It was a bittersweet moment last week when, for the first time in over a year, the DalTRAC Team was able to meet up in-person as a send off to Postdoctoral Research Associate, Dr. Nazmul Arefin Khan and Project Coordinator, Katie Walker. Dr. Nazmul Arefin Khan will be pursuing a Computational Transportation Engineer position with the Argonne National Laboratory in Chicago, IL and Katie Walker will be working with Esri in Charlotte, NC. Wishing the best of luck to these two in their future endeavors!
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.
This week marks one of DalTRAC’s most important research dissemination events of the year. The 99th Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board is held from Sunday January 12th to Thursday January 16th in Washington D.C. The meeting attracts more than 13,000 transportation professionals world-wide. Monday and Tuesday have been busy days for the DalTRAC team.
Dr. Ahsan Habib gave a presentation on the applications of VR in transportation planning and how this technology can be used for future developments.
Nazmul also presented his research on a Shorter-term Decisions Simulator (SDS) model for mode choice and vehicle allocation in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Nazmul and Dr. Habib presented Katie Walker’s research during the TRB conference on Connect Smart Scenario Planning. This research considers challenges and opportunities associated with developing a framework for connected, autonomous, shared and electric (CASE) vehicles in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Md Jahedul Alam presented Pauline Laila Bela’s research on emission modelling in Halifax, Canada. He also presented his own research on mass evacuation planning and microsimulation modelling to estimate flood risk and traffic conditions.
Md Asif Hasan Anik presenting his research on public bus discomfort based on different trip attributes.
Dr. Habib also met up with past DalTRAC students during the conference, Shalia Jamal (left) and Mahmudur Fatmi (right).
Lastly, Shaila Jamal presented research with Dr. Habib on the impacts of smartphones on travel behaviour.
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.
It’s been a busy week for DalTRAC’s director Dr. Ahsan Habib, and PhD student Nazmul Khan, who are currently on the other side of the world in Mumbai, India. From May 26th to May 31st, prominent transportation experts from around the globe have gathered at the 15th World Conference on Transportation Research. This event represents an excellent opportunity for the exchange of ideas on topics ranging from transportation modelling, to disaster management, to urban goods movement.
Beyond going to learn about global transportation research, members of DalTRAC were recognized for their contributions to the field. On Thursday, DalTRAC’s own Nazmul Khan received the Young Initiative Prestige Grant Award for his work on a vehicle allocation model. This global recognition emphasizes both the importance and the quality of work that DalTRAC undertakes. Congratulations to Nazmul!
Dr. Ahsan Habib, DalTRAC’s director, was also on the ground in Mumbai. Building on research undertaken by DalTRAC, Dr. Habib gave a presentation on ridesourcing (which includes services such as Uber and Lyft). A highlight of WCTR was Dr. Habib’s involvement as a co-applicant for a Canadian effort to bring the conference to the great white north in 2022. After months of planning and coordination, it was announced that in 2022, WCTR will be held in Montreal – a momentous achievement.
With WCTR coming to a close, DalTRAC now is looking forward to continuing its important research, and to attending other transportation-related events such as the Transportation Association of Canada conference happening right here in Halifax in September.
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.