Friday Seminar: Transportation modeling: A practitioner’s perspective

View from the 33rd

Today's TRANSOC Friday Seminar is all about modeling. SFCTA's Deputy Director for Technological Services, Elizabeth Sall will present, "Transportation modeling: A practitioner’s perspective".  She will speak about the types of models commonly used in long-range transportation planning in the county of San Francisco and their role in the decision-making process, as well as give an overview of some research projects that have recently been conducted at the SFCTA.

The seminar will take place today! November 1, 2013 in 534 Davis from 4:00-5:00 PM. Don't forget about Cookie Hour at 3:30 in the library. See you then!

SafeTREC-UCTC Brown Bag Seminar: Transportation Policy in Oakland as It Is and as It Should Be

Latham square

This Friday, November 1 2013, the SafeTREC-UCTC Brown Bag Seminar features the City of Oakland's Senior Transportation Planner Jaime Parks. Parks will present, "Transportation Policy in Oakland as It Is and as It Should Be". 

Oakland has more BART stations than any other Bay Area jurisdiction, numerous mixed-use neighborhoods, and one of the highest bike-to-work mode shares in the country. Yet, the City has failed to fully take advantage of these natural advantages, partially due to the lack of a cohesive vision for the role transportation should play in the lives of Oaklanders. Oakland passed a Complete Streets Policy in 2013 that will allow the City to consider transportation decisions from a broader perspective. The presentation will share updates on several on-going complete streets initiatives, including analysis of crash trends Citywide, data management, CEQA reform, and experiments with green paint and temporary spaces. The presentation will also identify key knowledge gaps as suggested topics for future urban transportation research.

The seminar takes place from noon-1:00 PM SafeTREC 2nd Floor Conference Room, 2614 Dwight Way, Berkeley, CA
or via webcast

Friday Seminar: Decomposing connected vehicle dynamics: delay effects and nonlinearities

Interior: 2013 SRT Viper & SRT Viper GTS

Today's TRANSOC Friday seminar is about connected vehicles. University of Michigan's Gabor Orosz will present, "Decomposing connected vehicle dynamics: delay effects and nonlinearities".

Arising technologies related to vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communications can significantly improve the efficiency of connected vehicle systems. These allow cars to obtain detailed information about the motion of distant vehicles. Such information can be presented to the driver or incorporated in advanced vehicle control systems. In this talk I present some novel decomposition tools that allow us to untangle the infinite-dimensional dynamics of heterogeneous vehicular networks with V2V communication. These methods help us to understand the spatio-temporal complexity of large-scale multi-vehicle systems and redesign their dynamics by exploiting connectivity. Some similarities with flow oscillations on road networks equipped with V2I devices are also pointed out.

The seminar will take place at the usual time today, October 25, 2013 from 4:00-5:00 PM in 534 Davis. Cookie Hour will kick off in the library at 3:30 PM. 

Special Friday Seminar: Marco Nie "From Pricing to Cap-and-Trade"


This week's TRANSOC Friday Seminar is at a special time - 11:00am - noon in 534 Davis. This week Northwestern University Associate Professor Yu (Marco) Nie will present on a cap-and-trade approach to congesiton management in "From Pricing to Cap-and-Trade: Analysis and Design of Quantity-based Approach to Congestion Management."

Traffic congestion continues to threaten economic prosperity and quality of life around the world. It is widely acknowledged that demand management is an indispensable ingredient in the recipe for solving the traffic congestion puzzle, and likely to be one of the more effective and cost-efficient if properly implemented. This research will explore a new and promising travel demand management strategy, inspired by various cap-and-trade schemes aiming to reduce greenhouse gas and air pollutant emissions. The cap-and-trade schemes considered in this research seek to couple direct travel demand restriction with a trading mechanism. Because such a scheme typically involves creating mobility credits and trading them in a market, it is also known as tradable credit scheme. In this talk we will examine a few key design issues involved in building such credit markets, including how to account for the effects of transaction cost and how to initially allocate credits, using various analytical models.

As noted above, the seminar is happening this Friday, October 25 2013, from 11:00am to noon in 534 Davis. We'll keep you posted about Cookie Hour. 

