2017 Poster Session

Assessment of Using Inertial Profilers to Measure Ride Quality on Short Projects

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) ride standard specifies two devices to measure ride quality on pavement projects, including the 10-ft straightedge and the inertial profiler. According to this specification, inertial profilers shall measure the ride quality on projects with lengths greater than 2,500 ft. The 10-ft straightedge must be utilized to survey roughness for projects less than 2,500 ft. In this research a field study was conducted to identify the potential issues associated with the use of inertial profilers and the International Roughness Index (IRI) algorithm on short projects. The results indicated that inertial profilers can be used to collect profile data on short segments less than 2,500 ft. These findings enable TxDOT or other highway agencies to measure the roughness more efficiently and precisely as compared to 10-ft straightedges. In addition, this method helps highway agencies to provide smoother short sections for road users. Smooth roads last longer and require less maintenance cost which make them beneficial to the Highway Maintenance Division. Sponsored through TxDOT Research Project 0-6853

Sareh Kouchaki* (Graduate Research Assistant), Dr. Jorge A. Prozzi (Professor), Dr. Andre de Fortier Smit (Research Associate), and Dr. Prasad Buddhavarapu (Data Scientist)

Beam-Selection in Millimeter Wave V2X Communication Using Sub-6 GHz Information

Next-generation vehicles will use several sensors to enable driving automation. The sensing abilities of the vehicles can be enhanced by exchanging the sensor data with other vehicles. This data transfer, however, is data-rate hungry as sensors may generate up to several hundred mega-bits of data per second. Millimeter wave communication can make data-transfer at such rates possible thanks to the large bandwidth available in the millimeter wave spectrum. Establishing millimeter-wave links, however, is challenging, especially for fast varying channels that are inevitable in vehicle-to-everything communication. We propose to use the channel information extracted at low frequencies to help establish the millimeter wave frequency communication link. Specifically, we use the low-frequency channel information to help find the best transmit/receiver beam for directional communication at millimeter wave. The proposed approach is shown to reduce the training time of the exhaustive search by 128x. Sponsored through TxDOT Research Project 0-6877

Anum Ali* (Graduate Research Assistant) and Dr. Robert W. Heath Jr. (Professor)

Collective Intelligence for Autonomous Intersection Management

In the future of connected, automated vehicles, current traffic rules can be replaced by fast and reliable cooperation between vehicles. It has already been shown that central infrastructure can enforce such cooperation, for instance for routing vehicles swiftly through an intersection. We focus on game theory and robot learning techniques that will teach the vehicles to cooperate on their own.

Rahi Kalantari* (Graduate Research Assistant), Michael Motro* (Graduate Research Assistant), Dr. Joydeep Ghosh (Professor), and Dr. Chandra Bhat (Professor)

Communications and Radar-Supported Transportation Operations and Planning (CAR-STOP)

Crashes are associated with huge economic and social costs. Existing in-vehicle Collision Warning and Avoidance (CWA) systems rely on sensors to detect objects in the vehicle’s vicinity. Communication technology, like Dedicated Short Range Communication (DSRC), can potentially augment the performance of such systems by providing crucial information beyond the vehicle’s field of view. However, the efficacy of DSRC (and related technologies) is compromised in areas with poor GPS connectivity, like urban canyons, and scenarios with many vehicles without communication capabilities. Thus, a more reliable collision warning system can be developed by amalgamating sensors and communication technologies. We test a CWA system that makes predictions based on real-time data fusion from in-vehicle radars, cameras, LIDAR, DSRC and a self-developed next generation millimeter-wave technology. The system is tested at urban intersections, rural highways and high pedestrian / bicyclist density areas. The project is a pioneering step towards connected- vehicle technology applications for safety improvements. Sponsored through TxDOT Research Project 0-6877

