Fostering Smart and Sustainable Travel through Engaged Communities using Integrated Multidimensional Information-Based Solutions
Lead PI:
Srinivas Peeta

This Smart and Connected Communities award supports research that will develop systematic deployment tools that smart and connected communities can use to achieve their sustainable travel goals in a quantifiable manner by leveraging advances in information, communication and sensor technologies. While the deployment of advanced technological solutions offers great promise for communities to improve residents' quality of life and prosperity, they are faced with significant challenges in realizing these aspirations due to the diversity in technological and travel needs and barriers faced by the residents. Solutions to achieve sustainability objectives related to enhancing travel mobility, safety, equity, and access will be developed using the City of Peachtree Corners (GA) as an immersive living lab. They include building novel partnerships involving emerging micromobility services in the private sector and the well-established public transit modes. Further, they will involve personalized behavioral interventions to nudge and incentivize personal auto users to consider sustainable alternatives through seamless information provision. At the community level, public policy interventions will seek to enable flexible and novel travel alternatives while ensuring that all residents have access to timely travel-related information. For underserved and underrepresented residents, the solutions will include strategies to overcome information deserts in lower-income neighborhoods, age-related technology savviness issues for senior residents, and reduced access to smartphones and transportation options. These solutions will be developed using data collected from community residents and other sources, and deployed using an information design system that provides targeted information delivery to the various stakeholders in the community using multiple delivery mechanisms, including a community app.

This project will advance theory and deployment paradigms associated with holistic, community-level decision-making to achieve travel sustainability goals characterized by multiple, disparate objectives while meeting the needs and constraints of different stakeholders. In particular, it will address the challenges of how to integrate disparate, multi-source data from various stakeholders and use it to systematically generate multidimensional solution options (partnerships, behavioral interventions, policy interventions) to meet multiple sustainability objectives at the community level in a systematic, quantifiable manner over time. It will draw on methods from multi-objective and multi-agent optimization, machine learning, behavioral economics, and data and policy analytics, to generate the multidimensional solutions. Further, it will lead to novel paradigms and algorithms for the solution options themselves, and for the development of generalizable principles related to practical deployment frameworks in the inherently complex, multidimensional smart and connected communities. The project will also develop formal methods for information design and delivery that translate the multidimensional solutions into actionable information that is seamless for the various stakeholders.

