Mashrur “Ronnie” Chowdhury envisions a future in which car accidents will be reduced to virtually zero and drivers will travel down some of the state’s busiest roads without stopping for a single traffic light. And he says it could happen in as little as a decade, with the help of the new Center for Connected Multimodal Mobility that will be based out of Clemson, thanks to $1.4 million in startup financing from the U.S. Department of Transportation. Chowdhury, a civil engineering professor who is leading the center, said another $6.4 million in continued funding from the department over the next five years is highly possible.
It’s this type of research that earned Chowdhury the Alumni Award for Outstanding Achievements in Research, presented at the May faculty/staff meeting. Chowdhury is the Eugene Douglas Mays Professor of Transportation and professor of civil engineering, automotive engineering and computer science. The award is administered by the Office of University Research Grants Committee (URGC).
The new center brings together researchers from Clemson, Benedict College, the Citadel, South Carolina State University and the University of South Carolina to focus on improving the mobility of people and goods with a special focus on how the emerging “Internet of Things” applies to transportation.
Chowdhury expects that it will soon be standard for vehicles to wirelessly communicate with each other, pedestrians and infrastructure, such as traffic lights and roadside sensors, making travel safer and more comfortable.