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Big Data as a link between travel behaviour, urban infrastructure and traffic conditions to improve road safety

Grant number: 19/05515-5
Support type:Research Grants - Visiting Researcher Grant - International
Duration: July 31, 2021 - August 30, 2021
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Transportation Engineering - Transportation Planning
Cooperation agreement: CONFAP ; Newton Fund, with FAPESP as a partner institution in Brazil ; UK Academies
Principal Investigator:Cassiano Augusto Isler
Grantee:Cassiano Augusto Isler
Visiting researcher: Yue Huang
Visiting researcher institution: University of Leeds, England
Home Institution: Escola Politécnica (EP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


To support smart mobility in urban environment, transport professionals and authorities need to identify the road user group(s) which represent the challenges to urban road capacity and safety, investigate the changes in their demand for transport, and provide the infrastructure to accommodate the evolving attitude, behaviour and technology.This project is a joint initiative between the Transportation Engineering Department of Polytechnic School, University of São Paulo and the Institute for Transport Studies, University of Leeds (UK).The aim of this project is to provide accurate estimation of the changing travel demand and behaviour that pose threat to road safety and journey time reliability. Waze data and supporting database will be used in the context of a middle-sized Brazilian city to analyse drivers' behaviour in response to congestion, real-time traffic information, and to evaluate how the changes in their behaviour effect on the safety of other road users. Findings will be helpful to develop intervention schemes by transport planners, vehicle manufactures, infrastructure and service providers, in a coordinated effort to enhance urban mobility and road safety. To be more specific:- Firstly, the researchers will define the mobility scope through case study of a shared database on traffic condition in a Brazilian city.- Secondly, the researchers will collect data and integrate to existing framework for transport data storage and processing. -Thirdly, the project will analyse how the intervention measures can affect the traffic condition of selected sites on local road network which are of strategic importance, by measuring the travel delay and proneness to accident, before and after the intervention is implemented.- Finally, the likelihood of applying the upgraded framework to larger urban areas such as São Paulo, or other Brazilian cities of similar size will be explored, through dissemination and impact acceleration activities.In addition to desk study and computer simulation, field survey and observation will be undertaken on urban roads of a middle-szie city in Brazil, to identify the key restraints in current road design and operation that lead to congestion and safety hazards to road users. The project will demonstrate that significant reduction of travel time and traffic injuries can be achieved, improving infrastructure service level and economic development in Joinville and potentially other Brazilian cities. The research is motivated by real world problems and challenges. It will provide resources to enable knowledge transfer and build research capacity in Brazil. The project will be supported by the transport authority of the city of Joinville-SC (Secretaria de Planejamento Urbano e Desenvolvimento Sustentável - SEPUD) by means of data access to traffic counts and road infrastructure, and will disseminate the results through publications, media and public engagement. In addition, the project will develop a new academic collaboration between the transport departments at University of São Paulo and the University of Leeds. This project output will pump prime funding from Brazil and UK research councils for further collaborative projects. The research is multi-disciplinary, drawing different expertise from two research groups with similar aspirations for improving urban mobility road safety. The project comprises a placement visit by Dr Yue Huang to Brazil in March to April, 2020. The proposed visit aims at raising the profile of the research to a wider audience including industry and government, as well as understanding the local problems, opportunities and challenges. Additionally, the expected outputs include a paper published in high impact factor transportation related journal and long-term collaboration between the collaborating researchers. (AU)