Smart Transport Symposium 2015

Thursday, August 20, 2015 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

U.T. Austin’s Thompson Conference Center

Hosted in connection with TxDOT Research Project 0-6838 (Bringing Smart Transport to Texans: Ensuring the Benefit of a Connected and Autonomous Transport System in Texas), this symposium was designed to engage top transportation researchers and practitioners whose work addresses key facets of connected and automated vehicle (C/AV) systems for Texas.


  • 9:30–10:00: Registration and Coffee
  • 10:00–10:15: Welcome and Opening Remarks
  • 10:15–10:40: Implications of Automated Vehicles on Safety, Design, and Operation of the Texas Highway System (Presentation PDF) (Kara Kockelman)
  • 10:40–11:05: An Assessment of Autonomous Vehicles: Traffic Impacts and Infrastructure Needs (Presentation PDF)(Steve Boyles)
  • 11:05–11:30: Bringing Smart Transport to Texans: Ensuring the Benefit of a Connected and Autonomous Transport System in Texas (Presentation PDF) (Paul Avery)
  • 11:30–11:55: Transportation Planning Implications of Automated Vehicles on Texas Highways (Presentation PDF) (Tom Williams)
  • 11:55–12:00: Morning wrap-up and announcements
  • 12:00–1:00: Lunch (served in the main presentation room; seating also available in breakout rooms)
  • 1:00–1:25: Innovative and Automated Freight Systems Assessment (Presentation PDF)(Curtis Morgan)
  • 1:25–1:50: Market Positioning and C/AV Applications in Texas (Presentation PDF)(Robert Cuellar)
  • 1:50–2:15: Commercial Truck Platooning (Presentation PDF)(Mike Lukuc)
  • 2:15–2:30: Break
  • 2:30–3:30: Break-out sessions (Read the notes on the breakout sessions [PDF].)
    • Legal Implications and Public Policy (led by UT Professor of Law Wendy Wagner and Lisa Loftus-Otway, Attorney-at-Law)
    • Public Outreach and Stakeholder Education (led by TTI’s Dr. Johanna Zmud)
    • Traveler Choices and Transportation Planning (led by UT Professor of Transportation Engineering Kara Kockelman & TTI’s Research Scientist Tom Williams)
    • Traffic Impacts and Simulations (led by UT Assoc. Professor of Transportation Engineering Steve Boyles & UT Professor of Computer Science Peter Stone)
    • Technology, ITS Strategies, and Device Development (led by UT Asst. Professor of Transportation Engineering Chris Claudel & SwRI’s Principal Engineer Paul Avery)
    • Freight Effects of CAV Technologies (led by TTI’s Program Manager Curtis Morgan)
    • Opportunities & Issues for Transit Users and Non-Motorized Modes (led by TTI’s Dr. Katie Turnbull)

The presenters will report on key findings and smart-transport strategy recommendations, and discuss a complementary, mutually beneficial road of research ahead. Bringing this diverse group of researchers and practitioners will allow opportunities to initiate complementary and coordinated early implementation of smart transportation projects.

Presenter Bios

Paul Avery

Southwest Research Institute: Principal Engineer of Cooperative Systems in the Intelligent Systems Department

Paul Avery photoMr. Avery’s areas of expertise include cooperative vehicle systems and architectures, and agent-based modeling and simulation techniques, with focus on decentralized control architectures. Mr. Avery has contributed to a diverse range of projects since joining SwRI in 2005. As a primary technical contributor to SwRI’s AV program, Mobile Robotics Technology Initiative (MARTI), he developed software for processing laser scanner data to provide situational awareness, learning algorithms for detecting the configuration of trafficked intersections using a statically mounted laser scanner, algorithms for cooperatively sharing sensor data among a group of vehicles, and cooperative algorithms to support vehicle teaming behaviors. Mr. Avery has also contributed to a variety of projects as the lead mechanical engineer, performing all aspects of mechanical design and specification for components within a complex system, as well as overseeing the production of prototype components. These projects have varied from unmanned vehicle systems on military and commercial platforms, to a prototype system for mapping culverts using a water-tight, neutrally-buoyant probe. These roles have required Mr. Avery to coordinate with teams of engineers and software developers, as well as clients, to derive requirements specific to the performance metrics of the system and for the specific platform being used.

Mr. Avery’s work in AV technology and CV systems continues in national and international domains, with successful demonstrations in New York City, Fort Hood, Texas, and Fort Benning, Georgia. Mr. Avery’s work in the development of CV behaviors include a cooperative sensor sharing system, for which a patent was awarded in August, 2011, and CACC algorithms, which contributed to the development of the Cooperative Convoy System (CCS). This system has been demonstrated to a variety of commercial and Government clients, and is currently the core technology being used in a project with a foreign military. Mr. Avery continues to present at international conferences on the topic of distributed control paradigms within multi-vehicle systems, most recently at the Japan Society of Automotive Engineers (JSAE) 2013 annual congress in Yokohama.

