Collaborative Sciences Center for Road Safety (CSCRS)

UC Berkeley SafeTREC is excited to be a part of the Collaborative Sciences Center for Road Safety (CSCRS), a U.S. Department of Transportation-funded National University Transportation Center led by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Highway Safety Research Center.

CSCRS is one of five national University Transportation Centers announced in November 2016. The Center unites leading university transportation research, planning, public health, data science and engineering programs with the mission to create and exchange knowledge to advance transportation safety through a multidisciplinary, Safe Systems approach.

The UC Berkeley team, led by SafeTREC Co-Director Offer Grembek, is one of four university consortium members, along with Duke University, Florida Atlantic University and University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Research Projects

Learn more about the UC Berkeley SafeTREC CSCRS research projects:

Education and Professional Development

In addition to the research efforts, SafeTREC conducts educational and professional development activities to support CSCRS goals and provide opportunities to engage staff and professionals working in several disciplines including public health, engineering, planning, data science and robotics. These activities also include student fellowship, research grant, and travel opportunities. The following are now open for application:

The Fall 2019 CSCRS Road Safety Fellows


Yingjia Feng headshotYingjia Feng, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Evaluate the Quality of the Biking Environment Based on Large-scale Analysis of Google Street View Images

My research aims to establish a methodology to evaluate the biking environment of city streets by conducting image segmentation on Google street view photos. The research will especially focus on identifying a set of better indicators from the segmentation results that can be the index of evaluating the biking environment for safety, and improve the accuracy of the evaluating method.

I'm feeling very lucky to be selected as a CSCRS fellow because this is the first time that my research interest is valued by other people. I'm very excited to start a whole new journey here with all the other fellows.


Guillaume GoujardGuillaume Goujard, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Impact of a Traffic Light Failure on the Risk of Crashes at Intersections

The road network can be disrupted by various causes. A power outage deactivating signal lights is just one example of the many potential causes of massive road network disruptions. Other causes include natural disasters (earthquakes, hurricanes, etc.), or even cyber attacks. The impact of these extreme events has a significant impact on road safety and the goal of my project will be to quantify it. 

I am honored to have been selected as a CSCRS Fellow. This award, by providing me with resources and mentoring, will allow me to contribute to this exciting field of research.


Chester Harvey headshotChester Harvey, Department of City and Regional Planning
Examining Associations Between Human-Scale Streetscapes and Perceived Safety Among Pedestrians

Perceived safety is an important criterion for pedestrians deciding where, or even whether, to walk. My research examines how streetscape design influences safety perceptions using a combination of physiological stress indicators, participant photography, and semi-structured interviews to examine how participants react to diverse streetscapes. Results will inform how streetscape design may be used as a lever to promote perceived safety and encourage pedestrian transportation.

It is exciting to play a role in expanding conversations about the role of perceived safety in transportation behavior, and about how factors outside the traditional realm of transportation, such as streetscape design, can be incorporated into the transportation safety toolkit.


Edward Kim headshotEdward Kim, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences
Formalization of Scenario Description via Probabilistic Programming Language

Scenario generation in simulation for autonomous vehicles is an uncharted territory and an urgent issue for road safety. My project will focus on developing a dynamic scenario (i.e. includes actions of traffic participants) description programming language that puts forth a groundwork for a systematic approach to simulation by formalizing the way scenario is described (syntax) and understood (semantics). Using the proposed language, we can abstract away from low-level reasoning on waypoints and trajectories, and reason at an intuitive high-level of understanding. We envision scenario description as a program that can be automatically compiled down to a machine readable code and be executed/simulated across different simulators.

I am excited to work on this innovative research direction and have a chance to share it with researchers in the CSCRS. I believe there is a strong connection between my proposed research and various CSCRS's research projects on safe systems, such as the work being done to link crash and post-crash data.


Marta Polovin headshotMarta Polovin, Department of City and Regional Planning
Putting a Price on Truck Parking: A Planning & Public Health Policy Perspective 

My research aims to analyze the relationship between limited freight truck parking and operator-involved, fatigue-related collisions along one of the busiest freight corridors in the state, California’s Interstate 5 (I-5). Previous studies have not deeply explored how paid parking and market-based, demand-responsive pricing could be used as a regulatory tool to help reduce collisions and improve safety outcomes along highway systems. This study will conduct a state-level policy and equity analysis regarding the feasibility of implementing demand-responsive pricing for truck parking at Caltrans’s public rest stops.