Friday Seminar: Dynamic Weather Routes

Southampton Airport

Seminar Time! This week's TRANSOC Friday Seminar is about smarter routing of flights to avoid severe weather. Dave McNally of NASA Ames Research Center, Aviation Systems Division will present, "Dynamic Weather Routes: The Search for Smarter Flight Routes"

Adverse weather is the leading cause of flight delay in the US National Airspace System. Airline flight dispatchers must file flight plans about an hour before push-back from the gate using their best available weather forecasts. FAA traffic managers assess the impact of weather on traffic flows, and, when necessary, implement standard reroutes for groups of flights. Given the uncertainty in weather, standardized reroutes may result in large buffers between flight routes and forecast weather. Weather changes as flights progress along planned routes, and because airline dispatchers and FAA traffic managers are busy, especially during weather events, they may miss workable opportunities for more efficient routes around weather. Dynamic Weather Routes (DWR) is a search engine that continuously and automatically analyzes in-flight aircraft in en route airspace and proposes simple route amendments for more efficient routes around convective weather while considering winds aloft, sector congestion, traffic conflicts, and active Special Use Airspace. NASA and American Airlines (AA) are conducting an operational trial of DWR at the AA System Operations Center in Fort Worth, Texas. A key result of the trial is that since airline operators are especially busy during weather events, it is more effective to let the automation identify and alert users to potentially high-value reroute options.

The seminar is Friday October 18, 2013 from 4:00-5:00 PM in 534 Davis. Cookie Hour happens at 3:30 in the library. See you there!

Friday Seminar: Schools and Transport Emissions in the Six County Sacramento Region

Mystery Image (1983/232/13,195)

This week's TRANSOC Friday Seminar features Philine Gaffron, a visiting researcher at ITS UC Davis from Hamburg University of Technology. She will present Schools and Transport Emissions in the Six County Sacramento Region.

Environmental justice analyses in the transport field often look at people's exposure to transport emissions at their place of residence. This is both a vital angle as most people spend the majority of their time in and around their homes and it is also a proxy for studying overall exposure since significant amounts of time are spent elsewhere, particularly during the day, when traffic levels are highest. Schools are the most important 'elsewhere' for children and teenagers, who are also among the most vulnerable groups when it comes to the detrimental effects of transport emissions.
She will present the results of her analyses that look at the relationship between emission loads that schools in the Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG) region are experiencing from road traffic and the socio-demographic make-up of their students. These results will further be compared to the findings of other studies investigating health and exposure in the SACOG region. Perhaps the discussion will highlight other work that might yield fruitful comparisons and it would also be interesting to discuss participants' opinions on and experiences with addressing inequalities in this area.

The seminar will take place Friday October 11, 2013 in 534 Davis Hall from 4:00-5:00 PM. Cookie Hour per usual will be in the library at 3:30 PM. 

Friday Seminar: Autonomous Vehicles


Tomorrow's TRANSOC Friday Seminar features University of Texas Professor Kara Kockelman presenting, "Autonomous Vehicles: Anticipating Impacts in a World of Increasingly Shared Mobility." 

Autonomous vehicles (AVs) represent a potentially disruptive and beneficial change to the way in which we travel. This new technology will impact roadway safety and congestion, air quality and traveler choices. We estimate the private benefits of each AV (to individual owners) to be on the order of $2,000 per year in the near term, rising to $3,000 eventually, thanks to crash savings, travel time reductions, fuel savings, and parking benefits. When crash savings for others are included, net social benefits are estimated at over $6,000 per AV.

Nevertheless, many barriers to AV implementation and mass-market penetration exist. Initial costs will be too high for most buyers, and U.S. licensing and testing standards are being developed at the state level, rather than under a national framework, which may lead to inconsistencies across states. Liability details remain undefined, security concerns linger, and, absent new privacy standards, a default lack of privacy for personal travel may become the norm. Finally, many impacts, interactions with other components of the transportation system, and implementation details remain uncertain for this new and exciting technology.

