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Estimations of reductions in household vehicle miles traveled under scenarios of shifts in vehicle type choice

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Vehicle type choice is a significant determinant of fuel consumption and energy sustainability; larger, heavier vehicles consume more fuel, and expel twice as many pollutants, than their smaller, lighter counterparts. Over the course of the past few decades, vehicle type

Vehicle type choice is a significant determinant of fuel consumption and energy sustainability; larger, heavier vehicles consume more fuel, and expel twice as many pollutants, than their smaller, lighter counterparts. Over the course of the past few decades, vehicle type choice has seen a vast shift, due to many households making more trips in larger vehicles with lower fuel economy. During the 1990s, SUVs were the fastest growing segment of the automotive industry, comprising 7% of the total light vehicle market in 1990, and 25% in 2005. More recently, due to rising oil prices, greater awareness to environmental sensitivity, the desire to reduce dependence on foreign oil, and the availability of new vehicle technologies, many households are considering the use of newer vehicles with better fuel economy, such as hybrids and electric vehicles, over the use of the SUV or low fuel economy vehicles they may already own. The goal of this research is to examine how vehicle miles traveled, fuel consumption and emissions may be reduced through shifts in vehicle type choice behavior. Using the 2009 National Household Travel Survey data it is possible to develop a model to estimate household travel demand and total fuel consumption. If given a vehicle choice shift scenario, using the model it would be possible to calculate the potential fuel consumption savings that would result from such a shift. In this way, it is possible to estimate fuel consumption reductions that would take place under a wide variety of scenarios.

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2013

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Integrated model of the urban continuum with dynamic time-dependent activity-travel microsimulation: framework, prototype, and implementation

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The development of microsimulation approaches to urban systems modeling has occurred largely in three parallel streams of research, namely, land use, travel demand and traffic assignment. However, there are important dependencies and inter-relationships between the model systems which need to

The development of microsimulation approaches to urban systems modeling has occurred largely in three parallel streams of research, namely, land use, travel demand and traffic assignment. However, there are important dependencies and inter-relationships between the model systems which need to be accounted to accurately and comprehensively model the urban system. Location choices affect household activity-travel behavior, household activity-travel behavior affects network level of service (performance), and network level of service, in turn, affects land use and activity-travel behavior. The development of conceptual designs and operational frameworks that represent such complex inter-relationships in a consistent fashion across behavioral units, geographical entities, and temporal scales has proven to be a formidable challenge. In this research, an integrated microsimulation modeling framework called SimTRAVEL (Simulator of Transport, Routes, Activities, Vehicles, Emissions, and Land) that integrates the component model systems in a behaviorally consistent fashion, is presented. The model system is designed such that the activity-travel behavior model and the dynamic traffic assignment model are able to communicate with one another along continuous time with a view to simulate emergent activity-travel patterns in response to dynamically changing network conditions. The dissertation describes the operational framework, presents the modeling methodologies, and offers an extensive discussion on the advantages that such a framework may provide for analyzing the impacts of severe network disruptions on activity-travel choices. A prototype of the model system is developed and implemented for a portion of the Greater Phoenix metropolitan area in Arizona to demonstrate the capabilities of the model system.

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2012

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Analysis of freeway bottlenecks

Description

Traffic congestion is a major externality in modern transportation systems with negative economic, environmental and social impacts. Freeway bottlenecks are one of the key elements besides the demand for travel by automobiles that determine the extent of congestion. The primary

