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Yu, Jenkins Developing ODOT Snowplow Training Simulations

January 2023 Research NewsletterCSU Professors Yu, Jenkins Developing ODOT Snowplow Training Simulations with Interdisciplinary Team

During cold season months, maintaining road surface quality of the utmost importance for the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT). If truck drivers with insufficient training plow snow on busy Ohio roads under adverse weather and traffic conditions, serious safety issues can result.

To ensure snowplow drivers are ready for the challenging situations that winter portends, Hongkai Yu, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) at Cleveland State University, has been awarded a two-year, $400,000 grant to develop comprehensive driving simulations customized to ODOT's specific needs.

Dr. Yu is joined by Co-Principal Investigator Jacqueline Jenkins, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) at CSU. Their interdisciplinary team is creating an enhanced, comprehensive snowplow driver training that improves upon ODOT's existing truck driving simulator (a Doron Precision 660 Truckplus) by adding "plowable" snow to the custom three-dimensional (3D) maps and creating training snowfall/weather scenarios that might not have been otherwise encountered for inexperienced drivers.

The photo above shows a CSU Ph.D. student testing the enhanced truck-driving simulator on the customized Ohio 3D map.

Learn more about Dr. Yu's Vision and AI Lab here.