Steve Boyles

Center for Transportation Research: Assistant Professor

Dr. Stephen Boyles (photo)Dr. Boyles is a recognized expert in transportation network modeling and the application of mathematical optimization techniques to transportation problems. He is a recipient of the National Science Foundation’s Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award, their most prestigious award for new faculty. Dr. Boyles earned B.S. degrees in mathematics and civil engineering from the University of Washington in 2004, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in civil engineering from The University of Texas at Austin in 2006 and 2009, respectively. As a graduate student, his research was recognized by the nationwide Milton Pikarsky Award for Outstanding Masters’ Thesis, sponsored by the Council of University Transportation Centers, the international Daniel B. Fambro Student Paper Award, sponsored by the Institute of Transportation Engineers, and multiple scholarships and fellowships (including a Dwight D. Eisenhower Graduate Fellowship). In 2003 and 2004, he worked at a WSDOT traffic management center in Seattle and was responsible for monitoring and operating ramp meters, variable message signs, traffic information on the WSDOT website, highway advisory radio, and other ITS infrastructure.

As a faculty member, Dr. Boyles has served as a Principal Investigator or Co-Principal Investigator on projects sponsored by the Texas Department of Transportation, Wyoming Department of Transportation, National Science Foundation, and the Mountain-Plains Consortium. These research projects span a broad array of topics, including rural roadway pricing, operational analysis of low-volume rural freeways with high heavy-vehicle proportion, large-scale traffic simulation, real-time information provision, and electric vehicles. He serves as the elected chair of the Intelligent Transportation Systems special interest group of the Institute for Operations Research and Management Sciences (INFORMS), and on the editorial board of TRB’s Network Modeling Committee.

Robert Cuellar

Texas A&M Transportation Institute: Senior Research Engineer
Robert Cuellar photoMr. Cuellar has over 35 years of transportation engineering experience in areas of project organization, transportation financing, corridor analysis and agency coordination. He serves Texas A&M Transportation Institute as Senior Research Engineer with leadership roles on projects addressing autonomous vehicles, innovative freight systems, public private partnership financing, and defense industry research.
Prior to joining TTI Mr. Cuellar worked as a private consultant for 16 years; eight years as Vice President for URS, and 8 years as Vice President for AECOM. During this period he led the design and development of large scale highway and bridge projects for southwest USA. His roles have included Principal in Charge for innovative Design-Build projects in Austin (183A Toll Road), El Paso (Spur 601), San Antonio (Hausman Road), Dallas (LBJ Freeway) and other high growth areas.
He previously worked with TxDOT for 20 years in various project development roles including deputy executive director (1993-1998), and interim executive director (1998). He also supervised the activities of several divisions including transportation planning and programming, design, environmental affairs, ROW, and international relations.

Kara Kockelman

Center for Transportation Research: Professor

Dr. Kara Kockelman (photo)The E.P. Schoch Professor of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin, Dr. Kockelman is a registered professional engineer and holds a PhD, MS, and BS in civil engineering, a Masters of City Planning, and a minor in economics from the University of California at Berkeley. Dr. Kockelman’s primary research interests include the statistical modeling of urban systems (including models of travel behavior, trade, and location choice), energy and climate issues (vis-à-vis transport and land use decisions), the economic impacts of transport policy, and crash occurrence and consequences. She has taught classes in transportation systems, transport economics, transport data acquisition and analysis, probability and statistics, design of ground-based transportation systems, and geometric design of roadways. Dr Kockelman has received 3 ASCE (2007, 2010, 2014) awards for her various contributions in transportation engineering, as well as an NSF CAREER award for faculty research and teaching (2000-2004). She was given a Google Research Award in 2014 to pursue research on autonomous vehicles. She was also voted as one of the world’s top 100 young innovators for MIT’s Technology Review.
Dr. Kockelman is primary and co-author of over 130 archival articles (and one book) across a variety of subjects, nearly all of which involve transportation-related data analysis. She has conducted research for the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the National Cooperative and Strategic Highway Research Programs, the University Transportation Centers program, the North Central Texas Council of Governments, and the Texas and Oregon Departments of Transportation. Recent and current projects include TxDoT projects on connected and autonomous vehicles (CVs and AVs), SWUTC funding for emissions impacts of AVs, shared AV systems, NSF funding for electric vehicles, Ford funding for vehicle demand and usage in India, and NSF IGERT funding for strategies for more sustainable cities. Link to Kockelman website.

