Calit2 Layer Leader Briefs Caltrans on 'Smart' Roads and Telematics Projects

A top Calit² researcher says his team is making great strides toward the goal of creating a high-tech solution to the problem of traffic congestion caused by accidents and other problems on the road. In late July, UCSD engineering professor Mohan Trivedi traveled to Santa Barbara to present the annual research review for a project called ATON: Autonomous Agents for On-scene Networked Incident Management. "Our research is sponsored by Caltrans and the UC Office of the President's Digital Media Innovation (DiMI) program," says Trivedi. "Government, industry and the University are working together to develop technology that has the potential to relieve traffic congestion--and even save lives."

The review panel including a Caltrans team headed by John Allison, Director of New Technology and Research; and Dr. JoAnn Kuchera-Morin, Director of DiMI. Trivedi--the UCSD division leader for Calit²'s Intelligent Transportation and Telematics research group--reports positive reaction to his team's latest advances in
· Video networks-based traffic incident monitoring and analysis;
· Omni-vision based televiewing; and
· Mobile interactive avatars (MIAs) for on-site mitigation.

MIAs are wireless robotic devices that can both send and receive broadband audio and video from the scene of any traffic incident. Trivedi confirmed that his team intends to make HDR wireless connectivity an integral component of new MIAs now under development.

The presentation included real-time demonstrations from the UCSD campus viewed live over the Internet via wireless high-data rate (HDR) equipment supplied by Qualcomm. "Thanks to Qualcomm and our colleagues there including Jon Detra and Bob Kimball, a couple of our graduate students carried an HDR module with a webcam on a golf cart on the UCSD campus," says Trivedi. "While they were driving around in San Diego, we could watch the live feed from their webcam as it streamed through to our Internet-based video servers. The quality was good, and it generated lots of enthusiasm for the potential of various telematics applications."

For more on the ATON project, go to


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