It’s January which means DalTRAC is busy gearing up for the Transportation Research Board (TRB) Annual Meeting! This year, the meeting will be held entirely online. Committee meetings are hosted between January 5-8 and 11-15. Sessions and exhibits are held between January 21-22 and 25-29. You can view the entire online program here.
Yesterday brought some good news for DalTRAC, as PhD candidate, Nazmul Arefin Khan successfully defended his dissertation (from a safe social distance, of course) and has now completed all the requirements of his PhD degree.
Nazmul’s dissertation develops an activity-based travel demand forecasting model, which addresses the underlying process mechanisms and interactions between various activity and travel attributes. His research not only contributes to travel demand modelling and forecasting literature but also provides critical insights to the evolution of urban activity and travel decisions which can be used to test alternative transportation and land use policies.
Nazmul has been conducting research with DalTRAC for six years now and his hard work and dedication have certainly paid off! Congratulations Nazmul, we cannot wait to see what exciting opportunities the future will bring for you!
This weekend marked the first ever CAA Atlantic Hackathon. The Hackathon was a weekend-long event that invited people from multiple disciplines to work together to solve transportation issues in Atlantic Canada. Sponsors and partners for this event included CAA, DalTRAC, HotSpot, LiftoffCapital, Innovate Atlantic Inc., Flexwork, and Staples.
To start the event and inspire its participants, Dr. Ahsan Habib gave a presentation on research for the future of mobility that discussed connected, autonomous, shared and electric vehicles as well as traffic microsimulation model of shared autonomous fleets and their impacts on the Halifax Peninsula.
In addition to networking and mentoring opportunities, event participants were given the chance to test an Amazon Web Services (AWS) DeepRacer by Deloitte. A DeepRacer is a fully autonomous miniature race car driven by reinforcement learning. The machine learns through a cloud-based 3D racing simulator.
On Saturday, Next Ride, a not-for-profit low carbon transportation initiative supplied an electric vehicle and a plug-in hybrid for Hackahton participants to drive or ride in as a passenger. Next Ride tours Nova Scotia to help Nova Scotians experience an electric ride. To learn more, visit their website.
The entrepreneurship and innovation seen at the event this weekend was phenomenal with business and software solutions that focused on active transportation, carpooling, car maintenance, city planning and design, and courier services. Prizes were given for best software or hardware, best business case, and best overall submission.
DalTRAC would like to say a big THANK YOU to CAA Atlantic, Arcacia Projects and Events Ltd., and all sponsors and participants who helped make this event a success!
Congratulations to DalTRAC team members, MD Jahedul Alam and MD Asif Hasan Anik for being awarded the Izaak Walton Killam Predoctoral Scholarships! These scholarships awarded to outstanding students planning to enroll or already enrolled in thesis-based programs (at the Master’s or Doctoral level). The Izaak Walton Killam Predoctoral Scholarships are considered to be the most prestigious graduate awards administered by Dalhousie University.
Earlier this week, Halifax hosted the largest Transportation Conference in Canada. The Transportation Association of Canada (TAC) and Intelligent Transportation Systems Canada (ITS Canada) teamed up to organize the 2019 TAC-ITS Joint Conference and Exhibition. This conference saw over 400 presentations split up into 70 sessions, panel discussions, workshops and keynote presentations that touched on topics from road operations and safety to connected autonomous vehicles and other forms of new mobility. DalTRAC was fortunate enough to share our research in five different presentations and one panel discussion.
The panel session discussed the importance of emergency management, flood and evacuation traffic modelling, and evacuation preparedness. In the wake of Hurricane Dorian, it is clear that discussions like these are precedent in Nova Scotia. Speakers at this session included Dr. Ahsan Habib, Director of the School of Planning and DalTRAC; Dr. Kevin Quigley Professor and Director of the MacEachen Institute for Public Policy and Governance; Erica Fleck, Division Chief Emergency Management with Halifax Regional Fire and Emergency; And Emilie Pothier, a recent Bachelor of Community Design grad and Research Assistant at DalTRAC.
That same morning, PhD Candidate MD Jahedul Alam presented his research on evacuation route determination based on a mass evacuation mircosimulation Model. Later that afternoon, DalTRAC hosted a seminar with guest Dr. Eric Miller who presented his and his student’s research on analyzing mobility service data in the city of Toronto.
The next day was a busy one for DalTRAC. In the morning, Dr. Ahsan Habib presented his and his student’s, Pauline Laila Bela’s, research on the development of an urban transport network and emission model for the city of Halifax. In the same session, PhD Candidate, Nazmul Arefin Khan, presented his work on a microsimulation of mode choice decisions within an activity-based shorter-term decision simulator. That afternoon, Dr. Ahsan Habib presented two more presentations, the first discussing the research by Dr. Habib and Research Assistant, Stephen McCarthy on the relationships between travel behaviour and health and the second presenting the research by Dr. Habib and Project Coordinator, Katie Walker on the planning considerations and research needs of new mobility through a participatory approach.
We would like to that all of those who came out to watch our presentations as well as the organizations that sponsored and hosted the event.
On Friday the 22nd, DalTRAC hosted another successful workshop as part of the Connect2 program. The multidisciplinary group of participants collaborated to create four diverse scenarios regarding the future of new mobility in Nova Scotia. Participants also discussed potential implications and follow-up strategies for each scenario. The four scenarios generated are as follows:
i. Blue Sky Mobility
ii. Eagerly Prepared BUT Disappointed
iii. Evolution of the Status Quo
iv. The Great Atlantic Wheel-spin
Another successful year of DalTRAC students’ transport research – 10 full papers accepted for 98th Annual Meetings of Transportation Research Board, the most prestigious conference (12,000+ delegates) in this field. One of the paper is emerged from PLAN 6000: Independent Project report, and another paper is co-authored by a recent BCD student. Our presentations start Sunday, January 14-17. Good luck presenters and contributors.