SmartDrive: A Cleaner and More Efficient Traffic System through Network Vehicles and Infrastructure

Principal Investigator(s):

Henry Liu, Former Professor, Civil, Environmental and Geo-Engineering


  • David Du, Professor, Computer Science and Engineering
  • Zongxuan Sun, Professor, CCEFP Dir., Mechanical Engineering

Project summary:

It is the year 2020. Internet of vehicles has come to reality. Vehicles can communicate with the infrastructure and each other easily and securely. Through ubiquitous communication, drivers are advised on the best route to take and the optimal speed to drive to lower travel delay and congestion stress. Based on the predicted traffic conditions, traffic lights are optimized to improved system efficiency. Best of all, through networked vehicles and infrastructure, not only is the driver better informed, his or her vehicle is also traffic aware; power train is optimally managed according to the predicted traffic conditions to save energy consumption and reduce carbon footprint. Such a vision is no longer simply science fiction, but a likely reality in the not-so-distant future. However, to realize the vision, the existing technology barriers to the interfaces among traffic systems, vehicle systems, and communication systems must be removed. Technology innovations and scientific breakthroughs are needed and can only be addressed by a multidisciplinary team, because the key is to break the boundaries between traffic engineering, mechanical engineering, and computer science. This project's research team is uniquely positioned to take on this challenge, and its goal is to make Minnesota the forefront of this interdisciplinary field. The three co-PIs of this project come from three different departments, and each has a proven track record in their distinct fields of study.

Project details: