Center for Efficient Vehicles and Sustainable Transportation Systems

Ground vehicles and ground transportation systems are ubiquitous and indispensable elements of modern life, contributing to improved standards of living through access to both inexpensive goods and services made possible by the cost-effective transport of products and people, and economic opportunities in the $1.6 trillion annual automotive manufacturing industry. Fluctuating energy costs, changing societal expectations for environmental stewardship, increasing green and smart transportation needs and the availability of new materials, powertrain technologies, and manufacturing techniques give the automotive industry incentives and the ability to produce and deploy vehicles that are markedly more energy efficient and environmentally sustainable than those currently in service.

The Center for Efficient Vehicles and Sustainable Transportation Systems (EVSTS) is a National Science Foundation Industry/University Cooperative Research Centers (IUCRC) established to conduct multi-disciplinary translational research that addresses the needs of a specific industry or technology area. The vision shared by the academic, industrial, and government partners in the EVSTS initiative can be summarized as an effort to develop: A multi-disciplinary research organization for bridging the traditional gaps between academia and industry, private sector and public sector, while engaging in research dramatically improving the efficiency and sustainability of ground vehicles. Our partners in this initiative are the numerous stakeholders in the automotive and ground transportation industries, including federal, state, and local government organizations, and companies engaged in the design, development, manufacture, deployment, support, and large scale use of ground vehicles of all types.

The Center for Teaching Old Models New Tricks (TOMNET)

Driven by a wide variety of technologies, major societal shifts in demographics and values, and evolving policy instruments and planning practices, unprecedented changes are underway in transportation.  It has never been more vital to understand and predict the behavioral impacts of these changes.  However, our ability to do so is severely hampered by the absence of a vital class of variables from our models — specifically attitudes, opinions, preferences, perceptions, and personalities of those using transportation.  Several factors have historically prevented the incorporation of attitudes into large-scale travel-demand forecasting models, primarily the challenges associated with measurements from traditional travel behavior surveys and a current inability to forecast attitudes as socioeconomic variables.

The Center for Teaching Old Models New Tricks (TOMNET) is a Tier 1 University Transportation Center sponsored by the US Department of Transportation and engaged in creating and testing a variety of innovative approaches to overcome these barriers. The goal of TOMNET is to identify the most promising approaches for integrating attitudinal variables and latent constructs in regional travel demand forecasting models and quantifying the effects of these traditionally unobserved traits on behavioral choices and outcomes. Currently, the TOMNET research team is conducting extensive explorations of various machine learning and statistical data fusion approaches towards such diverse applications as travel equity, vehicle ownership, autonomous vehicle adoption, ride-hailing usage, safety, systemic resilience, and land use impacts in multiple geographic regions (including Phoenix, Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Tampa, and Atlanta).

Life Cycle Assessment Center

The Transportation Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) emerged as a critical systems-oriented assessment framework for understanding the complexity, interdependencies, and impacts of infrastructure systems. In transportation studies, the framework is now routinely used to assess the energy and environmental performance of complex systems, emerging technologies, changing behaviors, and emerging fuels. LCA is also increasingly used to assess public policy goals. The LCA Center is designed to serve as a global hub and knowledge repository for researchers and practitioners.

National Center of Excellence on SMART Innovations

The National Center of Excellence (NCE) on SMART Innovations provides climate and energy system solutions based on sound science and engineering to governments and industries around the globe. Our research seeks to quantify complex climate-energy system interactions resulting from all phases of a product or technology’s life cycle and to develop cost-effective solutions to reduce any negative impacts.

NCE researchers are evaluating developing the next generation of Sustainable Materials and Renewable Technologies (SMART) for urban energy and climate needs. This includes development and application of materials for renewable energy products, innovative building and pavement materials that reduce energy demand as well as materials which can improve regional impacts from Urban Heat Islands.

Pavement Analysis and Design Cluster

The ASU Pavements and Materials program addresses pavement performance analysis, management and design; advanced material testing and characterization; development of new and more efficient construction materials; and the development and dissemination of sustainable pavement practices. The current program consists of three core faculty members as well as several associated faculty from within Arizona State University. The core curriculum offers degrees at the master’s and Ph.D. levels as well as undergraduate and postdoctoral opportunities. The faculty at ASU are engaged with national cooperative groups, government and private sources to enhance materials and pavements technology.

Arizona Pavements/Materials Conference

The Arizona Pavements/Materials conference serves as a key technology transfer conduit to practicing engineering and professionals involved in pavements and materials work in Arizona. The conference regularly attracts more than 300 of these professionals to the ASU campus for a two-day event focusing on a specific theme relevant to the community. The organizing committee also hosts regular workshops throughout the year on topics such as pavement preservation, pavement design, modified asphalts, etc. Funds from the conference are used to support the educational mission of the university and provide opportunities for ASU students to attend regional, national and international conferences on pavements and materials.

Arizona Pavements / Materials Conference