Collaborative Research: Regulating Hazardous Materials Transportation by Multi-Objective Dual Toll Pricing
Changhyun Kwon Principal Investigator
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The objective of this collaborative research is to investigate the potential of multi-objective dual toll pricing as an operational tool to reduce risk from hazardous material (hazmat) transportation. Toll pricing has been used as an efficient and effective control method of vehicles on congested road networks, and, more recently, has emerged as a flexible control method for hazmat trucks. In this research, a multi-objective dual toll pricing approach guides a network flow of selfish users towards a safer and more efficient traffic flow that increases social welfare. The results of this research will advance our operational ability to control and regulate hazmat transportation under various scenarios; in consequence, road networks will become more efficient and safer. This research will reveal how robust and how effective the dual toll pricing framework is in safeguarding the human community from uncertainty and risk of hazmat transportation. When combined with advanced information technology and geographic information systems, the dual toll pricing system will provide a practically powerful tool to control vehicular traffic networks for public safety and efficiency. This will be verified and demonstrated by case studies based on realistic settings in Albany, Mexico City and Montreal. The research outcome will also contribute to the literature of toll pricing theory by broadening the scope of toll pricing to more general settings. In addition, the algorithmic tools and agent-based simulation methods developed in this research will promote computational science, which is a key to understand today's complex social, economical world. <br/><br/>This research will provide the transportation and infrastructure engineering communities with the modeling, algorithmic and simulation foundations of dynamic dual toll pricing for hazmat transportation. It will lead to new educational modules and software useful for teaching advanced undergraduate and graduate students how to design, analyze and implement a hazmat transportation system for less congestion and less risk in the infrastructure. It will also provide a basis for communication among policy makers, the general public and hazmat carriers. In addition, since this research will be verified and tested in realistic settings, the results will have high potential for translation to practice. When implemented in practice, the results of this research will bring large economical impacts to other second-hand fields such as RFID, mobile payment systems, advanced geographic information systems and intelligent travelers' information systems. Furthermore, this research has the potential to invoke similar research in studying control methods of hazmat risk arising in seaports, airports and railways, considering both congestion of generic freight/passenger transport and hazmat transport. The developed system will be presented in the summer engineering academy attracting top high school students, especially women and minority, to science and engineering.