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AI Lab dedicates its effort towards establishing a comprehensive, spatially-enabled transportation infrastructure and asset data platform to better manage, support, and sustain the current and future transportation infrastructure system via employing imaging, mobile LiDAR, and GPS/GIS technologies and developing computer vision, machine learning, and spatial analysis methods. In a nutshell, we map infrastructure that does not move (but its outlook changes gradually), then we map traffic that moves a lot (but its outlook does not change). Automatically!

AI Lab will continuously look for talented undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral researchers. Research assistantships and other sponsorship will be provided for qualified candidates. For undergraduate research assistantships, please check on the UMass Amherst Student Job Board, where openings in Ai Group will be posted periodically. For a graduate research assistantship, please refer to the Graduate School Admission Office for general requirements. Email Dr. Chengbo Ai with your recent CV and the names of your references. Please contact Dr. Chengbo Ai for postdoctoral researchers to discuss your research interests and plan further.

Recent Group News

  • [2022-08-05] Papers accepted in IEEE Sensors and JRRT. Wilson’s papers, titled “An Automated Rail Extraction Framework for Low-density LiDAR Data without Sensor Configuration Information” and “Risk-Based Rail Gage Inspection Using iPhone 12 Pro,” have been accepted in the IEEE Sensors Journal and Journal of Rail and Rapid Transit, respectively. Glad to work with Wilson and Dr. Lu on this important work for local railroads. Congrats, Wilson!
  • [2022-07-28] Paper accepted in JTE Part A. Qing’s paper titled “An Automated Sound Barrier Inventory Method Using Mobile LiDAR” is accepted in ASCE Journal of Transportation Engineering Part A. One step further towards comprehensive asset management. Good job, Qing!
  • [2022-06-03] Paper accepted in Engineering Structures. George’s paper, “Using 3D Laser Scanning for Estimating the Capacity of Corroded Steel Bridge Girders: Experiments, Computations, and Analytical Solutions,” is accepted in Engineering Structures. Interesting approach to explore the mobile LiDAR’s full potential for conducting structural analysis. Great work, George and Simos.
  • [2022-05-11] Honors Thesis Defended! Wooseong has successfully defended his Honors thesis entitled “Quantifying Impacts of Sight Distance on the Utilization of Bike Boxes Using Video Surveillance and 3-D Lidar Scanning.” He will be joining AECOM in June. Congratulations, Wooseong!
  • [2022-04-26] Ph.D. candidacy! Emily has successfully defended her prospectus. Now a Ph.D. candidate. Congratulations!
  • [2022-03-23] Paper accepted in JITS. Katerina’s paper titled “A Framework for Mode Classification in Multimodal Environments using Radar-based Sensors” is accepted in the Journal of Intelligent Transportation Systems. Great job, Katerina!
  • [2022-01-20] Acorn Awards by MassVentures. The proposal on “Low-Cost Crowdsourcing-Based Infrastructure Mapping for Pedestrian Accessibility” has been funded by Acorn innovation grants through MassVentures. This is Qing’s first research proposal. Congrats, Qing!
  • [2021-12-26] Paper accepted in AAP. Alyssa’s paper titled “Crash Proximity and Equivalent Property Damage Calculation Techniques: An Investigation using a Novel Horizontal Curve Dataset” is accepted in Accident Analysis & Prevention. Great job, Alyssa!
  • [2021-12-16] Semester-end group get-together party. Great way to wrap this semester up. This group get-together is long overdue. Thank you, guys, for your hard work and resilience during these uncertain times.
  • [2021-12-11] Dwight David Eisenhower Transportation Fellowship awarded. Emily received the prestigious Eisenhower Transportation Fellowship for the second time, and she plans to use the funding to continue applying updated infrastructure compliance and condition data to spatially analyze the safety and mobility of a community multimodal transportation network. Congrats, Emily!
  • [2021-09-28] Paper accepted in AIC. Glad to have participated in this review paper. It could be the one-stop shop to learn more about what is going on for automated crack analysis in the transportation world, even with some benchmarking to boost. It was great to work with Dr. Qiu’s team!
  • [2021-04-16] Paper accepted in JTE. Wilson’s paper titled “Merging Technologies and Issues in Rail and Track Inspection for Local Lines in the United States: A Review” has been accepted in the ASCE Journal of Transportation Engineering. Glad to work with Wilson and Dr. Lu on this important work for local railroads. Congrats, Wilson!
  • [2021-04-15] Paper accepted in TRR. Emily’s first paper, titled “Roadway Lighting and Non-Motorist Crashes: A Spatial Comparison of Cambridge, MA,” has been accepted in the Journal of Transportation Research Record. Way to go, Emily!
  • [2021-02-03] Paper accepted in JSR. Amin and Dr. Lu’s paper titled “Investigating the Effectiveness of Safety Countermeasures at Highway-Rail At-Grade Crossings using a Competing Risk Model” is accepted in the Journal of Safety Research. Glad to participate in this work. Congrats, Amin and Dr. Lu!