Mike Lukuc

Texas A&M Transportation Institute: Program Manager, System Reliability Division

Mike Lukuc photoMike Lukuc has more than 25 years of experience with the automotive industry, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and the Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI). During this time, he held various management, program management, and engineering positions for series production and R&D programs.

Lukuc joined TTI in November 2014 as a program manager and senior research associate for connected and automated vehicle research. Prior to this, he spent 5.5 years at NHTSA—1 year in crash avoidance rulemaking and 4.5 years as program manager for the Vehicle Safety Communications in the Intelligent Technologies Research Division of crash avoidance research. He strategically planned and executed an $85 million collaborative vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) crash avoidance research program between the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) and the Crash Avoidance Metrics Partnership (CAMP) Vehicle Safety Communications 3 Consortium, a group of eight automakers performing precompetitive automotive safety research. This included the core V2V safety research feeding into the standards and requirements for dedicated short-range communications (DSRC) interoperability, safety application performance, scalability, security and privacy, and consumer acceptance. This also included the development and deployment of the integrated light vehicle from eight OEMs in the USDOT Safety Pilot Model Deployment in Ann Arbor, MI. This CAMP research predominantly formed the basis for the August 2014 NHTSA Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to require DSRC on all new vehicles.

Lukuc was an integral member of the USDOT ITS Policy Team and Connected Vehicle Program. He served as the U.S. leader and international co-leader for the DSRC Safety Working Group, a major component of a USDOT ITS Joint Program Office international collaboration initiative. Prior to NHTSA, Lukuc spent 19 years in the automotive industry, the first 16 of which were for GM and Delphi, where he specialized in controlled braking, suspension and steering systems, and integrated chassis controls. He then moved to Mercedes Benz R&D, North America to focus on adaptive cruise control, driver assistance, and active safety system research and implementation for Chrysler programs. Lukuc has a BSME from the Missouri University of Science and Technology (formerly the University of Missouri-Rolla).

Curtis Morgan

Texas A&M Transportation Institute: Program Manager, Multimodal Freight Transportation Programs
Curtis Morgan photoMr. Morgan is the Program Manager of the Multimodal Freight Transportation Programs at TTI. His work encompasses research, analysis, and evaluation of freight movement by truck, rail, and waterway in Texas and throughout the United States. He also leads TTI’s efforts to study both conventional and higher speed intercity passenger rail. He has led several major research efforts regarding rail safety, statewide and local freight planning, public-private partnerships (PPPs) for the provision of passenger and freight infrastructure, decision processes for location and relocation of freight facilities, and intermodal transportation.
Prior to joining TTI, Mr. Morgan was a rail/multimodal planner at the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) where he was responsible for coordination and development of TxDOT’s rail planning activities with private railroad companies, metropolitan planning organizations, and local government representatives. While at TxDOT, he was involved in the initial Austin-San Antonio Commuter Rail Feasibility Study, developed filings for submission to the U.S. Surface Transportation Board regarding rail line abandonment, and drafted legislative testimony for members of the Texas Transportation Commission and TxDOT staff.
Before TxDOT, Mr. Morgan served for eight years as a helicopter Search and Rescue pilot for the U.S. Navy in a variety of administrative and operational positions at bases in Florida and Hawaii and during deployments aboard five different aircraft carriers. He holds a B.S. in General Engineering from the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland (1987) and a Masters of Public Affairs (M. P. Aff.) from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin (2001). Mr. Morgan also holds an FAA Commercial pilot’s license.

Tom Williams

Texas A&M Transportation Institute: Program Manager, Travel Forecasting Program
Tom Williams photoMr. Williams has 28 years of experience in transportation modeling, urban planning, and project management. His background is diverse, including travel modeling and GIS, demographic forecasting, data collection, systems design, transportation planning, policy planning, training, teaching, project management, and business management. He has developed several regional, sub-regional, freight forecasting, and statewide transportation and demographic models, and tailored many models for specific use in transportation plans and studies. Mr. Williams currently serves as Program Manager of TTI’s Travel Forecasting Program, where he manages several travel modelers and transportation planners and coordinates researcher for travel modeling and forecasting. He is currently involved in research in evaluating new and emerging methods and technologies for travel demand models. He oversees the development of state-of-the-practice travel models for the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), and seeks out new and more efficient methods for data collection, application, and use and presentation of travel models. He is also conducting research on transportation planning and automated/connected vehicles.

Posted by Maureen Kelly  |  Category : Autonomous/Connected Vehicles