Dr. Joydeep Ghosh (Professor), Dr. Robert Heath (Professor), Dr. Jennifer Duthie (former NMC Director), James Kuhr (Research Engineering/Scientist Associate), Michael Motro (Graduate Research Assistant), Mohammed Eltayeb (Volunteer), Patricia Lavieri* (Graduate Research Assistant), Gopindra Nair (Graduate Research Assistant), Pragun Vinayak * (Graduate Student), Preeti Kumari, Rahi Kalantari (Graduate Research Assistant), Taewan Kim (Graduate Research Assistant), Yuyang Wang, Nuria Gonzalez-Prelcic (Project Manager), Anum Ali (Graduate Research Assistant), Meixu Chen (Graduate Research Assistant), Kurram Usman, Lauryn Altena (Undergraduate Research Assistant)

Comparing Bus Priority System Logic Concepts Using Adaptive Signal Control in Austin

Transit Signal Priority (TSP) systems encounter trouble when there are multiple bus requests, heavy traffic conditions on cross streets, or uncertain bus arrival times. In this study, we modified the existing logic concepts for TSP strategies by assuming access to video detection technologies to accurately provide bus and vehicle locations. We examined the effect of these modifications by testing five different scenarios in CORSIM on a network reflecting the Guadalupe southbound corridor in Austin, TX during the 5-6 PM peak hour. Along with the “Base” scenario, four other scenarios tested variations of (1) whether cross streets are compensated for lost green time or not and (2) what sort of red truncation logic is used – traditional logic or logic that relies on searching for a critical gap to gauge traffic conditions on the cross street. Simulations were repeated for four bus occupancy levels to show the effect of switching between commute modes. The scenario that preformed best in terms of bus delay was the traditional red truncation in which green time was paid back to the cross street.

Amber Chen* (Graduate Research Assistant), Ahmad Alrashidan* (Graduate Research Assistant), Pavle Bujanovic* (Graduate Research Assistant), Dr. Randy B. Machemehl (Professor), Carolina Baumanis* (Research Engineering/Scientist Associate)

Evaluation of Diagonally Cracking in Reinforced Concrete Bridge Members

Current methods in the visual inspection of structural cracking in reinforced concrete (RC) bridge members are typically based on rating criteria established by limitations on observed crack characteristics (i.e., widths, spacing, etc.). Typically these methods provide little insight between observed crack characteristics and their implications on the remaining capacity of the member. Despite advances in finite element modelling and empirical methods to address this need, little attention has been given to mechanics-based and image processing techniques. Both of these procedure types will be investigated in this project. Additionally, a visual crack measurement database (VCMD) was developed in order to catalog relevant experimental data regarding the structural cracking of concrete. Ultimately, the goal of this project is to produce a procedure that is capable of supplementing traditional visual inspections to allow for more efficient use of repair and rehabilitation funding. Sponsored through TxDOT Research Project 0-6919

Jarrod Zaborac* (Graduate Research Assistant); Apostolos Athanasiou* (Graduate Research Assistant); Dr. Trevor Hrynyk (Assistant Professor); Dr. Salvatore Salamone (Assistant Professor); Dr. Oguzhan Bayrak (Professor)

Evaluation of Stiffness, Strength, and Ductility of Asphalt Binders at Intermediate Temperature

The search for a test and parameter that can effectively describe the fatigue cracking resistance of an asphalt binder has lead to many approaches. Researchers have used strength, stiffness, and ductility-based criteria to screen binders based on resistance to cracking. In this study, poker chip testing on thin films of asphalt binder was employed at intermediate temperatures to obtain both stress and ductility based properties of eight binders. In addition, a Dynamic Shear Rheometer (DSR) frequency sweep at intermediate temperature was conducted to obtain stiffnesses of the binders and a surrogate for ductility. The results showed no relationship between strength and stiffness. In most cases, binders that were rated to have high ductility based on the DSR parameter also had high toughness based on the poker chip test. However, there were binders that clearly departed from this trend, with at least one binder exhibiting ideally desired high stiffness and toughness.

