Carnegie Mellon University

Commercial truck on road

May 31, 2022

Yuan Presents Tang-Led Project at UTC Conference

Recently, CEE student Chenyu Yuan presented “Towards Data-Driven and Continuous Safety Inspection of Commercial Trucks and Trailers” at the 7th annual UTC Conference for the Southeastern Region. The project, led by Professor Pingbo Tang and funded by Mobility21, has the goals of enhancing the safety of fleets of commercial trucks and trailers without compromising mobility and operating costs as well as effective use of historical and real-time telematics data for deterioration digital twinning of vehicle fleets for proactive inspection and maintenance.

Tang says that the idea for the work came from using historical inspection reports to identify deterioration trends and correlate those trends of the properties of structures. This allows engineers to prioritize the structures for inspection and maintenance while still ensuring the safety of structures. 

“I am trying to apply this idea to mechanical systems and commercial vehicles . . . and UTC has a project that needs researchers to use inspection reports of commercial vehicles for prioritizing the vehicles for inspection and maintenance to reduce the fleet operating costs while minimizing accidents of vehicles due to problematic vehicle components that violate the regulation.”  

Yuan adds that working alongside Tang allowed him to use research ideas and solutions from bridge engineering, civil engineering, and statistics for vehicle industry. He explains that Tang helped him to prepare for the project presentation by teaching him how to appropriately communicate with industry partners who know the domain challenges of vehicle fleet management.

Through their partnership, Tang taught Yuan to define and refine practical problems while identifying underlying mathematical and scientific challenges to resolve those practical problems. “All these capabilities are critical for Chenyu as he works to make changes in the transportation and commercial vehicle fleet management industry, while helping governmental agencies develop policy and regulations that fully utilize real data for social welfare,” Tang states.

Yuan credits the support of Tang and his CEE education with helping him to feel comfortable and confident presenting before a large academic conference. “My courses at CEE gave me hands-on experience to help me overcome many difficulties during my research. I’m thankful for the opportunity to present [our] work because showing your ideas to others and interacting and getting feedback is always important.”