LAHORE: Punjab University College of Information Technology (PUCIT) at the University of the Punjab (PU), won a competitive research grant of Rs97.705 million to establish a research laboratory addressing the problem of traffic and transportation using Information and Communication Technology.
Dr Syed Waqarul Qounain is principal investigator of the lab and Dr Muhammad Murtaza Yousaf, Dr Shahzad Sarwar, and Mian Muhammad Mubashir are co-principal investigators.
The teachers of PUCIT applied for the grant to establish Agent Based Computational Modeling Laboratory in the National Center of Artificial Intelligence (NCAI). NCAI will consist of six research laboratories, one each at NUST, PU, UET (Lahore), CIIT, NED, and UET (Peshawar) with approximately Rs1.1 billion funding provided by the Planning Commission of Pakistan through Federal HEC.
The PUCIT laboratory prepared a roadmap to conduct state-of-the-art research and design intelligent software to solve traffic problems faced in the urban areas of the country. The college will also receive an additional grant through Rs280.85 million in shared funds.
PUCIT Principal, Dr Syed Mansoor Sarwar, said that this is perhaps the largest national competitive research grant won by PU teachers. He said that last year the faculty had won three competitive research grants worth around Rs12 million through HEC’s National Research Program for Universities, which formed the highest number of grants won among the 85 academic units in the whole of PU.
PUCIT will conduct studies to understand the behavior of drivers, design effective training and assessment tools and construct an intelligent in-vehicle driver support system. Besides that, they plan to build simulation software that will assist transport engineers and policy makers in understanding traffic dynamics, the effect of various on-road interventions on traffic flow, and the interaction of pedestrians with road vehicles.
According to Pakistan Bureau of Statistics 87,414 road accidents occurred between 2004 and 2013, causing injuries to around 148,230 persons, 31% of whom died.
Statistics by the World Health Organisation (WHO) show that about 1.25 million people die annually in road accidents worldwide.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 17th, 2018.