Ramez Hajj* (Graduate Research Assistant), Rachel Hure (Graduate Research Assistant), and Dr. Amit Bhasin* (Associate Professor)

Extracting Data Streams from Smarter Cars

Bluetooth/Wifi readers are increasingly used for monitoring vehicular traffic. While less expensive than conventional traffic sensors, this technology is not without drawbacks. The data has to be matched between readers, which only measure the travel time between them, and do not have information about the exact state of traffic between them. In low flow conditions, these sensors are performing poorly since travel times are greatly affected by traffic signals between the readers. To increase the quality of the data, we propose to use the readers to extract new data streams generated by inexpensive Inertial Measurement Units (IMUs) in vehicles. This new type of data can be used to greatly expand the coverage and accuracy of the readers, and does not require matching data between readers, solving the problem of user privacy. A preliminary implementation shows that such technology generates very high quality traffic data, with an extremely low marginal cost. This system is particularly adapted to secondary roads (arterials, cities). Sponsored through TxDOT Research Project 0-6838

Tian Lei* (Visiting Research Scholar), Alexander Minbaev* (Graduate Research Assistant), and Dr. Christian Claudel (Assistant Professor)

Friction Evaluation of Aggregates Surface Micro-texture Using Spectral Analysis

Micro-texture of aggregates is a crucial part of the pavement texture as well as a major contributing factor in roadway safety. Therefore, comprehending the effects of specific wavelengths in micro-texture is essential in the design of pavements to achieve adequate skid resistance. This paper analyzes the micro-texture of aggregates by means of discrete Fourier transform and power spectral density function. Six aggregates from two different quarries were scanned using a line laser scanner (LLS). Repeatability of LLS and the effect of aggregates orientation on scanned data were studied. Two texture parameters of root mean square roughness and depth of surface smoothness were calculated for all sub-bands of wavelengths. Results indicated that the wavelengths ranging from 0.05 to 0.1 mm significantly contributes to the skid resistance. The results could be of interest for TxDOT divisions of construction, design, and maintenance in order to improve the aggregate classification and selection in construction projects according to the aggregates contribution to skid resistance.

Sareh Kouchaki (Graduate Research Assistant), Hossein Roshani* (Postdoctoral Fellow), Dr. Jorge A. Prozzi (Professor), and Joaquin Bernardo Hernandez (Research engineering/Scientist Associate)

Inverse Fingerprinting for Millimeter Wave V2I Beam Alignment

Efficient beam alignment is a crucial component in millimeter wave systems, especially in fast-changing vehicular settings. Fingerprinting is a popular approach for localization, where the measured wireless channel signature is compared to the fingerprint database to retrieve the most likely position. Opposite to the localization idea, this work uses the vehicle’s position (e.g., available via GPS) to query the fingerprint database, which provides prior knowledge of potential pointing directions for reliable beam alignment. Evaluation using channels generated from a ray-tracing simulator shows that our solution, with negligible performance loss, can save up to more than 90% of the training overhead of conventional solution used in IEEE 802.11ad when a 16×16 array is used at both the transmitter and the receiver. This technology could be a key to enable gigabit communication links between vehicles and the infrastructure, which could help automated driving task and provide infotainment services such as video streaming and other cloud-based services. Sponsored through TxDOT Research Project 0-6877, D-STOP UTC, and a gift from Toyota InfoTechnology Center (ITC), USA

Vutha Va* (Graduate Research Assistant), Junil Choi (Postdoctoral Fellow), Takayuki Shimizu (Toyota ITC-US), Gaurav Bansal (Toyota ITC-US), Dr. Robert W. Heath, Jr. (Professor)

New Mixed MNP Model Accommodating a Variety of Dependent Non-Normal Coefficient Distributions

In this paper, we propose a general copula approach to accommodate non-normal continuous mixing distributions in multinomial probit (MNP) models. In particular, we specify a multivariate mixing distribution that allows different marginal continuous parametric distributions for different coefficients. A new hybrid estimation technique is proposed to estimate the model, which combines the advantageous features of each of the maximum simulated likelihood inference technique and Bhat’s maximum approximate composite marginal likelihood (MACML) inference approach. The effectiveness of our formulation and inference approach is demonstrated through simulation exercises and an empirical application.

