Intelligent Transportation Systems Conference

Hilton, Anchorage, AK, USA ; 16 Sep - 19 Sep 2012

Special Session Organizers:

Dr. Zhixia Li, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Dr. Heng Wei, University of Cincinnati

Special Session Co-Organizers:

Dr. Javier J. Sánchez Medina, University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain
Dr. Ryan N. Fries, Southern Illinois University
Dr. Xuesong Zhou, University of Utah


The importance of applying advanced communication, detection, and computational technologies to highway transportation systems has been arising in different areas of transportation society, especially for addressing various safety and congestion issues at arterial corridors and intersections. The continuously increasing traffic demand has revealed the inability of traditional traffic control systems to accommodate traffic in a safe and efficient manner. At the same time, numerous innovative concepts and unconventional solutions, which apply advanced technologies into traffic management and control, have emerged extensively. They are intended to promote both mobility and safety of exiting traffic systems, or explore long-term solutions that are potentially applied in future practice. The advanced technologies and innovative concepts include but are not limited to:

 • Machine-learning and other artificial intelligence techniques in traffic control and management

 • Advanced detection technologies and computational methods in intersection signal control

 • Autonomous vehicle management, including autonomous vehicle control strategies at intersections

 • ITS solutions in collision avoidance systems and incidence management systems

 • Computational methods and advanced technologies in speed enforcement, travel time prediction, intersection delay estimation, traffic state estimation, vehicle classification, and bottleneck traffic operations

 • GIS-T technologies in addressing traffic safety and real-time traffic management

 • Simulation techniques in promoting traffic safety

This special session is designated to invite relevant experts in traffic operations and management as well as highway safety to share their latest research and practical experiences in the aforementioned areas of interests. The objective of the special session is to provide a discussion forum focusing on the emerging advanced technologies and innovative concepts for promoting traffic safety and mobility.

Name and Contact Information for Organizers

Co-organizer: Zhixia Li, Ph.D., Research Associate, Traffic Operations and Safety (TOPS) Laboratory, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, 1249A Engineering Hall, 1415 Engineering Drive, Madison WI 53706, Tel: 513-556-3781; Fax: (608) 262-5199; Email:

Organizer: Heng Wei, Ph.D., P.E., Associate Professor, Director, ART-Engines Transportation Research Laboratory, School of Advanced Structures , College of Engineering & Applied Science, 792 Rhodes Hall, ML-0071, The University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio 45221-0071, Tel: 513-556-3781; Fax: 513-556-2599; Email:

Co-organizer: Javier J. Sánchez Medina, CICEI, University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain

Co-organizer: Ryan N. Fries, Ph.D., P.E., Assistant Professor, Southern Illinois University,

Co-organizer: Xuesong Zhou, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, University of Utah,

Biography of Organizers:

Zhixia Li, Ph.D., is a Research Associate at Traffic Operations and Safety (TOPS) Laboratory at University of Wisconsin-Madison. The areas of his research specialties and interests include intelligent transportation systems (ITS), autonomous vehicle management, technologies and strategies in traffic signal control and related human behavior, microscopic traffic simulation modeling, GIS applications in highway safety and traffic operations, and ITS solutions in advanced traffic information and management systems. He received his B.E. in Electrical Engineering from Sun Yat-sen University and Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from University of Cincinnati. Since 2003, Dr. Li has been engaging in a variety of research and practical projects in advanced traffic information management, traffic operations and safety, and autonomous vehicle management. Before joining the University of Cincinnati in 2007, he was an ITS Software Engineer at Shanghai Baosight Software Company.

Dr. Li has been actively involved in a number of research projects including FHWA sponsored projects on next generation autonomous intersection control, yellow light dilemma zone modeling and optimal loop placement for vehicle classification, Wisconsin DOT funded research projects on GIS-based horizontal curve safety, and simulation-based analysis of roundabouts at ramp terminals, as well as an Ohio DOT funded research project on optimal detector placement for yellow light dilemma zone protection. As an ITS Engineer, Dr. Li participated in many ITS projects on advanced traffic information and management systems (ATMIS) for transportation infrastructures in Shanghai, China. He is one of the major developers of iCentroView, a software product widely used in ATMIS centers for various major freeways, tunnels, and bridges in China. Dr. Li is also a co-developer of VEVID, a video-capture based software package that can extract vehicular and pedestrian trajectories from digital videos. VEVID has been successfully applied in a number of research projects for collecting vehicle’s location and speed data. Also, Dr. Li is the developer of an ArcGIS tool which can automatically extract the information of all horizontal curves from GIS roadway maps. This method draws extensive attentions from government agencies after presented at the 2012 TRB annual meeting. Dr. Li’s recent research is focused on investigating strategies for next generation intersection control for fully autonomous vehicles, and applying advanced detection technologies and computational methods to yellow light dilemma zone protection.

So far, Dr. Li has published fifteen research papers in peer-reviewed journals and international conferences, and his other five papers are currently under review. He is also an author of a chapter “Traffic Signals” in Traffic Control Device Handbook which is to be published by the Institute of Transportation Engineers. Dr. Li is an inventor of two software patents, and the recipient of five national and international awards. His research on yellow-light driving behavior with his Ph.D. advisor Dr. Heng Wei has been reported by the Washington Post, the Times of India,,, and many other major international media.

