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Intelligent Transportation System Strategies to Mitigate Human Exposure to Mobile-Source Pollutants


Traditional Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) applications aim at improving safety and mobility for roadway transportation. With increasing concern about energy consumption and pollutant emission of transportation sector, a number of environmental-ITS applications have emerged to improve fuel economy and reduce overall emissions. Further, mobile emissions disperse into the atmosphere and impose health risks to public population who are exposed to the contaminated air. To date however, environmental-ITS applications haven’t considered emissions from a pollutant exposure point-of-view. This dissertation proposes two environmental-ITS applications and a high-resolution screening method to mitigate human exposure to mobile pollutants. The key contributions are:

• This dissertation develops a vehicle road navigation method to mitigate mobile-source exposure to a localized susceptible population. Routing experiments show that 50% of 400 experiment trips achieve 30% inhaled mass reduction for both mobile-source PM2.5 and Reactive Organic Gases. Also, the low exposure routes can be more fuel efficient than conventional least duration routes.

• This dissertation defines a state-of-practice digital sidewalk system and proposes a pedestrian navigation tool with the goal of minimizing pedestrians’ inhaled mass of on-road traffic emissions. Pedestrian routing experiments demonstrate that the navigation tool is able to advise walking trips that significantly reduce pedestrians’ PM2.5 exposure up to 90%. As a result, pedestrians can be protected from excessive pollutant exposure.

• This dissertation also develops modeling techniques for large-scale pollutant exposure assessment for Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) residents, with spatial analysis resolution fifty times higher than previous research. In conjunction with socioeconomic parameter analysis, results reveal that in the SCAG region, low-income and minority population are subject to high-level vehicular emission exposure. This study makes it possible for community outreach and mitigation planning targeted at disadvantaged residential communities.

The frameworks in this dissertation provide valuable implications for environmental transportation and justice research. Future improvements can be focused on real-time population activity collection, exposure assessment, and navigation implementation in the real world.

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