson University; Gurcan Comert, Benedict College

December 2018 – December 2019 – Ended

Funding Amount – UTC $61,900, SCDOT $49,893, BC $8,950

Total Funding – $120,743

Sponsoring Orgs – OST-R, SCDOT, Benedict College

Description: The overarching goal of this research project is to help launch an effective UAS program at the SCDOT. The research team has already assisted with the development of the SCDOT UAS Policy Statement and shadowed a bridge inspection team in district seven. The team will help provide logistical information about how other state DOTs set up their program. We will then conduct a series of experiments testing a state-of-the-practice UAS in collaboration with a SCDOT bridge inspection team. The experiments will evaluate how UAS’s can reduce bridge inspection time and cost, make our infrastructure safer with additional tools available to the inspectors, be better prepared for natural disasters and reduce the cost of design with more current as-built/as-is documentation.

Intellectual Merit: This study will also lay the foundation for ways UAS’s can provide real-time infrastructure assessment at a fraction of the time it takes using traditional methods during natural disaster events.

Broader Impacts: This project has a significant opportunity to increase the connectivity of the field to office information flow.

Technology Transfer Plan: This project will be jointly funded by the SCDOT ensuring an immediate transfer of technology to field application. The findings will be documented in a report published to the SCDOT as well as submitted for publication in peer-review journals and conference proceedings.

Unmanned Aircraft Systems First Bridge Inspection



Assessment of Autonomous Vehicle Sharing for Evacuation and Disaster Relief

Lead Principal Investigator – Pamela Murray-Tuite, Clemson University

Co-Principal Investigator(s) – Nathan Huynh, University of South Carolina; Gurcan Comert, Benedict College

December 2018 – June 2021 – Ended

Funding Amounts – UTC $113,957, Clemson
$22,000, USC $26,906, BC $10,000

Total Funding – $172,863

Sponsoring Orgs – OST-R, Clemson University,
University of South Carolina, Benedict College

Description: This research project begins a new line of inquiry that explores how privately-owned autonomous vehicles may be used in pre-impact assisted evacuation and post-impact relief distribution. We start by investigating whether the public in South Carolina would be willing to share their future autonomous vehicle’s time to assist with evacuation and post-impact relief distribution, in the case where trucks are unable to complete a route. Such a situation may arise when there is some infrastructure damage and height or weight limits are a concern for the operational routes, but it is still safe to use smaller vehicles. We also identify and explore the public’s concerns and potential barriers and limits to sharing. This initial exploration will help identify the feasibility of a related future system.

Intellectual Merit: The overall goal of this project is to help prepare transportation and emergency management agencies for the near future when autonomous vehicles are more prevalent.

Broader Impacts: if such a system were developed, the government’s cost of assisted evacuation could be lowered and humanitarian relief distribution could also be facilitated. Benefits to society include additional resources for evacuation and obtaining relief supplies and active citizen engagement in helping their “neighbors.”

Technology Transfer Plan: The project findings will be disseminated through a webinar for practitioners, the research community, and the public.



Security of Connected Vehicles via Sandboxing against False Data Injection Attack

Lead Principal Investigator – Pierluigi Pisu, Clemson University

Co-Principal Investigator(s) – Gurcan Comert, Benedict College

December 2018 – October 2020 – Ended

Funding Amounts – UTC $ 58,000, Clemson
$22,000, BC $7,000

Total Funding – $87,000

Sponsoring Orgs – OST-R, Clemson University,
Benedict College

Description: The overarching vision of this project is to develop a resilient control framework for managing information flow for CAVs. More specifically, this project aims at developing a cloud-based sandboxing technique that will allow CAVs to safely operate even in corrupted conditions when malicious data is injected in the communication network. The technique will also account for communication delays, real-time computational constraints, and opportunistic behavior and uncertainties in localization of unconnected vehicles (UCV). The project will focus on both urban and extra-urban driving scenarios in the presence of heterogeneous traffic conditions (60% or higher CAV technology penetration).

Intellectual Merit: Develop a cloud-based control-oriented technology solution for cooperative connected and automated vehicles (CAVs) that utilizes infrastructure information along with traffic model to detect cyber-attack consisting of falsely injected information in the CAV communication system.

Broader Impacts: We envision that our technology will play an important role in the integration of smart cities’ and regions’ infrastructure services and components in real-time by accelerating the introduction of connected and automated vehicles and vehicle-sharing services.