This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

Srinivas Peeta
Dr. Srinivas Peeta became the Frederick R. Dickerson Chair in Transportation Systems in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Georgia Tech in August 2018 after 24 years at Purdue University. He was most recently the Jack and Kay Hockema Professor in Civil Engineering at Purdue. Peeta has been the Director of the NEXTRANS Center, which served as the USDOT’s Region 5 Regional University Transportation Center (UTC) from 2007 to 2018. He is also the Associate Director of the USDOT Center for Connected and Automated Transportation, the USDOT Region 5 UTC (2016-2022) led by the University of Michigan. He received his B. Tech., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Civil Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology (Madras), California Institute of Technology (Caltech), and The University of Texas at Austin, respectively. During 2007-2013, Dr. Peeta served as Chair of the Transportation Network Modeling Committee (ADB30) of the Transportation Research Board (TRB) of the National Academies, and as a member of the Travel Analysis Methods Section. He is a board member of the International Federation of Automatic Control (IFAC) Technical Committee on Transportation Systems. He chaired the TRB sub-committee on Route Choice and Spatio-Temporal Behavior from 2002 to 2008. He served as a member of TRB’s Committee on Traveler Behavior and Values from 2002 to 2008 and of ADB30 for the period 1994-2013. He was a founding member of Purdue’s System of Systems Signature Area and chaired it from 2006 to 2009. He was an invited speaker at the 2008 Frontiers of Engineering Symposium of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering. He has served as a panel reviewer for several NSF programs, international grant proposal competitions, and student dissertations/theses. He has also served as a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee or International Program Committee for several international conferences. Dr. Peeta’s research interests are multidisciplinary, span several methodological domains, and include among others: (i) modeling and analysis of the dynamics of large-scale transportation systems, (ii) modeling and methodologies to address interdependencies among infrastructure systems, (iii) role of information in transportation systems, (iv) modeling human behavior/learning associated with drivers/travelers, (v) integrated supply demand-performance models for strategic planning and real-time operations for various applications, (vi) understanding linkages between transportation, energy and environment, (vii) modeling policy options that impact transportation system evolution, (viii) systems and system-of-systems perspectives to address complex adaptive systems (ranging from engineered systems to human enterprise systems), and (ix) connected and automated transportation. Dr. Peeta’s research has focused on the application of control theory, fundamental techniques in operations research and advanced computational methods to large-scale transportation networks. He has worked in-depth in the areas of dynamic traffic networks and driver behavior under information provision. His work in the area of dynamic traffic assignment represents a standard for research reference, and has guided the U.S. Department of Transportation’s development of a deployable architecture for real-time route guidance in large-scale transportation systems equipped with advanced information dissemination technologies. His work has enabled the study of interdependencies among critical infrastructure systems from a network perspective to generate holistic disaster response strategies. Dr. Peeta was part of a team that developed the DYNASMART series (DYNASMART-P and DYNASMART-X) software for the Federal Highway Administration, which provides state-of-the-art tools for transportation network planning and real-time traffic operations and control. Dr. Peeta has authored over 345 technical publications, including over 280 in peer-reviewed journals and refereed conference proceedings. He has over 480 talks/lectures in several countries, including over 120 invited keynote/plenary/seminar series talks. He has received over $48 million funding as PI or co-PI from sources such as the USDOT, NSF, FHWA, Indiana DOT, US DOE, NASA, US Department of Education, Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs, and Indo-US Science & Technology Forum. Five dissertations supervised by Dr. Peeta received best dissertation awards from organizations such as the Council of University Transportation Centers and the International Association for Travel Behavior Research. He is on the Editorial Advisory Boards of Transportation Research Part B, Intelligent Transportation Systems Journal, Transportmetrica B: Transport Dynamics, Frontiers in Built Environment: Transportation and Transit Systems, and Transportation in Developing Economies. He is the Area Editor for Transportation Dynamics for the journal Networks and Spatial Economics. He is on the Advisory Board for the Korean Society of Civil Engineering’s Journal of Civil Engineering. Dr. Peeta’s awards include: INFORMS Transportation Science Best Dissertation Award (1994), NSF CAREER Award (1997), Wansik Excellence in Research Award (2004), Exceptional Paper Award from TRB’s Traffic Signal Systems Committee (2007), Purdue’s Seed for Success Award (2007-2013), ASCE Walter Huber Research Prize (2009), AATT Best Paper Award (2009), Visiting Distinguished Scholar, Taiwan (2009), UniSA Distinguished Researcher Award, Australia (2010), Purdue College of Engineering Mentoring Award (2012), TRB Blue Ribbon Committee Award (2013) as the ADB30 chair, TRB AT045 Intermodal Freight Award (2015), Honorary Professor (2015) from Chongqing University of Posts and Telecommunications, China, and IEEE Intelligent Transportation Systems Conference Paper Award (2015). Dr. Peeta initiated and led several activities related to research, education, and outreach in his capacity as the Director of the NEXTRANS Center (2006-2018). He executed the Center’s research selection process through an external peer-reviewed process and developed research/education MoUs for collaboration with several US and international universities. He initiated the Center’s undergraduate student internship program, high school student competition, K-12 initiatives, and internship programs for underrepresented student groups. In terms of outreach, he initiated the NEXTRANS Seminar Series, oversaw the development of NEXTRANS reports/newsletters, and fostered collaboration with public and private sector entities through several joint/exploratory meetings. He organized the Center’s summit in 2008, bringing together leaders from government, industry and academia to address future challenges and visions for transportation and logistics and to discuss the role of integrated solutions. He chaired the 2009 US-Canada Border Conference: Regional Strategies for Trade, Security, and Mobility Challenges.
Performance Period: 10/01/2021 - 09/30/2025
Institution: Georgia Tech Research Corporation
Award Number: 2125390