Program Overview

This program actively pursues innovative projects and collaborates with peers to develop and apply new concepts and technologies to solve real-world transportation problems. The expertise of its faculty and staff covers Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS), Connected Autonomous Vehicle (CAV), traffic operations, transportation safety, public education and outreach, and technical training and assistance.

Specialties on ITS and CAV include 1) development and application of ITS technologies to transportation systems, 2) automated shuttle demonstrations, 3) connected vehicle (CV) project evaluations 4) evaluation of smart work zone applications, 5) assessment of automated pedestrian detection systems, 6) public safety awareness technology evaluations,  7) cybersecurity for CV infrastructure, and 8) development of mobile lighting level measurement devices and automated diagnosis tools.

Traffic operations research focuses on 1) transportation systems management and operations (TSMO), 2) applications of traffic signal operations to improve pedestrian and bicyclist safety, 3) demand management to reduce recurring traffic congestion, 4) optimization of freeway patrol to reduce non-recurring traffic congestion, 5) research on backup power systems to extend traffic signal operations, 6) traffic simulation, 7) traffic system modeling, and (8) advanced data collection and analysis techniques.

Safety research areas include 1) traffic safety, 2) pedestrian and bicycle safety, 3) transit safety, 4) truck safety, 5) rail safety, 6) mitigation for railroad trespasser and suicide fatalities and injuries, 7) wrong-way driving prevention, 8) incident management, and 9) behavioral research and human factor analysis.

Additionally, researchers and staff specialize in public education and outreach, public opinion surveys and analysis, graphic design and production, and development of effective paid media campaigns.  The ITS program also manages and operates the prestigious Florida Local Technical Assistance Program (LTAP) Center to serve and provide technical training and assistance to Florida local and tribal agencies.


Research Focus:
Smart work zone applications and work zone safety
Automated shuttle demonstration
Connected vehicle project evaluation
Assessment of automated pedestrian detections
Public safety awareness technology evaluation
Cybersecurity for connected vehicle infrastructures
Advanced lighting measurement systems and automated diagnosis tools
Transportation systems management and operations
Freeway management and operations
Management of recurring and non-recurring traffic congestion
Research on backup power systems to extend traffic signal operations
Pedestrian and bicycle safety research
Traffic, transit, truck, and rail safety
Mitigation for railroad trespasser and suicide fatalities and injuries
Wrong-way driving research
Behavioral research and human factor analysis


Student and Automotive Technician Manual For Lab Space

Featured Projects

News from ITS, Traffic Operations & Safety

Safety by Design

Safety by Design Florida is an effort to promote and encourage traffic safety in Florida. By working to provide a collection of engineering resources for safety transportation design, and educational material, we intend this site to be a “one-stop-shop” for all transportation safety efforts.

WalkWise Florida

WalkWise Florida is a grassroots initiative that provides innovative pedestrian safety education to citizens. Pedestrian safety is an issue that affects everyone. We are all pedestrians at some point during our day.


Florida LTAP Center

The vision of the Florida LTAP Center is to be recognized as a premier resource in providing training and technical assistance to local agencies and transferring innovative technologies, proven solutions, and reliable service to successfully address and meet the needs of local transportation communities in Florida.


Cong Chen Ph.D

Research Associate
Phone: (813)974-2344
Photo of Cong Chen Ph.D



Dr. Cong Chen is a Research Associate with the ITS, Traffic Operation and Safety Program at the Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR) at the University of South Florida, and the Manager of the Florida Local Technical Assistance Program (LTAP). Dr. Chen received his Ph.D. degree from the University of New Mexico in 2015, and his research interests include traffic safety analysis, advanced model development, traffic congestion and operation efficiency, intelligent transportation systems, connected and autonomous vehicles, and transportation geospatial and temporal analysis. He has published 24 academic papers at top-tier peer-reviewed transportation journals, and has delivered more than 30 research presentations at national and international conferences.

Dr. Chen is the appointed Younger Member on ASCE Transportation & Development Institute (T&DI) Board of Governors FY20, and leads the T&DI Committee on Younger Members. He also serves as a member for TRB Standing Committee on Safety Data, Analysis and Evaluation (ANB20) and TRB Standing Committee on Highway Safety Performance (ANB25).  He is an Editorial Board Member of the Annals of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and has been invited as a referee for more than 15 peer-reviewed transportation journals and international conferences.

Dr. Chen was selected as the 2019 Tampa Bay ITE Keith Crawford Young Transportation Professional of the Year. He was also awarded the New Mexico Governor’s Exempt Fellowship and served as an intern at New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT) in 2014.


  • Ph.D. University of New Mexico, USA, 2015
  • M.S. Tongji University, China, 2011
  • B.S. Tongji University, China, 2008


  • January 2018 – Present Research Associate, Center for Urban Transportation Research, University of South Florida
  • January 2017-January 2018 Postdoctoral Scholar, Center for Urban Transportation Research, University of South Florida
  • September 2016-January 2017 Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Hawaii at Manoa
  • February 2016-July 2016 Postdoctoral Fellow, University of New Mexico
  • May 2014-August 2014 Summer Intern, New Mexico Department of Transportation

Cong Chen Resume