Zixiu Fu

Smart Community Corps – Zixiu Fu

Project: Connected Vehicles
Location: Gwinnett County

Zixiu is currently pursuing his master’s degree in Computational Science and Engineering/Civil and Environmental Engineering at Georgia Tech, and is expected to graduate in December of this year, He received his bachelor’s degree in Biological and Agriculture engineering from Texas A&M University, where he was awarded the William H. Aldred Endowed Scholarship. He is a member of the Alpha Epsilon Honor Society and Dean’s list at Texas A&M.

Zixiu has conducted research at the Intelligent Transportation Lab (ITS) at GT where he developed a user interface to optimize the workforce of student worker and to integrate video labeling to vehicle data entry process.  He utilized the collected data to train image classifier and vehicle license plate identifier through OpenCV and TensorFlow.
He was involved with creating a sensor system that monitors wind velocity, temperature, and relative humidity at multiple points within a wind tunnel to simulate Particular Matter Pollution (PM2.5 Emissions).

Zixiu will be working on site at Gwinnett County DOT central facility reporting to Alex Hofelich, Traffic Engineering Division Director – Gwinnett County, to evaluate traffic management technologies for improved vehicle mobility within region.  He will assist Dr. Guin, Senior Research Engineer – GT School of Civil & Environmental Engineering, with data collection and analysis supporting the Connected Vehicle Technology Masterplan.  This Masterplan will be used to evaluate compatibility with other transportation systems within the region, specially the Peachtree Industrial Boulevard (PIB) smart corridor project.  Zixiu will review the draft/final documents for the Connected Vehicle Technology Master Plan and documents related to the Gwinnett Smart Corridor Project.  He will participate in a presentation to County decision makers about the Connected Vehicle Master plan and Smart Corridor Project.

In his spare time, Zixiu likes to develop smart gadgets and share them on the open-source community. He also likes to play piano and guitar.

We welcome Zixiu onboard and are happy to have him on our Smart Community Corps Team.

Zixiu’s experience with SCC in his own words:

The Smart Cities Internship program has provided an excellent experience for me this summer. The biggest strength of the programs is it has allowed me to work on a practical research project with professors while gaining industry exposure working at the Gwinnett County Traffic Control Center (TCC). The research project I’m working on is Connected Vehicle (CV) technology, where we are exploring the feasibility of modifying traffic light schedules in real time to provide clearance for approaching emergency vehicles, specifically fire trucks.

This project is one of many practical applications of the CV system that our society has been investigating for decades. Gwinnett County has already invested and implemented an Intelligent Transportation System (ITS), a county-wide system of fiber-connected centralized-controlled intersections. The system has significantly simplified the collection of signal data since most of it is available straight on the server. After collecting a huge amount of signal status data, I wrote a script to filter data and created an API for streamlined data access. I worked closely with Georgia Tech professor Dr. Angshuman Guin and Civic Data Science students to match the signal data to the paths of each fire truck and then performed analysis on the potential response time improvement. We also visualized those data to show directly where bottlenecks were located and how those sections of road and intersections could be improved with the connected vehicle technology.

While most of my work was focused on research and data, I also participated in some projects at the Gwinnett County Traffic Control Center. I worked with Gwinnet traffic control engineers in the field to manually synchronize the clock on several intersections that have no fiber connection. The afternoon sun and heat helped me to realize the importance and the potential of the ITS system not just for operations but for maintenance activities too. Fortunately, Gwinnett has continued to increase ITS coverage across the county. In early June, I visited a construction site where contractors are testing wireless point to point connections for remote intersections. Moreover, I have completed a new project charter, an administrative document, to describe the next phase ITS construction, and submitted it to the Georgia Department of Transportation for approval.

Overall, the Connected Vehicle project was very fun to work on, and the experience of the internship program was excellent. I believe the platform provided by Georgia Smart will continue to contribute to Smart Cites project successes and ultimately benefit our society.

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