Dr. Chandra Bhat (Professor) and Patricia Lavieri* (Graduate Research Assistant)

On Recognizing Social Interaction Effects in Bicycling Use and Frequency

This paper proposes a new spatial generalized ordered response model with skew-normal kernel error terms and an associated estimation method. It contributes to the spatial analysis field by allowing a flexible and parametric skew-normal distribution for the kernel error term in traditional specifications of the spatial model. The resulting model is estimated using Bhat’s (2011) MACML inference approach. The model is applied to an analysis of bicycling frequency, using data from the 2014 Puget Sound household travel regional survey undertaken in the State of Washington in the USA. The results highlight the importance of introducing social dependence effects and non-normal kernel error terms from a policy standpoint. An interesting finding is that women and young individuals (18-34 years of age) in particular “warm up” to bicycling as more investment is made in bicycling infrastructure, thus leading not only to a larger pool of bicyclists due to bicycling infrastructure enhancements, but also a more diverse and inclusive one. Sponsored through D-STOP UTC

Dr. Chandra R. Bhat (Professor), Sebastian Astroza*, and Amin S. Hamdi

Putting Price Tags on International Trade Use of State Infrastructure

Texas is a major gateway to the entire U.S. for international trade through both seaports and land ports of entry. Hence, managing its transportation infrastructure in an effective and efficient manner is critical to freight movement that benefits Texas and other parts of the county. However, despite the fact that valuing these freight corridors is an imperative process to maintain the corridors with high condition standards, there are no local studies putting “price tags” on the infrastructure for international trade. This research proposed a novel utility-based asset valuation framework by considering loss in potential benefits if the infrastructure fails, as well as its construction and maintenance costs. The developed methodology will allow TxDOT to prepare for the potential trade growth and to communicate their decisions to policy makers, so that the necessary funds can be obtained to retain Texas’ economic competitiveness. Sponsored through  TxDOT Research Project 0-6844

Taehoon Lim* (Graduate Research Assistant), Dr. Juan Diego Porras-Alvarado (Posdoctoral Research Fellow), Dr. Zhanmin Zhang (Professor), Michael R. Murphy (Research Engineer), and Dr. C. Michael Walton (Professor)

State Legislative Affairs (SLA) Truck Configuration Library Development

CTR / UTSA was contracted by SLA to develop a Truck Configuration Library in anticipation of proposed increased truck size & weight legislation during the 2017 Legislative Session. The Library provides TxDOT with pavement and bridge consumption calculations ($/VMT) and other information for over 50 different 97,000 lb sealed ocean container configurations; 6 milk tank truck configurations and 8 ready mix truck configurations including those with lift / booster axles. SLA and CTR/UTSA conducted two Workshops with industry stakeholders to present this information and to obtain feedback. The Workshops were supplemented by one-on-one meetings with industry representatives and trucking companies to exchange information. Field visits were conducted to measure truck weights and dimensions at a ready mix plant and 2 one-week visits were made to the Port of Houston and Harris County to collect container and other truck configuration information. Meetings have also been held with legislators, industry and TxDOT Senior Management and subject matter experts to discuss the analysis results. Sponsored through a TxDOT Research Inter-Agency Contract.

Manar Hasan* (Graduate Research Assistant),  Swati Agarwal* (Graduate Research Assistant), and Hongbin Xu* (Graduate Research Assistant)

TxDOT Project 0-6820: Development of a Analysis Procedure for Overweight Truck Corridors Serving Coastal Ports and Border Ports of Entry

The Legislature has authorized development of Oversize/Overweight Truck corridors or corridor networks at the Port of Brownsville, Port of Freeport, Hidalgo County RMA, Port of Corpus Christi, Laredo and other locations. These corridors are operated by ports or local government agencies that issue permits which provide TxDOT with funds for maintaining these corridors. The Maintenance Division needed an automated analysis process to evaluate the existing corridor networks to determine the relationships between pavement and bridge consumption costs and the permit revenue. CTR/UTSA conducted development of the OS/OW corridor analysis tool through research project 0-6820 which included Workshops with Port and trucking industry representatives; a Training Workshop conducted by Cheetah Chassis – a major container chassis manufacturer and a final training Workshop to present the analysis tool to TxDOT subject matter experts. This project was particularly successful due to the close working relationship between MNT and the CTR/UTSA team including on site tool development, review and testing. Sponsored through TxDOT Research Project 0-6820

Oscar Galvis* (Graduate Research Assistant) and Jingran Sun* (Graduate Research Assistant)