Traffic congestion is a major externality in modern transportation systems with negative economic, environmental and social impacts. Freeway bottlenecks are one of the key elements besides the demand for travel by automobiles that determine the extent of congestion. The primary objective of this research is to provide a better understanding of factors for variations in bottleneck discharge rates. Specifically this research seeks to (i) develop a methodology comparable to the rigorous methods to identify bottlenecks and measure capacity drop and its temporal (day to day) variations in a region, (ii) understand the variations in discharge rate of a freeway weaving bottleneck with a HOV lane and (iii) understand the relationship between lane flow distribution and discharge rate on a weaving bottleneck resulted from a lane drop and a busy off-ramp. In this research, a methodology has been developed to de-noise raw data using Discrete Wavelet Transforms (DWT). The de-noised data is then used to precisely identify bottleneck activation and deactivation times, and measure pre-congestion and congestion flows using Continuous Wavelet Transforms (CWT). To this end a methodology which could be used efficiently to identify and analyze freeway bottlenecks in a region in a consistent, reproducible manner was developed. Using this methodology, 23 bottlenecks have been identified in the Phoenix metropolitan region, some of which result in long queues and large delays during rush-hour periods. A study of variations in discharge rate of a freeway weaving bottleneck with a HOV lane showed that the bottleneck discharge rate diminished by 3-25% upon queue formations, however, the discharge rate recovered shortly thereafter upon high-occupancy-vehicle (HOV) lane activation and HOV lane flow distribution (LFD) has a significant effect on the bottleneck discharge rate: the higher the HOV LFD, the lower the bottleneck discharge rate. The effect of lane flow distribution and its relationship with bottleneck discharge rate on a weaving bottleneck formed by a lane drop and a busy off-ramp was studied. The results showed that the bottleneck discharge rate and lane flow distribution are linearly related and higher utilization of the median lane results in higher bottleneck discharge rate.

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2014

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A network-sensitive integrated travel model for simulating impacts of real-time traveler information

Description

Real-time information systems are being used widely around the world to mitigate the adverse impacts of congestion and events that contribute to network delay. It is important that transportation modeling tools be able to accurately model the impacts of real-time

Real-time information systems are being used widely around the world to mitigate the adverse impacts of congestion and events that contribute to network delay. It is important that transportation modeling tools be able to accurately model the impacts of real-time information provision. Such planning tools allow the simulation of the impacts of various real-time information systems, and the design of traveler information systems that can minimize impacts of congestion and network disruptions. Such modeling tools would also be helpful in planning emergency response services as well as evacuation scenarios in the event of a natural disaster. Transportation modeling tools currently in use are quite limited in their ability to model the impacts of real-time information provision on travel demand and route choices. This dissertation research focuses on enhancing a previously developed integrated transportation modeling system dubbed SimTRAVEL (Simulator of Transport, Routes, Activities, Vehicles, Emissions, and Land) to incorporate capabilities that allow the simulation of the impacts of real-time traveler information systems on activity-travel demand. The first enhancement made to the SimTRAVEL framework involves the ability to reflect the effects of providing information on prevailing (as opposed to historical) network conditions on activity-travel behavior choices. In addition, the model system is enhanced to accommodate multiple user information classes (pre-trip and enroute) simultaneously. The second major contribution involves advancing the methodological framework to model enroute decision making processes where a traveler may alter his or her travel choices (such as destination choice) while enroute to an intended destination. Travelers who are provided up-to-date network information may choose to alter their destination in response to congested conditions, or completely abandon and reschedule an activity that offers some degree of flexibility. In this dissertation research, the model framework is developed and an illustrative demonstration of the capabilities of the enhanced model system is provided using a subregion of the Greater Phoenix metropolitan area in Arizona. The results show that the model is able to simulate adjustments in travel choices that may result from the introduction of real-time traveler information. The efficacy of the integrated travel model system is also demonstrated through the application of the enhanced model system to evaluate transportation policy scenarios.

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2014

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A study of university student travel behavior

Description

Institutions of higher education, particularly those with large student enrollments, constitute special generators that contribute in a variety of ways to the travel demand in a region. Despite the importance of university population travel characteristics in understanding and modeling activity-travel