Technology Transfer Plan: Both the developed software and the algorithm will be licensed, and the revenues of the commercialization of the product will be invested in supporting further research on the field.



Tool to Access Effectiveness of Intermodal Facility Location and Carrier Collaboration

Lead Principal Investigator – Nathan Huynh, University of South Carolina;

Co-Principal Investigator(s) – William Ferrell, Clemson University

December 2018 – June 2021 – Ended 

Funding Amounts – UTC $74,999, USC $26,906,
Clemson $20,055

Total Funding – $126,960

Sponsoring Orgs – OST-R, University of South
Carolina, Clemson University

Description: This project will explore fundamental elements of transportation hub location, freight consolidation execution within a local geographic region, and integration of connected multimodal mobility within the context of on-demand collaborative logistics systems. This will be done on a state level with South Carolina serving as the case study, and the goal is to provide information on investment decisions that can facilitate and coordinate a transition from the current logistics strategy to one that is more efficient and has less impact on society and the environment.

Intellectual Merit: The goal of this research is to relieve the current inefficiency-induced problems, assist in the transition to future systems, and remain integral to the future systems regardless of the actual implementation.

Broader Impacts: This project contributes toward this goal by focusing on connectivity and interoperability as facilitators for on-demand, collaborative logistics systems.

Technology Transfer Plan: The developed models and tools will be available for use by the South Carolina Department of Transportation, Council of Governments and Department of Commerce. Video tutorials will be developed and shared with interested stakeholders.



Data-driven Multimodal Transportation Energy Consumption Prediction and Analysis Framework for Sustainable Transit and Transportation Planning

Lead Principal Investigator – Yuche Chen, University of South Carolina

Co-Principal Investigator(s) – Gurcan Comert, Benedict College; Nathan Huynh, University of South Carolina

December 2018 – June 2020 – Ended

Funding Amounts – UTC $21,999, USC $10,465, BC $7,000

Total Funding – $35,964

Sponsoring Orgs – OST-R, University of South
Carolina, Benedict College

Description: An increasing number of regional transit agencies are transitioning to mobility service providers, such as Greenville, which provides a mix of fixed-route bus, on demand shuttle (FHWA awarded A-Taxi), first/last mile bike, and car share services. Transit agencies usually utilize time-based and distance-based link-level information in route/schedule planning. Average energy consumption rates (e.g. gallon per mile, kWh per mile) on links of a road network are seldom considered in those planning activities. The major reason is the lack of accurate energy consumption information. For sustainable transportation planning, features on temporal, multimodal, alternative vehicle technologies aspects are desired.

Intellectual Merit: The goal of this project is to develop a high-resolution system-level transportation energy data analysis and prediction framework for transit schedule/operation planning to improve energy efficiency.

Broader Impacts: The outcome of this project will be utilized by regional planners or transportation/mobility service providers on route/schedule planning, traveler guidance system integration.

Technology Transfer Plan: The tangible products of this project are: 1) predictors and relationship for link-level transportation energy consumption estimation, and 2) energy consumption density map.



Data Fusion to Improve the Accuracy of Multi-Modal Traffic Counts

Lead Principal Investigator – Robert L. Mullen, University of South Carolina

Co-Principal Investigator(s) – Gurcan Comert, Benedict College; Nathan Huynh, University of South Carolina; Balaji Iyangar, Benedict College

December 2018 – March 2022 – Active – Report in progress

Funding Amounts – UTC $72,200, USC $25,224, BC

Total Funding – $108,524

Sponsoring Orgs – OST-R, University of South
Carolina, Benedict College

Description: Current traffic counting systems often only measure one transportation mode accurately. In this project, we will improve the reliability and accuracy of video-based traffic counting technology by augmenting the video data with information extracted from other sensing technology. Additional data can originate from tube counters, magnetic loops, radar, vibration, and laser measurements. The project will use the raw data (i.e., transient tube pressures signals) from the augmented sensors to classify (and count) vehicle types (FHWA 13 types, bicycles and pedestrian traffic).

Intellectual Merit: This project will evaluate the use of combined raw data from tube-based vehicle counting/classification method and an integrated ANN to successfully classify vehicle type with better accuracy than existing methods using data from one type of sensor.

