The transportation challenges range from pedestrians in un-signaled crosswalks between classes to the lack of parking spaces during maximum demand. These problems are universal throughout the country and scale to much larger cities. Smart cities are communities that utilize information from sensors to make services more efficient or improve sustainability. These systems are essentially a cyber-physical system that acts upon in gathered information that is transmitted through a wired or wireless network. In this context, we are interested in deploying a network of sensor systems throughout UNH and Durham to improve transportation in our community.
The goal of this project is to have a positive impact on the community by improving awareness of parking, decreasing traffic congestion caused by pedestrians, and researching novel methods to encourage the use of alternative forms of transportation. The innovation of this project is the synthesis of data analytics from networked sensors and new forms of displaying information to community members.
Objective #1: Sensing Platforms
The first objective of our project is to develop a two sensing platforms for measuring: parking availability in one of the University lots and pedestrian traffic in key crosswalks. The proposed parking system will have a set of solar powered wireless sensors to count the number of spaces available in a lot and to communicate with the PIs server. The pedestrian sensor will monitor mobile phone emissions as pedestrians walk by the sensors and will similarly store the data. This objective fits in the second and third tiers of a smart city.
Objective #2: Transportation Analysis
The purpose of this objective is to analyze the base-line and sensor data from Objective #1 to reduce the stress level for drivers and pedestrians, but also help direct the traffic around the campus in a safer and more efficient way. The broadcast of such information through an app or signage requires complete understanding of the current traffic situation, number of parking spots available all over the campus, and highly accurate predictive models that modify their predictions constantly predicting the availability of spaces. This work fits in the fourth tier of a smart city.
Objective #3: Information Display
Augmented reality (AR) technology augments users’ visual view of the world around them with virtual objects and agents. For example, AR could overlay driving instructions on the real world to safely guide a driver to an open spot or provide a student walking to class an AR game that takes her on a route that would reduce traffic. We will use a Microsoft HoloLens3 in this project both for in-vehicle navigation, and for pedestrian navigation and entertainment. We will use both simulated and real data in experiments with human subjects. Real data will come from sensors at the UNH parking lot, and from key intersections, as discussed in Objective #2. HoloLens connects to the world wirelessly, which would put additional pressure on commercial internet providers and municipalities to deploy broadband technology widely.