Towards A User-Centered and Equity-Aware Micromobility Sharing Co-Design Network to Interact with A Distressed Municipality
Lead PI:
Suining He

The objective of this Smart and Connected Communities Planning Grant (SCC-PG) project is to explore the use of micromobility resources as an affordable and flexible micro-mobility solution to connect riders with employment and other life-essential needs. It envisions a dockless electric scooter sharing program that helps alleviate mobility inequality prevalent in distressed neighborhoods of Hartford, Connecticut. Key research questions are 1) how low-income riders have been served by existing resources and infrastructures; and 2) how these riders would respond to the new interactive, user-centered program. The team proposes conducting big mobility data analysis and engages both current and potential electric scooter riders, service providers, government policymakers, and other stakeholders to form a community-driven planning roundtable. The project outcomes are applicable to other emerging micromobility systems and similar municipalities at various scales and locations. Students from underrepresented groups are recruited and trained.

This project reveals essential geospatial, infrastructural, socioeconomic, and policy factors to inform the design and distribution of micromobility resources. Through a case study in Hartford, Connecticut, the research team works with the service provider, civic partners, and rider community to gather their inputs on and co-design an equity-aware micromobility sharing program. The findings and techniques support the deployment of future micromobility systems in low-resourced or marginalized communities with mobility challenges.

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.

Suining He
Suining He is currently working as the Assistant Professor at the Department of Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) (now the School of Computing), the College of Engineering, the University of Connecticut (UConn) since 09/2019. He is also an affiliated faculty member at the Connecticut Advanced Computing Center (CACC), the Connecticut Transportation Institute (CTI), the UConn Eversource Energy Center, the UConn Engineering for Human Rights Initiative (EHRI) across School of Engineering (SoE) and Human Rights Institute (HRI), and UConn Sustainable Global Cities Initiative (SGCI). He is the Founding Director of the UConn's Ubiquitous and Urban Computing Lab. Before joining UConn, he worked as a postdoctoral research fellow at the Real-Time Computing Lab (RTCL), at the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS), The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI during 11/2016 -- 08/2019. Prior to that, he also worked as a postdoctoral research fellow at the Multimedia Technology Research Center (MTrec), Department of Computer Science and Engineering, the Hong Kong University of Science and Engineering (HKUST) during 09/2016 -- 10/2016. Suining He received the Ph.D. degree in Computer Science and Engineering (計算機科學與工程), Department of Computer Science and Engineering (CSE), from the Hong Kong University of Science and Engineering (HKUST) in 08/2016, and the B.Eng degree (summa cum laude) in Mechanical Design, Manufacturing, and Automation (機械設計製造及自動化), the School of Mechanical Science and Engineering, Huazhong University of Science and Technology (HUST) in 06/2012. He was drafted through the HKUST CSE Postgradudate Student Early Recruiting Program (2011 Fall Shanghai Round). He is also a product from multiple innovation hubs under the Qiming College (啟明學院), HUST, and worked as an undergraduate researcher with the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) in the WPI-HUST Collaborative Senior Design Project. He graduated (with the highest honors) from the Guangdong Province Innovation Class (省創新人才實驗班) in Physics/Maths of the Affiliated High School of South China Normal University in 06/2008. Suining He received the NSF CAREER Award in 2023, Google Research Scholar Program Award in 2021, and two UConn Research Excellence Program (REP) Awards in 2022 and 2020, and held the Google PhD Fellowship in Mobile Computing in 2015, HKUST School of Engineering (SENG) PhD Research Fellowship Award in 2015--2016, and Hong Kong Telecom Institute of Information Technology (HKTIIT) Post-Graduate Excellence Scholarship in 2016. His scholarly works appear in WWW, SenSys, UbiComp, INFOCOM, TKDE, and TMC, and received the IEEE MASS Best Paper Runner-up Award in 2020 and IEEE RTSS Outstanding Paper Award in 2021. His core location-based service (LBS) technologies developed, patented, and transferred during his PhD studies have led to direct industrial and long-term societal impacts. Suining's research is supported by National Science Foundation (NSF), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Google, NVIDIA, Cigna, StreetLight Insight, and internal grants from UConn's Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR).
Performance Period: 09/01/2023 - 08/31/2024
Institution: University of Connecticut
Award Number: 2303575