Institutions of higher education, particularly those with large student enrollments, constitute special generators that contribute in a variety of ways to the travel demand in a region. Despite the importance of university population travel characteristics in understanding and modeling activity-travel patterns and mode choice behavior in a region, such populations remain under-studied. As metropolitan planning organizations continue to improve their regional travel models by incorporating processes and parameters specific to major regional special generators, university population travel characteristics need to be measured and special submodels that capture their behavior need to be developed. The research presented herein begins by documenting the design and administration of a comprehensive university student online travel and mode use survey that was administered at Arizona State University (ASU) in the Greater Phoenix region of Arizona. The dissertation research offers a detailed statistical analysis of student travel behavior for different student market segments. A framework is then presented for incorporating university student travel into a regional travel demand model. The application of the framework to the ASU student population is documented in detail. A comprehensive university student submodel was estimated and calibrated for integration with the full regional travel model system. Finally, student attitudes toward travel are analyzed and used as explanatory factors in multinomial logit models of mode choice. This analysis presents an examination of the extent to which attitudes play a role in explaining mode choice behavior of university students in an urban setting. The research provides evidence that student travel patterns vary substantially from those of the rest of the population, and should therefore be considered separately when forecasting travel demand and formulating transport policy in areas where universities are major contributors to regional travel.

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2014

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Demographic evolution modeling system for activity-based travel behavior analysis and demand forecasting

Description

The activity-based approach to travel demand analysis and modeling, which has been developed over the past 30 years, has received tremendous success in transportation planning and policy analysis issues, capturing the multi-way joint relationships among socio-demographic, economic, land use characteristics,

The activity-based approach to travel demand analysis and modeling, which has been developed over the past 30 years, has received tremendous success in transportation planning and policy analysis issues, capturing the multi-way joint relationships among socio-demographic, economic, land use characteristics, activity participation, and travel behavior. The development of synthesizing population with an array of socio-demographic and socio-economic attributes has drawn remarkable attention due to privacy and cost constraints in collecting and disclosing full scale data. Although, there has been enormous progress in producing synthetic population, there has been less progress in the development of population evolution modeling arena to forecast future year population. The objective of this dissertation is to develop a well-structured full-fledged demographic evolution modeling system, capturing migration dynamics and evolution of person level attributes, introducing the concept of new household formations and apprehending the dynamics of household level long-term choices over time. A comprehensive study has been conducted on demography, sociology, anthropology, economics and transportation engineering area to better understand the dynamics of evolutionary activities over time and their impacts in travel behavior. This dissertation describes the methodology and the conceptual framework, and the development of model components. Demographic, socio-economic, and land use data from American Community Survey, National Household Travel Survey, Census PUMS, United States Time Series Economic Dynamic data and United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention have been used in this research. The entire modeling system has been implemented and coded using programming language to develop the population evolution module named `PopEvol' into a computer simulation environment. The module then has been demonstrated for a portion of Maricopa County area in Arizona to predict the milestone year population to check the accuracy of forecasting. The module has also been used to evolve the base year population for next 15 years and the evolutionary trend has been investigated.

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2014

A study of heating and degradation of acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene/polycarbonate polymer due to ultraviolet lasers illumination during localized pre-deposition heating for fused filament fabrication 3D printing

Description

With the growing popularity of 3d printing in recreational, research, and commercial enterprises new techniques and processes are being developed to improve the quality of parts created. Even so, the anisotropic properties is still a major hindrance of parts manufactured

With the growing popularity of 3d printing in recreational, research, and commercial enterprises new techniques and processes are being developed to improve the quality of parts created. Even so, the anisotropic properties is still a major hindrance of parts manufactured in this method. The goal is to produce parts that mimic the strength characteristics of a comparable part of the same design and materials created using injection molding. In achieving this goal the production cost can be reduced by eliminating the initial investment needed for the creation of expensive tooling. This initial investment reduction will allow for a wider variant of products in smaller batch runs to be made available. This thesis implements the use of ultraviolet (UV) illumination for an in-process laser local pre-deposition heating (LLPH). By comparing samples with and without the LLPH process it is determined that applied energy that is absorbed by the polymer is converted to an increase in the interlayer temperature, and resulting in an observed increase in tensile strength over the baseline test samples. The increase in interlayer bonding thus can be considered the dominating factor over polymer degradation.

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2017

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Utilization of thermoplastic mounting studs for simple performance testing on hot mix asphalt

Description

The objective of the research is to test the use of 3D printed thermoplastic to produce fixtures which affix instrumentation to asphalt concrete samples used for Simple Performance Testing (SPT). The testing is done as part of materials characterization to

The objective of the research is to test the use of 3D printed thermoplastic to produce fixtures which affix instrumentation to asphalt concrete samples used for Simple Performance Testing (SPT). The testing is done as part of materials characterization to obtain properties that will help in future pavement designs. Currently, these fixtures (mounting studs) are made of expensive brass and cumbersome to clean with or without chemicals.

