Can you share a little bit about yourself and your role at SafeTREC?
I'm a Graduate Student Researcher at SafeTREC, working as a primary developer of a Virtual Reality (VR) bicycle simulator.
What sparked your interest in transportation safety research?
During the brainstorm for our Capstone project that I worked on with SafeTREC Co-Director Offer Grembek, we noticed that traffic-related deaths and severe injuries plague modern society. While city governments have made efforts to change the most dangerous components of transportation infrastructure that cause these crashes, they often come too little too late. As a tentative solution, we proposed that an easy-to-use platform that encourages its users to submit their incidents that would not otherwise make it to a police report, can prove to be extremely valuable to city governments in deciding where to prioritize their transportation safety improvements. That's where SafeTREC's Street Story, a successful practice of crowdsourcing data applications, inspired our next steps. After discussion, we developed a mobile app as part of my capstone project called SafeTport for users to report and view the traffic hazards and crashes during their travel.
What current projects are you working on at SafeTREC?
I'm working on the Bicycle Level of Service (BLOS) project. We are building a bike simulator to collect behavior and preference data from different types of cyclists towards different types of bike lanes.
What issues are you particularly interested or passionate about?
What interests me is the application of emerging technologies in the field of traffic engineering. SafeTport represents the application of crowdsourced data in the field of pedestrian safety. The BLOS project that I am currently working on with SafeTREC from Caltrans is very relevant to my interests, which gives me a great opportunity to explore the possibilities of virtual reality technology in the study of traffic safety behavior.
What do you like to do outside of work?
I really like photography.
This Spotlight interview was conducted in collaboration with UC Berkeley SafeTREC. The opinions and perspectives expressed are those of the interviewee and not necessarily those of SafeTREC.