Smart and Scalable Urban Traffic Control
[Dr. Xiao-Feng Xie, the lead inventor of SURTRAC Email]

Smart and Scalable URban TRAffic Control (SURTRAC) is a real-time, adaptive traffic control system that optimizes the highly dynamic traffic flow in complex urban road networks.

As the lead inventor of SURTRAC, Dr. Xiao-Feng Xie has created its core control engine, Co-SchIC, which combines schedule-driven intersection control (SchIC) with decentralized coordination mechanisms. He has also designed and realized the strengthening strategies to enable the real-world operations of SURTRAC in the field.

His relevant research work also includes: multimodal traffic control (assisted with machine learning and computer vision techniques), integration with decentralized route choice models and dynamic congestion pricing protocols, vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communication with connected vehicles, energy efficiency optimization, and data-driven self-learning and active congestion management based on performance measurement.

Real-World Deployments

- (Phase I) Deployed the the initial smart traffic lights for a network with nine intersections in the East Liberty neighborhood, Pittsburgh, PA. The system has been running since June 2012. Improvements of over 25% reductions in travel times, over 40% reductions in idle time, and a projected reduction in emissions of over 21% were achieved.

- (Phase II) Expanded the intelligent traffic signal control system further to include nine more intersections in the Bakery Square neighborhood, Pittsburgh, PA. The expanded system has been running since Oct 2013. Improvements of over 24% reductions in travel times, over 41% reductions in idle time, and a projected reduction in emissions of over 20% were achieved.

  • [Jun 18, 2014] As the lead inventor, filed the U.S. non-provisional patent application for SURTRAC.
  • [Oct 03, 2014] CMU SCS 25th Anniversary: The smart, adaptable traffic signal system is listed as 25 Great Things About SCS.
  • [Oct 10, 2014] Presented the work on multimodal urban traffic control at the IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Transportation Systems, Qingdao, China.
  • Xiao-Feng Xie, S. Smith, G. Barlow. Smart and Scalable Urban Signal Networks: Methods and Systems for Adaptive Traffic Signal Control. U.S. Patent Pending, Application No. 14/308,238, 2014.
  • Xiao-Feng Xie, S. Smith, Ting-Wei Chen, G. Barlow. Real-time traffic control for sustainable urban living. IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITSC), Qingdao, China, 2014: 1863-1868.
  • Aravindh Mahendran, S. Smith, Martial Hebert, Xiao-Feng Xie. Bus Detection for Adaptive Traffic Signal Control. T-SET UTC Technical Report, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA, 2014.

  • Xiao-Feng Xie, Yiheng Feng, S. Smith, K. Larry Head. Unified route choice framework and empirical study in urban traffic control environment. Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, 2014.
  • Xiao-Feng Xie, S. Smith, G. Barlow, Ting-Wei Chen. Coping with real-world challenges in real-time urban traffic control. Transportation Research Board (TRB) Annual Meeting, Washington, DC, USA, 2014.
  • S. Smith, G. Barlow, Xiao-Feng Xie, Z. Rubinstein. Smart urban signal networks: Initial application of the SURTRAC adaptive traffic signal control system. International Conference on Automated Planning and Scheduling (ICAPS), Rome, Italy, 2013: 434-442.
  • Xiao-Feng Xie, S. Smith, G. Barlow. Schedule-driven coordination for real-time traffic network control. International Conference on Automated Planning and Scheduling (ICAPS), Sao Paulo, Brazil, 2012: 323-331.
  • Xiao-Feng Xie, S. Smith, G. Barlow. Coordinated look-ahead scheduling for real-time traffic signal control. International Joint Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems (AAMAS), Valencia, Spain, 2012: 1271-1272. [DOI]
  • Xiao-Feng Xie, S. Smith, Liang Lu, G. Barlow. Schedule-driven intersection control. Transportation Research Part C: Emerging Technologies, 2012, 24: 168-189. [DOI]
  • Xiao-Feng Xie, G. Barlow, S. Smith, Z. Rubinstein. Platoon-based self-scheduling for real-time traffic signal control. IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITSC), Washington, DC, USA, 2011, 879-884. [DOI]

  • This research was supported in part by the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, with support from the Hillman Foundation, the Heinz Endowments, the Richard King Mellon Foundation.
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