  • [2020-11-26] Paper accepted in IET ITS. Alyssa’s paper titled “Evaluation of small unmanned aerial system highway volume and speed‐sensing applications” is accepted in IET Intelligent Transport Systems. Good job, Alyssa!
  • [2020-10-14] Dwight David Eisenhower Transportation Fellowship awarded. Emily received the prestigious Eisenhower Transportation Fellowship as a first-year Ph.D. student in our group, and she plans to use the funding to apply updated infrastructure compliance and condition data to spatially analyze the safety and mobility of a community multimodal transportation network. Congrats, Emily!
  • [2020-09-01] Paper accepted in TR-C. Qing’s first paper, “A network-level sidewalk inventory method using mobile LiDAR and deep learning,” is accepted in Transportation Research Part C: Emerging Technologies. Good job, Qing!
  • [2020-07-11] “Cynthia” is now operational. “Cynthia” is a Subaru Forester integrating the VMZ-2000 mobile LiDAR and the Ladybug5+ panoramic camera at Ai Group. Mapping more roads during COVID is not interrupted, thanks to a single-person operation station. Thank you for the help, Anuj and Kris!
  • [2020-06-12] AASHTO Sweet Sixteen 2020. Our research entitled “Improving Pedestrian Infrastructure Inventory in Massachusetts Using Mobile LiDAR” is selected for one of the “Sweet Sixteen” High-Value Research Projects By AASHTO RAC. Congratulations, Jack and Lily!
  • [2019-12-16] Nvidia GTC 2020. Our research on pedestrian infrastructure inventory using mobile LiDAR and deep learning is accepted to be presented at Nvidia GPU Technology Conference on March 23-26, 2020, in San Jose.
  • [2019-11-26] “Theodore 2” and “Theodore 3” arrived at our group. “Theodore 2” and “Theodore 3” are Velodyne HDL-32E and HDL-64ES3 LiDAR systems, respectively. They will work with “Theodore 1” on the CAV surveillance data harvesting project for infrastructure condition updates.
  • [2019-11-05] The project collaborating with MassDOT on “Improving Pedestrian Infrastructure Inventory in Massachusetts Using Mobile LiDAR” is featured in the TRB November Newsletter. The MassDOT Office of Transportation Planning has published the full report of this study.
  • [2019-10-18] “Sullivan” arrived at our group. ” Sullivan” is a Dual-GPU workstation for small-scale deep learning tasks. We are excited to get it started for handling a few frames of images.
  • [2019-09-23] Nvidia Accelerated Data Science Grant. Thanks for Nvidia’s Accelerated Data Science Grant. Our proposal on pedestrian infrastructure analysis using the LiDAR point cloud was awarded a couple of Titan Vs. Let’s map more sidewalks!
  • [2019-08-30] Welcome a new member. Xinyang Ye received his Bachelor’s degree in Railway Engineering from Southwestern Jiaotong University and joined Ai’s Group to pursue his Master’s degree in Transportation Engineering. Welcome!
  • [2019-08-10] “Wazowski” arrived at our group. “Wazowski” is a Quad-GPU workstation for small-scale deep learning tasks. We are excited to get it started for handling some LiDAR points.
  • [2019-04-10] Best Poster in the MassDOT Transportation Innovation Conference. Congratulations, Qing, for winning the best poster at MassDOT Transportation Innovation Conference. The research title is “Deep-Learning-Enabled LiDAR Point Cloud Segmentation for Intelligent Sidewalk Inventory.” Congrats to Harris and Katerina as well (Picture source: Katerina).
  • [2018-12-18] Welcome a new member. Yash Shah received his Bachelor’s degree in Electronics and Telecommunication Engineering at Pune Institute of Computer Technology and started pursuing his Master’s in Electrical and Computer Engineering at UMass. Welcome!
  • [2018-11-06] Papers accepted in ICTD 2019. Paper titled “Utility Tunnel Route Optimization for New Development in Urbanized Areas” and “Development of A Nationwide Horizontal Curve Inventory Using Open GIS Data” have been accepted by the International Conference on Transportation & Development 2019.
  • [2018-09-04] Welcome new members. Qing Hou received his Master’s degree from Sun Yat-sen University in Intelligent Transportation Systems Engineering in June 2018 and joined Ai’s Group to pursue his Ph.D. Yuhao Wang joined Ai’s Group to pursue his Master’s. Welcome!
  • [2018-07-28] Paper accepted in JRRT. The collaborative work with Dr. Qiu titled “Robust Rail Track Fastener Identification Under Extremely Low Illumination” is accepted for publication in the Journal of Rail and Rapid Transit.
  • [2018-06-16] “Theodore 1” arrived at our group. “Theodore 1” is a RIEGL VMZ-2000 mobile LiDAR system. In collaboration with Dr. Colin Gleason, we at UMass Amherst have become one of the few institutions that have the capacity to conduct mobile LiDAR scans for both ground transportation and maritime applications.
  • [2018-04-16] Paper accepted in CACIE. The collaborative work with Dr. Qiu titled “A Nonballasted Rail Track Slab Crack Identification Method Using a Level‐Set‐Based Active Contour Model” is accepted for publication in Computer-Aided Civil and Infrastructure Engineering.
  • [2018-02-09] Paper accepted in TRR. Cibi’s paper titled “Identification of Site Characteristics for Proactive High-Friction Surface Treatment Site-Selection Using Sensor-Based, Detailed, Location-Referenced Curve Characteristics Data” is accepted in Transportation Research Record. I am glad that some of my previous work at Georgia Tech became part of the publication on this topic. Good job! James and Cibi!