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CEE Transportation Engineering Students, Along with Professor Asad Khattak, Win TRB Outstanding Paper Award

CEE doctoral students in transportation engineering Mohsen Kamrani and Behram Wali, along with CEE Professor Asad J. Khattak, recently won the 2017 Transportation Research Board Outstanding Paper Award by the Safety Data, Analysis and Evaluation Committee. Their paper is entitled “Can Data Generated by Connected Vehicle Enhance Safety? Proactive Approach to Intersection Safety Management.” The Transportation Research Board Conference is held every January in Washington DC and is the biggest assembly of transportation professionals in the world as more than 13,000 people attend. Within the conference, there are multiple committees that specialize in certain transportation concentrations. The Safety Data, Analysis and Evaluation Committee received 220 paper submissions for the 2017 TRB Conference. Out of these submissions, 25 papers were accepted for publication, and one paper was accepted for this award.

“The paper idea initiated as my class project of Intelligent Transportation System course with Professor Khattak and took us more than one year to collect, process, and analyze the data,” said Kamrani. “I think the main reason that it was awarded was its unique and innovative approach to integrating the traditional transportation data with emerging connected vehicle data. I am honored to be a part of the team working on the paper, grateful to TRB Safety Data, Analysis and Evaluation Committee for the award and thankful to Dr. Khattak for his constructive and fruitful comments pushing us to think out of the box and be creative.”

Behram Wali said that the study helps with understanding road safety from a proactive approach. “Given that human factors contribute to more than 90 percent of the crashes, our team demonstrated how microscopic driving behaviors and driving volatility in real-world setting can contribute to crash occurrences. Importantly, I’m also just as appreciative of Professor Khattak’s didactic mentorship. It would be almost impossible to earn such a prestigious award without his advice and comments.”

Khattak added, “This paper came about from our common understanding that innovations in vehicle technology can lead to harnessing new forms of data. As a team, we had good interactions and debated the value of our approach. We hope our approach signifies a step in the right direction of using innovations in connected and automated vehicles to become a part of our safety culture.”