The goal of this project is to evaluate the hypothesis that seamless and independent mobility for people with physical disabilities can be enabled in smart and connected communities. We envision an end to end mobility system that is adaptable to user needs and intent, capable of real time update to provide the user with seamless mobility information, does not require expensive retrofits to existing infrastructure, and provide interoperability across system boundaries to enable robust, network-level control to scale the entire infrastructure (user to system, system to transportation mode, transportation mode to roads, roads to buildings, buildings to user).
For people with physical disabilities (PPD) living in urban communities, independent and effective end-to-end mobility will help reduce emotional stress, fatigue, and frustration. Lack of access to effective mobility services has life-altering implications for PPD (e.g., inadequate access to education, employment or healthcare) exacerbating physical and mental stress, leads to other chronic morbidities, and imposes a significant burden on families, caregivers, the healthcare system, and society. The image to the right shows a typical end-to-end mobility scenario for PPD. These scenarios involve several connected navigation (i.e., going from bus stop to building entrance) and maneuvering (i.e., parking in desired location inside a room or in a bus) tasks. These tasks demand substantial effort and pose safety and anxiety risks for PPD who rely on wheelchairs for their mobility. For example, PPD encounter difficulties in navigation (e.g., lose one's bearings in unknown buildings; finding accessible routes and vehicles), maneuvering (e.g., sharing congested spaces with others; parking in confined spaces), negotiating obstacles, and avoiding collisions. These issues become more pronounced if there are recent changes to the environment that are not reflected in updated maps or systems (e.g., bus schedule, ongoing building renovations blocking accessible routes).
Several national surveys estimate that more than 4.3 million people in the U.S. use wheeled mobility devices to help improve their quality of life by enabling occupation, facilitating social participation and improving self-esteem. This number is expected to grow 7% annually due to aging and increases in mobility impairments. As many leading cities develop information and communication technology (ICT) master plans, there is a growing desire to incorporate smart solutions to enhance quality of life and independence of PPD, reduce their reliance on caregivers, and improve their overall integration in communities through smart adoption of technologies.
The goal of this project is to address these research gaps and evaluate the hypothesis that seamless and independent mobility for PPD can be enabled in smart and connected communities. We envision an end to end mobility (E2E) system that is adaptable to user needs and intent, capable of real time update to provide the user with seamless mobility information, does not require expensive retrofits to existing infrastructure, and provide interoperability across system boundaries to enable robust, network-level control to scale the entire infrastructure (user to system, system to transportation mode, transportation mode to roads, roads to buildings, buildings to user).
Ann Arbor Center for Independent Living (AACIL)
Veterans Administration Ann Arbor Healthcare System (VA)
City of Ann Arbor
City of Ypsilanti
Ann Arbor Area Transit Authority (AAATA)
University of Michigan (UM) Logistics, Transportation & Parking
Michigan Institute for Computational Discovery and Engineering (MICDE)
UM School of Nursing
Hire MI Vet (HV)
NSF Smart & Connected Communities (S&CC) Program
Using wearable-based technology to help seniors stay mobile and age in place, while avoiding exposure to falls and environmental risks or hazards.
Improving Benton Harbor’s aging water system using risk assessment and risk analysis techniques, as well as mobile sensors.
The first in a series of health clinic prototypes that bring technology-enabled chronic health care monitoring to remote, underserved global populations.
Using remote sensing and security camera data to better understand how people are using the Detroit RiverFront Conservancy public spaces.
The Sensors in a Shoebox project focuses on empowering Detroit youth as agents of change for their city.
The Great Lakes Water Authority is looking for ways to rehabilitate large diameter water mains without actually having to dig up city streets.
A PFAS treatment approach for groundwater using low-temperature plasma with a concentration phase
The University of Michigan is developing a structural reliability framework to quantify the probability of failure of pipe segments throughout the GLWA system.
The city of Benton Harbor wishes to transform Ox Creek into a residential, recreational and commercial centerpiece linking important segments of the community.
While parks are designed and managed to generate community benefits, there remains a need for tools that can more rigorously measure how communities use parks.
Recommendations were developed to promote regional planning to ensure infrastructure investments are equitable and result in high-quality drinking water.
The Urban Collaboratory is working with the USEPA and the Great Lakes Water Authority to remediate and restore the Rouge River.
Studying rideshare options like Lyft and Uber, with special focus on individuals with limited transportation choices.
Collecting travel data to help Benton Harbor improve travel options for residents, with the goal of increased employment participation and retention.
Facilitating an on-demand, seamless, and efficient mobility service for the Benton Harbor community, especially among low-mobility families.
Rethinking how transit infrastructure can expand access to food, health, learning, and mobility services by creating multimodal hubs.
The project aims to reduce energy use of vehicular travels by incentivizing individual travelers to adjust travel choices and driving behaviors.
A major source of bridge deterioration requiring constant maintenance is mechanical expansion joints installed between adjacent simple span bridge decks.
Mapping detailed geographies of digital access and exclusion across Detroit’s neighborhoods.
Associate Professor and John L. Tishman Faculty Scholar in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Carol C. Menassa is an Associate Professor and John L. Tishman Faculty Scholar in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Michigan (U-M). Carol directs the Intelligent and Sustainable Civil Infrastructure Systems Laboratory at U-M. Her research focuses on understanding and modeling the interconnections between human experience and the built environment. Her research group designs autonomous systems that support wellbeing, safety and productivity of office and construction workers, and provides them opportunities for lifelong learning and upskilling. Carol has more than 120 peer reviewed publications. Carol currently serves as a member of the Board of Governors of the ASCE (American Society of Civil Engineers) Construction Institute. She previously served as chair for the ASCE Construction Research Congress Executive Committee. Carol is an Associate Editor for the ASCE Journal of Computing in Civil Engineering and Assistant Specialty Editor for the ASCE Journal of Construction Engineering and Management. Carol is the recipient of the 2021 ASCE Arthur M. Wellington Prize, the 2021 ASCE Collingwood Prize, the 2017 ASCE Daniel Halpin Award, 2017 ASCE Alfred Noble Prize, 2017 Outstanding Early Career Researcher from Fiatech, 2015 CII Distinguished Professor Award and 2014 NSF Career award. She also received several best paper awards.
Professor in the Departments of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Vineet R. Kamat, Ph.D. is a Professor in the Departments of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Michigan. He directs the Laboratory for Interactive Visualization in Engineering. Dr. Kamat’s research is primarily focused on Virtual and Augmented Reality Visualization, Simulation, Mobile Computing, Robotics, and their applications in Construction Management and Sustainable Building Systems. Dr. Kamat was awarded the 2020 Peurifoy Construction Research Award, the 2015 Walter L. Huber Civil Engineering Research Prize, and the 2012 Daniel W. Halpin Award for scholarship in construction by the American Society of Civil Engineers. Dr. Kamat is an Associate Editor of the ASCE Journal of Computing in Civil Engineering and a member of the editorial board for the journal Automation in Construction and the journal Advanced Engineering Informatics.
Dr. Kamat serves on the Board of Governors of the International Association of Automation and Robotics in Construction (IAARC). He has also served as the Chair of the ASCE Construction Institute’s Construction Research Council, and as a Member of the Board of Governors of the ASCE Construction Institute. He has also chaired the ASCE Visualization, Information Modeling and Simulation committee. Dr. Kamat’s research has been published in over 200 peer-reviewed journal publications and conference papers to date. He has presented his work in invited talks throughout the world and has organized several technical sessions on construction visualization at all major conferences in his field of research. He received a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering in 2003 from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.