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UCF Competes With Industry Giants Ford And Uber In National Traffic Safety Competition

Jennifer Steck
Traffic Signals and Camera Against a Cloudy Sky

A team of researchers from the University of Central Florida is holding its own in a national competition aimed at making driving safer, and the university is the only one going up against industry giants like Ford and Uber.

The research team from the University of Central Florida’s College of Engineering and Computer Sciences beat nearly 50 other teams to move on to the second stage of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s national competition, Solving for Safety Visualization Challenge. The team’s entry, Real-Time Crash Visualization Tools for Traffic Safety Management, is a computer program using data to predict and prevent traffic accidents before they happen. The program relies on real-time traffic data, weather and history of past accidents and violations.

The researchers said the idea is that if the risk of an accident rises, immediate measures can be taken to reduce the risk like setting up signs warning drivers of dangerous conditions ahead.

The researchers will find out in January whether they are one of two finalists who will progress to the second stage of the competition. The winning team will receive $250,000.

Mohamed Abdel-Aty, a Pegasus Professor and chair of UCF’s Department of Civil, Environmental and Construction Engineering, leads the research. The research team was consists of students and researchers from the College of Engineering and Computer Sciences. The students on the research team are Yina Wu, Jinghui Yuan, Morgan Morris,Qing Cai, Yaogang Gong, Ou Zheng, Jacob Lites, Jiajia Dong, Whoibin Chung, Moatz Saad, Lishengsa, Jorge Ugan Yue, Shile Zhang, Zubayer Islam, Md Sharikur Rahman, Md Hasibur Rahman and professors Samiul Hasan and Jaeyong Lee.

After a brief stint as Morning Edition Producer at The Public’s Radio in Rhode Island, Talia Blake returned to Central Florida Public Media. She is a graduate of the University of Central Florida with degrees in both Broadcast Journalism and Psychology. While at UCF, she was an intern for Central Florida’s public affairs show, Intersection. She joined on as Morning Edition Host in 2019. In 2022, Ms. Blake was appointed to the Florida Association of Broadcast Journalist’s board of directors.