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Project Type
UTRC Faculty Development Mini-grants
Project Dates
01/01/2008 - 12/31/2008
Principal Investigators
Project Status
Project Description

Intelligent transportation systems (ITS) have been gradually implemented to reduce congestion, improve traffic flow, promote transportation safety and enable people to make smart travel choices. As a non-intrusive technology, video vehicle detection systems have been installed across the country for various ITS applications. In this project, we will develop an integrated system to quantify time-resolved vehicle emissions from the real-time data generated from commercially available video vehicle detection units. This integrated system holds great promise in many applications in transportation management.

The intersection of Highways I-81 and 690 in downtown Syracuse will be used as a testbed for the proposed project. In a companion project, a pair of state-of-art video vehicle detection systems, Autoscope Solo Tera, will be mounted on a meteorology tower in downtown Syracuse focused on the Highways I-81 and I-690. With a single video camera next to a highway, the Autoscope system measures traffic volume, speed, density, occupancy and vehicle classes in a time resolution of 1 second. In this project, we will design an integrated system to 1) transmit the traffic data simultaneously via the wireless connection to a central receiver, 2) process the data through a computer program, 3) feed processed data into the MOtor Vehicle Emission Simulator (MOVES) model to predict vehicle emissions from highways, and 4) validate and calibrate the modeling results with those measured on I-81 and I-690 via a mobile platform. MOVES has advanced capability (over its predecessors) to calculate emission rates according to second-by-second vehicle operation mode, which is ideal to assimilate the data generated by the Autoscope systems. By the end of this project, we expect to create an automatic real-time traffic data-to-vehicle emissions system.

Once this system is developed, it can be used in many applications in transportation and air quality management. Some examples are as follows:

  • Evaluate the environmental benefits of ITS ITS services present opportunities to improve air quality without adversely affecting the mobility of the nation. Quantification of these benefits is an important part of ITS assessment effort and decision-making in ITS deployment. However, there are a very limited number of existing literatures reporting the environmental benefits of ITS. The system to be designed in this project will provide transportation planners with a cost-effective way to quantify emission reduction as a result of ITS deployment.
  • Project-level analysis Based on the realistic traffic conditions such as free flow and congestion, this system will generate more accurate emissions estimates for assessing the impact of transportation projects on local air quality.
  • Generate time-resolved emission inventory for air quality modeling One of the limitations in mobile emission inventories for air quality modeling is lack of time dependency. This system can generate a highly time-resolved mobile emission inventory for modeling urban and regional air quality.