Consider all the different ways transportation affects our daily life. Whether we take a personal vehicle or transit to work, take a public transit to school, consume goods shipped by truck, train, ship, or pipeline, travel internationally by plane, ride a bicycle, or simply walk, the efficiency and safety of our transportation system has a dramatic impact on how successful each mode will be. And now we welcome the era of connected and automated vehicles.
My research is focused on the operational and behavioral aspects of transportation safety and operations. Recent research activities have considered advanced traffic control devices, left-turn signalization, smart cooridors, intelligent intersection and artierials with V2V and V2I communication, and applications of advanced technologies. Improving the operational and safety aspects of protected/permissive left-turns at signalized intersections has been an interest area of mine for the past 25 years. We are currently working on improving permissive left-turn modelling and using real-time information to optimize intersection traffic operations. The national implementation of the flashing yellow arrow permissive left-turn indication is part of the outcome of this research. I am also very interested in crash data recording (black box) technology and vehicle crash analysis. Reconstructing crashes with automated vehicles wil open a new door door to safety analysis. I have worked with state and fedral agencies on a wide array of research topics related to all modes of transportation, including pedestrian and bicyclists.
Current, I am the Executive Director of the Traffic Operations and Safety (TOPS) Laboratory and the Wisconsin Driving Simulator Laboratory. We have also created the Wisconsin Connected and Automated Transportation Consortium to coordinate and advance our research in these mutli-modal technologies. The TOPS Laboratory conducts research in the local, state, national, and international markets. Since inception in 2003, the TOPS Lab has completed over $35 million in research activities and has become recognized as a leading transportation research institution in the country. I am also an Associate Director of Safety Research Using Simulation (SaferSIM) Center, one of the University Transportation Centers (UTC) in the U.S. Our consortium includes the University of Iowa, University of Central Florida, University of Massachusetts-Amherst, and the University of Puerto Rico-Mayaquez. Research focus is on collaborative simulation research, which I further describe below.
I have spent the last 25 years working with full-scale driving simulation and studying driver comprehension and behavior related to various traffic control devices, geometric designs, operational conditions, and new technologies. The University of Wisconsin-Madison is home to a full-scale driving simulator that provides a state-of-the art research tool. We have used the simulator to study regulatory signs, traffic signal displays, rumble strips, young and old drivers, distraction, in-vehicle warning devices, driver distractions, and the effects of low Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) on driver performance. We are currently looking at new technologies to improve the realism of the simulated environment.
I am also associated with the Construction Engineering and Management Program in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, given my M.S. degree is this field. My intersts include both transportation and building construction in the areas of productivity, efficiency (schedule compression), work zone management and safety and leadership. My research team has worked for the last few years with the Federal Highway Administration in developing new understanding in safe and efficient roadway construction work zones.
Finally, I maintain an active traffic operations, geometric design, and safety cirriculum. We have redeveloping our transportation laboratory to include a fully signalized intersection to study advanced traffic signal operation methods. We also provide a means of testing new equipment and technologies as they enter the market. Our complete array of traffic data collection equipment allows us to move this lab into the field to incorporate real-time traffic.
The undergraduate and graduate students working with me form a research team directed at improving the design, operations, construction, and safety of all elements of transportation.