Equitable Electric Mobility: Smart Charging and Smart Parking

Funded in part by the National Science Foundation under Award CNS-2126633

This Houston-based project establishes a collaborative process with community and commercial technology partners to accelerate the equitable development of accessible fast charging infrastructure and electric vehicle (EV) ownership for low income families by leveraging regional markets of early EV adopters. The novelty of the project lies in a community-driven participatory approach that integrates both social and technical dimensions, bringing transformational change to EV ownership and electrification of smart public transportation. This will be achieved using a data-driven model that integrates real-time data from micro-transit, fixed-route transit, and carpooling services to predict and overcome the uncertainties of traffic conditions, which would result in uncertain travel times and poor reliability. An engaging process establishes collaborative relationships, and identifies adopter indicators and incentives for equitable EV ownership and transit ridership. The project will result in a templet and framework for implementing smart transit hubs, which can be reapplied as best practices at other facilities of the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County (METRO) or other transit systems.

Greater access to new electric mobility technologies requires reduction in economic barriers to EV ownership and transportation services. Communities need to proactively plan for transportation technologies to improve the lives of low-income communities while lowering emissions, increasing transit use, and reducing congestion. The intellectual merits include application of emerging data analytics, smart technologies, and machine learning to tackle a national challenge of equitable access to EV ownership and electric mobility. The project builds a model using artificial neural networks to capture complex, non-linear phenomena and parameterize data for real-time decision making. The broader project impacts include developing a digital ecosystem and incentive programs reflecting the national need to stimulate equitable access to EV ownership; regional policy impact demonstrating collaborative partnerships between cities, EV companies, fast charging developers, and ridesharing services; and research that opens up opportunities to use the data for EV impacts on the energy grid and future smart grid research. This project will identify how the deployment of smart technologies can improve the reliability, comfort, and affordability of transit services.

Aron Laszka
Aron Laszka
Assistant Professor