School of Civil Engineering

Project 1. Driverless transport: opportunities and challenges in Australia

Supervisor:  Dr Zuduo

Driverless vehicles are widely expected to enter the mass market in the next 10-30 years, revolutionising how people travel as well as how transport should be planned, operated and governed.

However, despite recent technological leaps in manufacturing driverless vehicles, we know little about their potential impact on the road network, the environment, public health, public policy, etc. So, their proliferation is far from guaranteed.

This project will specifically focus on the opportunities and challenges related to the use of driverless vehicles in Australia, including their potential benefits, barriers to implementation, and policy recommendations. Students can develop their research questions related to this topic according to their interests.


Project 2. Modelling driver behaviour in distracted and non-distracted situation

Supervisor:  Dr Zuduo

Project description: Car-following (CF) models describe longitudinal interactions of vehicles on the road. Enormous CF models have been developed, attempting to describe CF behaviour in different traffic conditions that range from free flow conditions to extreme situations. Some of them have been used in microscopic traffic simulation packages as well as in design of advanced vehicle control and safety systems. Driver distraction poses serious safety hazards on road because 10% to 80% of crashes were reported to be related to distracted driving. Unfortunately, most CF models are crash-free, therefore, their capability of mimicking driver’s mistakes and thus generating crash or near-crash scenarios is an important research topic.

The goal of this project is to test the capability of some well-known CF models in describing distracted and non-distracted car-following behaviour. The scope can also be extended to mixed traffic flow of traditional, connected, and automated vehicles.

Learning opportunities from the project: The project will provide lots of opportunities of learning and improving the knowledge about traffic simulation, different car-following models and their effectiveness, traffic flow theory, data analysis, computer programming.

Minimum requirement: Transport engineering background.    


Project 3. Understanding Public Acceptance of Road Pricing in Australia

Supervisor:  Dr Zuduo

With the rapid growth of traffic congestion in large Australian cities (e.g., Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane), introducing a congestion charge is often discussed, although no such scheme has yet been implemented in any Australian city. Nor have any trials been undertaken to gauge the current level of public acceptance of such a charge.

Public acceptance is consistently listed as having an enormous impact on the implementation and success of a congestion charge scheme. This project investigates public acceptance of such a scheme in Australia.  A comprehensive analysis will be implemented to capture different factors’ influence on public acceptance of congestion pricing. These factors include freedom, fairness, trust in government, problem awareness, perceived effectiveness, complexity, socio demographic background, and etc.