Three types of thermoplastics were utilized to assess the effect of temperature and applied stress on the performance of the 3D printed studs. Asphalt concrete samples fitted with thermoplastic studs were tested according to AASHTO & ASTM standards. The thermoplastics tested are: Polylactic acid (PLA), the most common 3D printing material; Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS), a typical 3D printing material which is less rigid than PLA and has a higher melting temperature; Polycarbonate (PC), a strong, high temperature 3D printing material.

A high traffic volume Marshal mix design from the City of Phoenix was obtained and adapted to a Superpave mix design methodology. The mix design is dense-graded with nominal maximum aggregate size of ¾” inch and a PG 70-10 binder. Samples were fabricated and the following tests were performed: Dynamic Modulus |E*| conducted at five temperatures and six frequencies; Flow Number conducted at a high temperature of 50°C, and axial cyclic fatigue test at a moderate temperature of 18°C.

The results from SPT for each 3D printed material were compared to results using brass mounting studs. Validation or rejection of the concept was determined from statistical analysis on the mean and variance of collected SPT test data.

The concept of using 3D printed thermoplastic for mounting stud fabrication is a promising option; however, the concept should be verified with more extensive research using a variety of asphalt mixes and operators to ensure no bias in the repeatability and reproducibility of test results. The Polycarbonate (PC) had a stronger layer bonding than ABS and PLA while printing. It was recommended for follow up studies.

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2018

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Empirical analysis and modeling of freeway merge ratios and lane flow distribution

Description

This dissertation research is concerned with the study of two important traffic phenomena; merging and lane-specific traffic behavior. First, this research investigates merging traffic behavior through empirical analysis and evaluation of freeway merge ratios. Merges are important components of freeways

This dissertation research is concerned with the study of two important traffic phenomena; merging and lane-specific traffic behavior. First, this research investigates merging traffic behavior through empirical analysis and evaluation of freeway merge ratios. Merges are important components of freeways and traffic behavior around them have a significant impact in the evolution and stability of congested traffic. At merges, drivers from conflicting traffic branches take turns to merge into a single stream at a rate referred to as the “merge ratio”. In this research, data from several freeway merges was used to evaluate existing macroscopic merge models and theoretical principles of merging behavior. Findings suggest that current merge ratio estimation methods can be insufficient to represent site-specific merge ratios, due to observed within-site variations and unaccounted effects of downstream merge geometry. To overcome these limitations, merge ratios were formulated based on their site-specific lane flow distribution (LFD), the proportion of flow in each freeway lane, for two types of merge geometries. Results demonstrate that the proposed methods are able to improve merge ratio estimates, reproduce within-site variations of merge ratio, and represent more effectively disproportionate redistribution of merging flow for merges where vehicles compete directly to merge due a downstream lane reduction.

Second, this research investigates lane-specific traffic behavior through empirical analysis and statistical modeling of lane flow distribution. Lane-specific traffic behavior is also an important component in evaluating freeway performance and has a significant impact in the mechanism of queue evolution, particularly around merges, and bottleneck discharge rate. In this research, site-specific linear LFD trends of three-lane congested freeways were investigated and modeled. A large-scale data collection process was implemented to systematically characterize the effects of several traffic and geometric features of freeways in the occurrence of between-site LFD variations. Also, an innovative three-stage modeling framework was used to model LFD behavior using multiple logistic regression to describe between-site LFD variations and Dirichlet regression to model recurrent combinations of linear LFD trends. This novel approach is able to represent both between and within site variations of LFD trends better, while accounting for the unit-sum constraint and distribution assumptions inherent of proportions data. Results revealed that proximity to freeway merges, a site’s level of congestion, and the presence of HOV lanes are significant factors that influence site-specific recurrent LFD behavior.

Findings from this work significantly improve the state-of-the-art knowledge on merging and lane-specific traffic behavior, which can help to improve traffic operations and reduce traffic congestion in freeways.

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2015