I am deeply honored to have been selected as a CSCRS Fellow. Through the support of the fellowship and SafeTREC, I look forward to contributing to research that improves safety outcomes for truck drivers and for those sharing the road with them. 


Summer 2019 Fellow


Riya Young HeadshotRiya Young, School of Public Health
A Study of Uber/Lyft Driver Behaviors Contributing to Distracted Driving and Traffic Safety

Motor vehicle traffic deaths are the first or second leading cause of unintentional injury deaths in all age groups in the United States, with distracted driving related to about 9% of motor vehicle deaths. This retrospective cohort study surveyed over 100 Uber/Lyft drivers and everyday, unpaid drivers to understand what actions and incidents contribute to driving distraction and traffic safety and how the two groups differ in their driving behaviors. 

I am excited and greatly honored to be selected as a CSCRS Fellow. I spend a lot of time on the road as an Uber/Lyft driver myself and see the growing safety issues with increasing traffic. I hope this study will help educate all drivers on safer driving practices to reduce distracted driving and improve traffic safety.

Spring 2019 Fellows

Libby Nachman HeadshotLibby Nachman, Department of City & Regional Planning
Evaluating the Effects of a Bicycle Education Intervention on Mode Shift, Confidence and Riding Frequency

Bicycle safety education is implemented in numerous cities as a strategy to increase the number of people traveling by bicycle. However, little is known about the effects of bicycle education on rider outcomes such as mode shift, confidence and rider frequency. This study surveys bicycle education participants to find out more about the effects of the class intervention.

I am very honored to be a CSCRS Fellow. I look forward to continuing my research and hope to contribute to better policy and strategy for bicycle promotion.




Eva Vaillancourt HeadshotEva Vaillancourt, Department of History
Understanding the Birth of Our Modern Traffic Order, 1896-1960

My research aims at building a global history of the basic norms, rules, and assumptions which underpin our relationship to motorized movement on the open road. It is my hope that by understanding the social and political forces that brought these assumptions into being, road-safety practitioners will be better able to imagine new ways of working with, against, and around them. Moreover, I believe that studying how societies in the past adapted themselves to the automobile will help our own society prepare itself, institutionally and emotionally, for the coming of autonomous vehicles.

With this fellowship, CSCRS has given me something that historians hardly ever get: the chance to be in direct conversation with people whose work affects daily life in an immediate and material way. To be given an opportunity to show how history can contribute to such work is, for me, both a privilege and a real, sincere pleasure. 


Read an extended abstract of Eva Vaillancourt's final report:
The Right of Way: Making Rules for Movement on British Roads, 1896-1930



Fall 2018 Fellows

Headshot of PierrePierre-Elie Belouard, Department of Civil Engineering
The Impact of Dynamic Speed Limits on Road Safety

Except in some rare experiments, speed limits have so far mostly been static. Dynamic or Adaptive speed limit is the art of making the speed limits varying, depending on the weather, traffic and visibility conditions. The goal of my research project is to select the most relevant parameters, to build a dynamic speed limit model and to predict the effect of the introduction of such a dynamic speed limit model on road safety.

Being selected as a CSCRS Fellow is a great honor. I am looking forward to working with Berkeley SafeTREC's team and to exploring the possibilities offered by combining the power of data and mathematical optimization to make roads a safer place!

Read Pierre-Elie's final report:
The Impact of Smart Roads' Adaptive Speed Limit on Road Safety


Zhi Li HeadshotZhi Li, School of Information
Recognizing Unsafe Roads Using Online Open Data

This research aims to take advantage of the huge amounts of online open data and use the techniques of deep learning to map the safety scores of a specific urban area, recognize roads with a high risk of accidents, and make proper suggestions accordingly.

The CSCRS fellowship gives me a chance to apply machine learning into road safety, which is a very interesting area. I'm excited to do more research here.



Nandita Sampath HeadshotNandita Sampath, Goldman School of Public Policy
Investigate Regulation and Standardization of Continuous Data Collection in Autonomous Vehicles (AVs) to Ameliorate the Incidence of AV Accidents

My research will take a policy-focused approach to regulating autonomous vehicle crashes. I will be looking at ways to better standardize regulation of Autonomous Vehicle (AV) crashes as well as what kinds of data should be continually monitored by the AV and available for review after an AV crash.

I am honored to be chosen as a CSCRS Fellow and look forward to my upcoming research this semester! I hope my research can help contribute to better autonomous vehicle policy in California and the U.S. 

