Driving Simulator Lab

TECH 255
12 Leonard H O Spearman Technology Building

The Driving Simulator Lab has a state-of-the-art motion capable high-fidelity driving simulator installed. The visual display consists of 7 large screens with 270 degree wide-angle field of view. In addition, auditory feedback is provided through stereo components. A motion – platform provides initial cues in the form of pitch and longitudinal motion. A validated vehicle dynamics program governs the behavior of the vehicles in the simulation. All of these provide a true-to-life, scientifically validated driving experience. Students will have a comprehensive training on various aspects including the design and creation of testing scenarios and the design of posterior questionnaires. Students will be well equipped with skills such as experimental design, computer programming, software application, questionnaire progressing, roadway design, and traffic signal timing. With such training, students will be more equipped with practical experiences in traffic operations, transportation safety, intelligent transportation system and technology, and even transportation psychology. Students will have better and broader job opportunities in transportation management centers (e.g. Houston TranStar), metropolitan planning organizations (e.g. Houston-Galveston Area Council), and various private companies and government agencies. The driving simulator is a very powerful tool for conducting advanced transportation research including:

  • Assessment of Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) concepts
  • Driver preference and acceptance research
  • Accident analysis and development of crash avoidance counter-measures
  • Design and evaluation of automotive products and technologies

It has been and will continue to be the essential research asset to enhance the research productivity and funding opportunities for TSU.

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Vehicle Emission Lab

TECH 264

With the advanced Portable Emission Measurement System (PEMS) – Axion in the Department of Transportation Studies, we are able to measure the second-by-second real-world fuel consumption, Greenhouse Gas (GHG) and pollutant emissions from a variety of on-road vehicles and non-road equipment such as yard tractors, construction machinery, forklifts, locomotives, small aircraft, etc.

The students will be training to learn how to use the equipment PEMS for collecting vehicle emission in the field study. This is a very practical training with interdisciplinary skills required.

Students will receive interdisciplinary trainings, not only in transportation operation and management, but also in vehicle emission testing and modeling, and environment technology and science. Due to the nature of the training, students will have the opportunity to learn some basic knowledge on vehicle manufacturing. Students attended the trainings from this lab, will be more competitive in finding jobs in even wider areas such as transportation engineering, environment protection agencies and companies, and even vehicle engineering.

The vehicle emission testing equipment PEMS is a very advanced device that can measure real time vehicle emissions and fuel consumption. Axion is composed of five components: the dual five-gas analyzer, the Particulate Matter (PM) monitor, the engine data obtaining subsystem, the Global Position Systems (GPS), and the on-board computer. This PEMS equipment is a very convenient and powerful tool for conducting advanced transportation and environmental research in evaluating the impacts of adopting environmental-friendly traffic management strategies to reduce air quality and energy consumptions. This is a great asset for TSU to win more external funding.

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Mini TranStar Lab

TECH 155

The Mini-TranStar lab in the Department of Transportation Studies was established in 2006 according to an agreement between Texas Southern University (TSU) and Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), which allows TSU to access all the real time Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) traffic videos and speed data that are currently available in Houston Traffic Management Center (TMC), named TranStar.
This lab is equipped with an exclusive internet connection between the Houston TranStar and TSU lab. In the lab, there are five big LCD monitors and a couple of computers for displaying, selecting, recording and analyzing traffic video imagines. The main function of this lab is to provide a surveillance of real-time traffic at any location on Houston freeways. Mini-TranStar Lab will be used for the courses TMGT810, TMGT812, and TMGT862.

Traffic management centers (TMCs) deploy traffic management strategies to reduce congestion and coordinate state and local authorities during daily traffic or special events and emergencies. Accessibility of a mini traffic management center at the school and the work experience with the equipment in this lab provide the students better opportunities to apply for the jobs in the area of traffic management and operations.

Mini-TranStar Lab combines use of the research lab and real-world Traffic Management Center. The lab is equipped with TrafficVision TMC Remote unit which can process and analyze the real-time or recorded traffic videos, and collect traffic related data from any locations on Houston freeways to support the researches in transportation operation, safety and security areas. This lab can maximize the efficiency and productivity of the research work in the Department of Transportation Studies.

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Mobile Traffic Van

The Autoscope Van in the Department of Transportation Studies is a mobile ITS data collecting system, which is named as Mobile Traffic Lab. It is equipped with two Autoscope Solo Pro cameras that are mounted on a 42′ telescoping mast. By connecting with the computer and video recording equipment in the van, these two cameras can simultaneously process, record and store traffic data.
The Autoscope van is an effective tool for collecting on-site, real time traffic data at any locations – heavily traveled freeways, busy signalized intersections, work zones, or remote rural locations. In addition, it is a non-intrusive data collection device – it does not require placing or installing any equipment in travel lanes. The Autoscope van will serve as a platform for a wider range of transportation studies.

