The Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR) at the University of South Florida (USF) is part of a team of surface transportation research organizations led by ENSCO, Inc. (ENSCO) that was recently awarded a $571 million USD contract by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) to provide research, testing, engineering, and training services at the Transportation Technology Center (TTC). The team will focus on initiatives that support FRA and U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) objectives to establish TTC as a vibrant, engaging, and modern center for railroad and ground transportation safety, security, and innovation. Transfer of TTC operations to the ENSCO team is anticipated to be completed by October 2022.
“The faculty and student researchers at CUTR have a 30-plus year track record of transportation excellence,” said Robert Bishop, dean of the College of Engineering, home to CUTR. “The interdisciplinary academic collaborations with other universities as well as their work with departments of transportation throughout Florida and the United States over those years have positioned them well to take on these initiatives.”
CUTR has entered into an agreement with ENSCO to lead the Center for Surface Transportation Testing and Academic Research (C-STTAR) consortium. This consortium of eight (8) universities and academic research centers was established to provide expertise in research focus areas across all modes of surface transportation, including intermodal transportation, which will support TTC growth initiatives.
CUTR will conduct and participate in research and testing across key surface transportation safety technology areas including:
- Intelligent transportation systems
- Infrastructure civil design
- Transit vehicle crashworthiness and thermal event testing, design modifications and standards development
- Autonomous and connected vehicle research, testing, and evaluation
- Human factors research
- Artificial intelligence, machine vision, video analytics and “big data” science
- Advanced sensor research and development
- Unmanned aerial vehicle applications
- Grade crossing safety
- Trespasser and suicide detection and prevention
- Transportation emergency/hazardous response and recovery
“The opportunity to support the FRA’s and DOT’s surface transportation research, testing and training programs conducted at TTC is a significant accomplishment for USF/CUTR. We look forward to expanding the offerings that USF/CUTR has been providing for state departments of transportation, the Federal Transit Administration and other USDOT modal administrations by playing an important role in the transformation of TTC. Our contributions at TTC will support CUTR’s long-term fiscal sustainability and increase our visibility and prominence both nationally and internationally,” states Lisa Staes, CUTR Associate Director.