Image of Chen-Fu Liao

Chen-Fu Liao tests his prototype wayfinding system on campus.

Roadway Safety Institute (RSI) researchers shared their work at 28 sessions at this year’s Transportation Research Board (TRB) annual conference in Washington, D.C., on January 8-12, 2017. Among the research topics featured in posters and papers included bicyclists’ exposure to risk and the built environment, roadway safety policy and leadership in six Midwest states, a freeway traffic queue-warning system, and investigation of factors in wrong-way driving crashes.

At the Council for University Transportation Centers Awards Reception and Banquet, held January 7 in conjunction with the TRB conference, RSI researcher Chen-Fu Liao received the Milton Pikarsky Memorial Award for Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation in Science and Technology. The award is given annually for the best Ph.D. dissertation and M.S. thesis in the field of science and technology in transportation studies.

Liao, senior systems engineer at the Minnesota Traffic Observatory, received the award for his mechanical engineering Ph.D. dissertation, “An Integrated Assistive System to Support Wayfinding and Situation Awareness for People with Vision Impairment.” The dissertation focuses on Liao’s work developing the Mobile Accessible Pedestrian Signal (MAPS) system, which uses a smartphone, GPS, and other technologies to help pedestrians with limited or no eyesight navigate signalized intersections and other locations safely. RSI director Max Donath served as Liao's Ph.D. adviser.

Related links