Dr. Xianbiao (XB) Hu is an Assistant Professor at Pennsylvania State University, in its Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Prior to that, he was an Assistant Professor at Missouri University of Science and Technology. He received his PhD degree from the University of Arizona in 2013. He was a founding team member and Director of R&D at Metropia Inc. – a university spinoff that develops systems and smartphone apps to reduce traffic congestion. His research focuses on smart mobility systems (especially on Autonomous Vehicles, Electric Vehicles and Active Demand Management), transportation big data analytics, and traffic flow and system modeling. His work in the AV space is focused on the AV for work zone maintenance, where he studies what it takes to deploy the autonomous truck-mounted attenuator (ATMA) vehicle technology to reduce the fatalities of State DOT workers.
PAVE: How does your work align with our mission to educate the public on AV technology and its promise?
While AV technologies might be years away from wide application to the general public travel, they are receiving attention from many State DOT in a niche area of using Autonomous Maintenance Technology (AMT) to reduce fatalities of DOT workers in work zone locations. My team is working with a pool fund with 14 State DOT, to develop, test, deploy and operate AMT technologies to enjoy the benefits of AV technologies.
PAVE: What are current barriers you see in public acceptance of automated vehicles?
I believe industry, government and academia need to work closer together. Academia is very research-oriented, but without good communication and collaboration with the industry and government, sometimes we might be speaking different languages.