This seminar also examines the design and results of an agent-based model for Shared Autonomous Vehicle (SAV) operations, including environmental impacts of a fleet of shared and self-driving vehicles. The model generates trips throughout a grid-based urban area, to mimic realistic travel patterns and departure times. An initial model run estimates the SAV fleet size required to reasonably service all trips, over a 24-hour period. Next, the model is run over 100 days, with driverless vehicles ferrying travelers from one destination to the next. During each 5-minute interval, some unused SAVs relocate to shorten wait times for next-period travelers.

Model applications vary trip generation rates, trip distribution patterns, network congestion levels, service area size, vehicle relocation strategies, and fleet size. Preliminary results indicate that each SAV can replace around eleven conventional vehicles, while adding up to 10% more travel distance than conventional trip-making, resulting in overall beneficial emissions impacts, once fleet-efficiency changes and embodied (versus in-use) emissions are assessed.

The seminar will be from 4-5 PM  in 534 Davis. Cookie Hour will be at 3:30 in the library. 

Friday Seminar: Hybrid Electric Vehicle Energy Management: Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger

2013 Volvo V60 Plug-In Hybrid

This week's TRANSOC Friday Seminar is all about plugin electric hybrid vehicles. UC Berkeley professor Scott Moura will present, "Hybrid Electric Vehicle Energy Management: Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger"

One of the greatest opportunities and challenges in developing a sustainable and efficient transportation infrastructure rests upon intelligent energy management in electrified vehicles. This talk specifically addresses the supervisory control problem in hybrid electric vehicles. That is, how does one optimally split driver power demand among multiple energy sources, e.g. engine and battery? By leveraging electrochemical modeling, optimal control theory, and predictive methods, we demonstrate how to achieve lower fuel costs (better), increased performance (faster), and longer battery lifetime (stronger). Unfortunately, there's no good analogy for "harder". Nevertheless, these results will make you dance.

The seminar takes place from 4-5 PM in 534 Davis Hall. TRANSOC's cookie hour will be in the library as ever at 3:30. 

Friday Seminar: Quantifying the Effects of Excessive Fuel Loading at a Major Airline


Tomorrow's TRANSOC Friday Seminar is the third of the semester and features our third mode: aviation! This week, UC Berkeley Civil Engineering PhD students (and NEXTOR researchers) Michael Seelhorst and Lu Hao will present. "Quantifying the Effects of Excessive Fuel Loading at a Major Airline"

In the past 10 years, jet fuel prices have risen almost 500%. As a result, fuel now makes up the largest single expense at most airlines. For example, Delta Air Lines spends $12 billion on fuel each year. With more competition from no-frills carriers and less demand from a lagging economy, legacy air carriers have resorted to dramatic cost reduction strategies in recent years.

Airline fuel efficiency has been studied from a variety of perspectives, from increasing fuel efficient technologies to improving aircraft routing. We focus on an area that has been largely ignored: excessive fuel loading. Flight dispatchers often choose to load extra fuel, beyond the mission required amount, to account for flight contingencies, such as long taxi times, air traffic control re-routes, and poor weather conditions. The extra fuel burn required to carry the additional fuel is not trivial, and presents a huge opportunity for airlines to reduce costs. We investigated strategies for reducing fuel consumption at Delta Air Lines through on-site observations and interviews with flight dispatchers as well as statistical analysis of archival fuel loading data. We estimate that $150 million is being wasted every year through unnecessary fueling practices.

The seminar will be from 4:00-5:00 PM in 534 Davis. TRANSOC's Cookie Hour, as ever, will be in the library at 3:30. 

Friday Seminar: How the Eastern Span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge Became a Megaproject

bay bridge

Today's TRANSOC Friday Seminar features UCTC Assistant Director Karen Trapenberg Frick will presenting about the evolution of the Eastern Span San Francisco-Oakland of the Bay Bridge from an ordinary bridge into a megaproject.

The new eastern span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, which was opened after the Labor Day weekend, is a classic instance of a megaproject, not just because of its huge complexity, protracted timeline and “mega” cost (some $6.5 billion). It is also a textbook embodiment of what I have identified as the “six C’s” of a typical megaproject: colossal, captivating, costly, controversial, complex, and subject to issues of control.

The seminar will take place a 4:00-5:00 PM September 13, 2013 in 534 Davis Hall. And of course Cookie Hour in the library at 3:30. See you there!

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