Heng Wei, Ph.D., P.E., is an associate professor of transportation systems and engineering in the School of Advanced Structures at The University of Cincinnati (UC). He has a wide spectrum of research interests and expertise in transportation systems, including intelligent transportation systems (ITS), traffic operation and management, safety and operation, transportation activities and project-level traffic-operation-related air quality analysis, computing and information technologies in transportation infrastructure systems, microscopic traffic simulation modeling, traffic flow theory and travel demand forecasting, artificial intelligent techniques in transportation, geographic information system (GIS) application in transportation, vehicle trajectory data extraction, and ITS security and survival systems engineering. Since joining UC, he has secured 27 research projects (including 7 Co-PI projects) totaling to $4.3M (total individual share of 1.6M) from ODOT, FHWA, NSF, OTC, EPA, and UC URC/FDC. His research has resulted in 112 peer-reviewed papers and 8 professional books/chapters. He has won 8 professional awards and honors for his outstanding research and education achievements. He is a member of numerous outstanding professional committees, such as TRB ABE90 Committee, ASCE T&DI Committee on Advanced Technology Committee and Transportation Safety, and ASCE T&DI Committee on Sustainability and Environment. He is the Chair of IEEE ITSS Travel Information and Traffic Management Committee and President of Chinese Overseas Transportation Association (COTA). In addition, he has successfully organized and/or chaired 14 international conferences, or symposiums, or their sessions. Since joining UC in 2004, Dr. Wei has successfully rehabilitated transportation engineering program that was established by Dr. Prahlad Pant who retired in 2003, and to date, it has become a compelling research and study program with great teaching curriculum and an excellent standing in national and international academic services. More significantly, he established the Advanced Research Transportation Engineering and Systems (ART-Engines) Laboratory through the support of the start-up fund and other external funding. The ART-Engines Lab has become a solid transportation research base, which has provided a venue for research activities of seven Ph.D. students (two graduated and one will soon), 12 Thesis M.S students (six graduated) and seven Non-Thesis Option (NTO) M.S. students (five graduated). Dr. Wei has adapted the STEMS (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math, and System) approach to train transportation graduate students to boost their interdisciplinary research abilities or skills in real-world problem identification, problem-solving procedure and solution development, and solution alternatives evaluation. As a result of my persistent dedication to this endeavor, four Ph.D. students (Mr. Zhixia Li, Mr. Qingyi Ai, Mr. Harikishan Perugu, and Mr. Zhuo Yao) and two M.S. students (Mr. Nagaraju Kashayi, and Miss. Maria F. Ramirez-Bernal) have won totally 11 top awards at regional and national student paper competitions and scholarships. Breakthrough achievements have been gained at the ART-Engines lab in terms of microscopic vehicular travel behavior and simulation modeling, loop-based vehicle classification modeling, dilemma zone related safety issues, and ITS-based transportation sustainability and environment integration issues. Dr. Wei developed a new method to extract vehicular trajectory data from digitized video files along with the software, Vehicle Video-Capture Data Collector (VEVID). Dr. Wei successfully conducted field observations and collected valuable vehicular trajectory data with the use of VEVID. He discovered new findings of vehicular travel behaviors at lane-vehicle level, and revealed inherencies and mechanism of dilemma zone dynamics and vehicle classification with dual-loop sensors. Dr. Wei’s recent research is focused on integration of traffic operation with emission impact via various advanced traffic and emission monitoring technologies. He has been awarded with several research grants from EPA, Ohio DOT, FHWA, Ohio Transportation Consortium, as well as University of Cincinnati Research Council. Dr. Wei’s hard work in conjunction with his bright research plan in exploring the cutting-edge, interdisciplinary issues is anticipated to produce fruitful achievements in the near future. Prior to joining The University of Cincinnati, Dr. Wei was a lecturer faculty for University of Southern California and California State Polytechnic University at Pomona, where he offered civil and transportation engineering courses at both undergraduate and graduate levels. In addition, Dr. Wei has five years of industrial experience and has involved in various transportation infrastructure design, maintenance, and operations, and ITS projects. Representative projects include the Illinois DOT Transportation System Center Upgrade Project (Chicago Illinois), US National ITS Architecture Maintenance Project, FAST-TRAC Traffic Information Management System Maintenance Project (Oakland County, Michigan), Michigan DOT ITS Center Software Maintenance Project, the City of Franklin TMC Build Project (Tennessee), and Traffic Control and Monitoring System ITS Project (Pasadena, California). Through those practices, Dr. Wei has accumulated hand-on experiences in applications of advanced computing, communication and information technologies in transportation systems. Moreover, Dr. Wei had participated in several major transportation planning and travel demand forecasting, traffic impact and signal control improvement projects for cities in Kansas, Missouri, Wisconsin, and California, as well as, freeway system operation assessment project for Wisconsin DOT.

Prior Special Sessions by Organizers:

• Heng Wei: Organizer and Chair of Special Session on Advanced Technologies and Innovative Concepts to Highway Safety, the 9th IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Transportation Systems, Toronto, Canada, September 17-20, 2006.

• Heng Wei: Organizer and Chair of Special Session on Study and Potential Solutions to Evacuation Planning Issues, the 9th IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Transportation Systems, Toronto, Canada, September 17-20, 2006.

• Heng Wei: Organizer and Chair of Special Session on Traffic Congestion & Safety – Unconventional Solutions (TuA5)” at the 10th IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Transportation Systems, Seattle, Washington, Sept. 30 – Oct. 3, 2007.

• Heng Wei: Organizer and Chair of Special Session on “Traffic Congestion & Safety – Emerging Innovative Solutions (TuB5)” at the 10th IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Transportation Systems, Seattle, Washington, Sept. 30 – Oct. 3, 2007.

• Javier J. Sánchez Medina: Organizer and Chair of the 1st Workshop on Traffic Behavior, Modeling and Optimization, 13th International IEEE Conference on Intelligent Transportation Systems, Madeira Island, Portugal, September 19-22, 2010.