Broader Impacts: The collection and analysis of the integrated multi-modal movement of people (and freight) will provide transportation planners with better quantitative information on the existing system.

Technology Transfer Plan: This research will be generating an implementation-ready hybrid traffic data collection tool for DOTs.



Intelligent Camera Aided Railway Emergency System (i-CARES)

Lead Principal Investigator – Yu Qian, University of South Carolina

Co-Principal Investigator(s) – Yi Wang, University of South Carolina; Dimitris Rizos, University of South Carolina

December 2018 – July 2020 – Ended

Funding Amounts – UTC $50,000, USC $32,276

Total Funding – $82,276

Sponsoring Orgs – OST-R, University of South

Description: Trespass casualties represent roughly 70% of accidents on railroad right-of-way (ROW) in North America at present. Ironically, more than 60% of collisions occur at crossings with automatic warning systems, and 34.7% occur at crossings that have flashing lights and gates. There are several issues with the existing grade crossing warning system, including: 1) the flashing and gate arm only indicate an approaching train without quantitative information of estimated arrival time of the train. To address such an urgent need, we proposed to develop the first-ever Intelligent Camera Aided Railway Emergency System (i-CARES) based on image-based monitoring and surveillance, quantitative situational awareness assessment, and direct “two-way” communication and information sharing.

Intellectual Merit: This project propose to develop a first-of-its-kind, low-cost, field-deployable Intelligent i-CARES to improve multi-model safety in the grade crossing, including pedestrians, vehicles, and trains in an efficient way.

Broader Impacts: i-CARES will offer automatic fault detection and notification for CBM, and imagery evidence for trespassing violation (similar to Electronic Police Reports Online (ePRO) system).

Technology Transfer Plan: The outcomes from this project can be extended to develop the prototype device that can be installed in the railroad crossings in the near future.



Attribution Theory and Collisions at Intersections

Lead Principal Investigator – Judith L. Mwakalonge, South Carolina State University

Co-Principal Investigator(s) – Gurcan Comert, Benedict College

Start Date – January 2019 – March 2021 – Ended

Funding Amounts – UTC $35,425, SCSU $10,713, BC $7,000

Total Funding – $53,138

Sponsoring Orgs – OST-R, South Carolina State University, Benedict

Description: An automobile driver (D) is seldom alone on the road. Whenever there is another vehicle – even only one – on or approaching the road on which D is travelling, the future behaviors of the driver of the other car (O) must be guessed, and the probabilities of the possible maneuvers estimated. Understanding driver expectations of other drivers is essential in understanding how and why accidents happen which in-turn leads to better counter measures.

Intellectual Merit: This research will provide an outline for a range of driver expectations at intersections including, driver indications, stop or go decisions, performance and design of intersection traffic control devices, and turn maneuvers.

Broader Impacts: The research findings will help improve driver behavior models in traffic simulation software and in the design of mental behavior of automated vehicles.

Technology Transfer Plan: We will share research findings through participation in regional, national and international conferences.

Research competitions and publication of articles related to this research.



Evaluation of Before and After Measures to Curb Distracted Walking

Lead Principal Investigator – Judith L. Mwakalonge, South Carolina State University

Co-Principal Investigator(s) – Jae Dong Hong, South Carolina State University; Gurcan Comert, Benedict College

Start Date – January 2019 – July 2021 – Active – Report in progress

Funding Amounts – UTC $43,029, SCSU $14,516, BC $7,000

Total Funding – $64,545

Sponsoring Orgs – OST-R, South Carolina State University, Benedict

Description: Distracted walking has become one of the safety concerns as it has caused fatalities and injuries worldwide. Distracted walking has not received similar policies and effective interventions as distracted driving to improve safety. As the use of mobile devices continues to dominate our personal and professional life, the incidences of injuries and fatalities involving distracted pedestrians are expected to rise. Thus, there is a need to propose and evaluate measures to reduces the impacts of distracted walking to improve pedestrian and other road users’ safety.

Intellectual Merit: this research will propose and evaluate potential measures for their effectiveness in reducing the incidences of distracted walking.

Broader Impacts: The findings of the research also will provide important information to the public on the negative impacts of distracted walking on safety.

Technology Transfer Plan: The research findings will be presented to transportation agencies, public officials, and enforcement agencies to implement effective measures to curb distracted walking to improve the safety of all road users.