This project is a continuation of a C2SMART funded project from 2021 titled “Digital Twin Technologies Towards Understanding the Interactions between Transportation and other Civil Infrastructure Systems.” In the phase 1 project, the team built a digital shadow of campus civil infrastructure and visualized impacts of construction project schedule on the surrounding transportation infrastructure. Phase 2 is focused on expanding the work accomplished in phase 1, to extend the digital twin and enable live data feeds.
Digital Twin (DT) technology represents the next evolution in a gradual shift from physical to digital models in civil engineering. Computer-Aided Drafting (CAD) revolutionized the industry by reducing the time and costs associated with documenting the design. Building Information Modeling (BIM) has since all but eliminated the need for physical design descriptors (i.e., drawings or physical models). A digital twin is a relevant abstraction of the physical asset. Itis most frequently used to model/improve/control manufacturing systems. Civil engineering applications of DT have been starting to emerge, but transportation infrastructure represents a challenging extension of DT technology because of its spatial scale and voluminous and time-varying data. However, DT is a powerful decision support tool for the design, maintenance, and management of transportation infrastructure, particularly for studying the interdependency with other infrastructure systems.
This research project will investigate the design and operations of dedicated lanes for fully automated trucks, the suitability of existing infrastructure to accommodate these novel technologies, and the potential economic ramifications on the surrounding region. The project will use the I-10 Freeway in El Paso, Texas, from the New Mexico border in the west to milepost 55 in the east, as the testbed.