Undergraduate student in a traffic field study.


Traffic Simulation Lab

TECH 217

Traffic simulation lab was established in the Department of Transportation Studies to provide students the opportunities to learn the most up-to-date traffic simulation software, e.g. CORSIM, VISSIM, SIMTRAFFIC, PARAMICS, DynaSIM, TRANSIMS, etc. There are 10 computers equipped with advanced Traffic simulation software. Students can learn how to use these software to build up roadway networks, design different traffic scenarios, and run traffic simulations to test or validate the performance of different roadway design and traffic control alternatives. Regular trainings or workshops will be held in the lab by faculty or invited experts.

Transportation professionals has used traffic simulation as an important tool for testing different traffic design alternatives in a realistic and highly detailed manner before field implementation. It has been widely used in the industrial and academic fields. With the state-of-the-art simulation software in this traffic simulation lab, students would learn important skills related to the use of these software, which could significantly improve their employment opportunities in both transportation related public and private sectors.

This laboratory enables TSU researchers conduct advanced transportation researches including 1) development, evaluation and fine-tuning of signal priority logic, 2) evaluation and optimization of traffic operations in a combined network of coordinated and actuated traffic signals, 3) easy comparison of design alternatives at intersections, roundabouts and grade separated interchanges, 4) modeling and simulating flows of pedestrians, etc. The enhanced research capabilities for TSU researchers will be an advantage when applying for external funding.

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Traffic Signal Lab

TECH 250

Traffic Signal Lab is a state-of-the-art laboratory dedicated to education, training, and research for traffic signal operations. The lab includes TS-2 Type 2 traffic signal cabinet, NEMA cabinet display, several ATC NEMA traffic signal controllers, and other traffic signal related equipment. Traffic Signal Lab will be used for the course TMGT865, and it will familiarize students with the design and interpretation of traffic signal plans, the components of a traffic signal system, and advanced traffic signal controls. Furthermore, the lab will expose the students to the complexities involved in setting up and maintaining traffic signal cabinets, and traffic signal operations.

This lab provides us the capability of conducting full intersection signal control demonstrations and tests. The unique environment of the Traffic Signal Lab exposes students to the complexities of setting up and maintaining traffic signal controllers, conflict monitors, load switches, detection and communication systems on traffic signal cabinets; and as a result, the students will have hands-on experiments working with traffic signal related equipment. Having those educations and experiences will provide the students better opportunities to apply for the jobs in all areas of traffic operations. It also can be used for educating and training of signal technicians and traffic engineers in the public and private sectors.

The Traffic Signal Lab has been also established to support research in the area of traffic operations. The lab employs Controller Interface Device (CID) units linking the actual traffic signal controllers with traffic micro-simulation software (hardware-in-the-loop simulation, HILS).This system provides us the capability of designing and testing optimized signal control strategies in a virtual environment. It allows for the realistic evaluation of controller operations and the traffic control strategies without disturbing real traffic flow. It is an essential research asset that will enhance the research productivities and funding opportunities for TSU.

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Maritime Transportation Lab

TECH 266

In the Maritime Transportation students will learn about various aspects of the maritime industry, specifically the three national priorities of logistics, security, and the environment that our program focuses on. This education includes use of state of the art computers and software germane to the maritime industry. There will be 30 computers in the laboratory for students to learn through instructional class time and for independent study and research.

Maritime Transportation Lab is equipped with “PortVision Plus”, a web-based information system, which allows maritime researchers to track commercial vessel traffic, including real-time locations and historical Automatic Identification System (AIS) data. This lab empowers researchers with the knowledge about real-time vessel and terminal activities. With this lab, researchers can set real-time email alerts for immediate notification of arrival, departure or passing events for selected vessel or fleet, as well as the recent arrival or departure history. It processes over 50 million vessel positions in over 400 regions around the world each day, and has the ability to customize map display to track specific vessel of interest. This lab also has access to marine vessel crash database archived by US Coast Guard.

The Maritime Transportation Lab is also the location of the annual Summer Maritime Academy, a program for high school juniors and seniors designed to introduce students to the maritime industry.

The Maritime Transportation Laboratory will contribute towards enhancing research capabilities and improve funding opportunities for the Department of Transportation Studies by: 1) students will have access to state of the art computers and technology to conduct research in the maritime industry, specifically in the national priorities of logistics, security and the environment; and 2) the department will have the technical resources to pursue funding opportunities that propose cutting edge and state of the art research in the maritime industry.

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RM 266 Maritime Lab- 1 RM 266