NSF Project Seeks to Develop New Technologies for iRoad

Yafeng Yin, Ph.D., an associate professor in the Department of Civil Engineering teamed up with Shigang Chen, a professor in the Department of Computer & Information of Science & Engineering at the University of Florida to work on a National Science Foundation (NSF) project aimed at developing new technologies to transform streets into a hybrid transportation/communication system also known as the Intelligent Road (iRoad). With iRoad, autonomous wireless devices are co-located with traffic signals to form a wireless network that fuses real time transportation data from all over a city. Even though the research community has made significant progress in recent years to solve some of the problems on channel bandwidth management and quality-of-service support, the researchers say that more work has to be done in order for a large-scale wireless system such as iRoad to operate smoothly in a demanding environment where critical transportation functions are implemented. Most of today’s wireless products only provide the basic functions for connectivity, collision resolution, and coarse-level flow differentiation. However, they do not address the kind of problems that Yin and Chen find critical for the iRoad system such as quantitative bandwidth distribution, delay/rate assurance, multi-level trust, and a self-learning intelligent transportation system that benefits from the new communication capability made available through iRoad. Solving these fundamental problems advances the state of the art in both wireless technologies and transportation engineering. The research outcome is likely to be broadly applicable in other wireless systems. The economic and societal impact of the iRoad system is tremendous. It provides a pervasive communication infrastructure and engineering framework to build new applications such as real-time traffic map, online best-route query, intelligent fuel-efficient vehicles, and more.

For more information, contact Dr. Yafeng Yin at yafeng@ce.ufl.edu or Dr. Shigang Chen at sgchen@ufl.edu.