About Our Research
The Leonard Transportation Center has been refocusing its mission and developing new programming. The LTC’s Advisory Council met for a day and a half in February 2018 for a working retreat to develop this strategic action plan. The ideas and action items were based upon the strategic plans of CSUSB, the Jack H. Brown College of Business and Public Administration, and the original 2006 LTC plan. In the original LTC strategic plan, the theme was Decision-Making and Management of Transportation Systems. It was the Center’s goal in 2006 “to provide local, state, and federal transportation providers with increased capability to produce improved transportation decisions and with the information and research resources to better manage transportation systems (including transit) and transportation investments.”
The current action plan is continuing with this goal with a clear focus on the issues that are impacting the region because of its status as an Inland Port. The following are the strategic areas agreed upon by the LTC council members: Research, Education, Community Engagement, and Operations.
Research is vital part of the center’s operations. As a university center, one of the greatest impacts we can have in the IE community is through high quality, academic research. The LTC is the only multidisciplinary, transportation research center located in the Inland Empire. There are programs and faculty in the region’s universities, and the University of California, Riverside has Ce-CERT, which focuses on environmental technology and research, but the LTC is the only university logistics and transportation center. From this position, the LTC is looking to support and enhance the current research activities in the region. Two specific areas of research were identified by the Advisory Council.
The first is a broader agenda of understanding the challenges to and possible solutions for enhanced transportation mobility in suburban, inland ports. Corporate and consumer demand for imported goods is continuously increasing due to the expansion of international trade. From an economic perspective, rapid industrial growth, and convenient access to freeways, airports, and rail lines have made the Inland Empire an ideal location for industrial facilities. These manufacturing and industrial facilities include, warehouses, rail yards, and distribution centers. This has led to elevated traffic congestion, complicated environmental standards, and has the ability to impact the future economic viability of the region. The LTC’s location sets us apart from other UTC’s because the Inland Empire is an optimal location to build upon transportation research to help solve mobility issues.
The second focal point will be in transportation cybersecurity infrastructure. With the implementation of new technologies as part of the transportation infrastructure, safeguarding the security of the system in critical. This research agenda will identify current needs and scope out a larger research project and implementation plan with the ultimate goal of addressing possible cybersecurity challenges in the region’s transportation infrastructure.
As part of this research agenda, the LTC is working to develop a faculty fellows program over the next year to integrate the work of experts and researchers across the CSUSB campus. The key components of this program will be to effectively engage faculty and students in research, collaborative projects, and community outreach.
ITS Application and Cybersecurity
Building a Smart Campus: Parking Space Tracking
The goals of transportation systems in a smart campus are three-fold: (a) safety; (b) efficiency; and (c) sustainability. The ever-increasing demand on a limited campus infrastructure leads to traffic congestion, class delays, and accidents, with vast negative impacts on our students. The innovation lab is working on a parking monitoring project to provide real-time information on the number of available parking spots in the campus parking structures using computer vision and IoT technologies. We plan to use existing surveillance cameras in the parking structure and install new vehicle counters at parking structure entries. In addition to counting available parking space, the system will disseminate the parking information to users via web and mobile applications. If successfully developed, the system can help to alleviate the frustration in finding a parking spot, and to improve traffic flow by reducing circling vehicles in parking lots.
Engaging students in research and preparing them with problem-solving skills are essential elements of this project. We invited students from all disciplinaries to participate in the project. While programming and system design skills are important, we also need students to work on various aspects, such as survey technology and understand needs, collect ground truth, promote the project, gather feedback, etc. The project is supported by Information Technology Services (in particular, Academic Technologies & Innovation and Information Security & Emerging Technologies) and the Office of Student Research.
A pilot system has been deployed at the Parking Structure East, visit https://csusb-parking.appspot.com/
Intersection Management and Cybersecurity: Applications, Issues, and Scheme
Safeguarding against cybersecurity attacks is quickly becoming a prevalent issue facing local government agencies. Recent cyber-attacks, such as the 2018 SamSam ransomware attack that affected the City of Atlanta, have demonstrated the capacity to wreak havoc on city networks by paralyzing daily operations. Concerning transportation and technology, Traffic Management Systems (TMS) are becoming more vulnerable and susceptible hacking targets as they rapidly develop to become more connected and “intelligent”.
With the support of the Western Riverside Council of Governments (WRCOG), the briefing paper was written to bring awareness to the possible cyber threats to the transportation system in the Inland Empire and to craft recommendations or next steps to addressing any shortfalls. Key findings included educating current local government leaders and employees on the current risks, increasing the interaction of CSUSB faculty and students to help address the issues, developing a comprehensive planning project increasing the interest and participation of local university level students and faculty to help alleviate the burden of cybersecurity threats felt by local governments.
To read the full Executive Summary click here: Intersection Management and Cybersecurity Summary.pdf
Inland Empire Quality of Life
Pathway to Logistics
The Leonard Transportation Center is currently working with a number of community leaders and CSUSB faculty members on a Pathway to Logistics Program. We aim to provide leadership and assistance that will enhance activities related to transportation and logistics in the Inland Empire. The goals, which are linked to the goals at the Growing Inland Achievement, are to grow the number of local students seeking a post-secondary education in logistics and transportation, and to place CSUSB in a greater support role of the logistics and transportation sector. We believe that with a collaborative effort we can increase the number of local residents obtaining higher paid positions in the transportation industry and ultimately enhance the overall economic community development of the region.
City of Rialto Safe Routes to School Project
Parents of school children have become skeptical of letting their children walk or bike to school due to traffic safety, crime, access to transportation, pollution, health issues and other factors.
The CSUSB Leonard Transportation Center has been working closely with the City of Rialto in providing research assistance with the development of a grant application for the Safe Routes to School (SR2S) program. The grant provides funding for infrastructure projects that aim to make walking and biking safer for students of Rialto schools.
The Leonard Transportation Center assisted by:
- Providing recommendations on the best practices for community outreach.
- Providing different funding strategies for program sustainability.
- Conducting a socioeconomic and environmental analysis of potential program barriers.
- Compiling prevalent academic literature on the topic of Safe Routes to School.