Read Nandita's final report:
Proposal to Investigate Regulation and Standardization of Continuous Data Collection in Autonomous Vehicles (AVs) to Ameliorate the Incidence of AV Accidents


Fangyu Wu HeadshotFangyu Wu, Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences
Real-Time Prevention of Risky Vehicular Maneuvers Using Deep Reinforcement Learning, Microsimulation, and Cognitive Sciences

The transition to autonomous and connected transportation should be a safe and gradual process. One step toward this goal is to develop safe and efficient Artificial Intelligence to augment human real-time decision making of vehicle navigation. 

The CSCRS fellowship gives me the resources and support necessary for my research in this area. I feel deeply honored and grateful to be part of the community to advance the state-of-the-art in transportation research and to promote the public’s welfare.

Read Fangyu's final report:
A Human-Machine Collaborative Acceleration Controller Attained from Pixel Learning and Evolution Strategies


Mengqiao Yu HeadshotMengqiao Yu, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Evaluation of Autonomous Vehicle Safety Based on California DMV Crash Reports

This study aims to conduct a comprehensive analysis about the difference between Autonomous Vehicle (AV) collisions and common collisions (in which only human drivers are involved). Based on the comparison results, the study further extracts key factors associated with AV collisions and proposed challenging scenarios for AVs. 

CSCRS connects me with other researchers from different fields (public policy, computer science, etc.), and we can leverage our own expertise to brainstorming and solving critical safety-related problems. 

Read Mengqiao's final report:
Data Processing & Collision Analysis System for AV Crash Reports


2018 Summer CSCRS Fellows

Cynthia ArmourCynthia Armour, City and Regional Planning:
Policy-making at the intersection of Autonomous Vehicles and Public Health

As a CSCRS Fellow I'll be working on a literature review centered on Autonomous Vehicles (AVs) and public health. I'm interested in seeing to what extent safety and health considerations regarding the arrival of AVs are translating to concrete policy and legislation. 

I'm honored and excited to be taking on this work with SafeTREC and CSCRS! I'm looking forward to diving into the substantial and ever-growing body of literature on this topic and I look forward to contributing a multi-disciplinary effort which engages emerging perspectives on the topic of AVs and transportation revolutions. 

Read Cynthia's completed literature review:
Facing Change: Review of Potential Negative Impacts of Automated Vehicles Contrasted with Adopted Legislation

CSCRS Fellow Elizabeth Resor

Elizabeth Resor, School of Information:
Road Safety in Africa: Challenges and Interventions

I will research road safety efforts and research in Africa, the world region with the highest rate of road safety fatalities despite having the lowest rate of motorization, to gain insights that may inform implementation of the Safe Systems approach to road safety in the United States. In particular, I will bring together current academic research and research conducted by local and international NGOs to form a more complete picture of what is known about road safety conditions and interventions in Africa.  

I am excited to be joining the CSCRS as a Fellow. I look forward to sharing my research with this multi-disciplinary community and learning about the leading approaches to improving road safety worldwide.


Read Elizabeth's completed literature review:
Road Safety in Africa: A Literature Review


2017-2018 CSCRS Fellows:

CSCRS Fellow Ibrahim Itani

Ibrahim Itani, Master of Transportation Engineering: 
Applied Approaches in Establishing a Safe System in Transportation

My research involves producing a paper regarding “Safe Systems,” which are transportation systems which no one can get fatally or seriously injured on. The current area of focus is examining how safe systems are being implemented in other fields (e.g., construction, health care) and what we can learn from their approach.

Being selected as a CSCRS Fellow has allowed me to contribute to the transportation safety body of research by delving into the topic of Safe Systems. It has enriched my educational experience and helped me sharpen my research skills.


CSCRS Fellow Lin Yang

Lin Yang, Master of Transportation Engineering: 
Methods for Maximizing Pre-crash Kinetic Energy Dissipation from a Safe Systems Approach

This research focuses on the methods that can be applied to maximize the pre-crash kinetic energy dissipation so that the energy imposed on the road users can be minimized. The safe system approach is applied so these methods can contribute to building a transportation network on which people cannot be severely or fatally injured.

As a masters student in transportation engineering, it is a great honor to be selected as a CSCRS fellow. This fellowship provides a valuable opportunity for me to conduct research on important road safety issues. I look forward to contributing more to this field.

Learn more about the CSCRS and current research, education, and professional development activities at the CSCRS website.