PI Spotlight: Jakob Eriksson

Jakob Eriksson, assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), is currently serving as principal investigator on the ICT/IDOT project “Opportunistic Traffic Sensing Using Existing Video Sources (Phase II).” The objective of this research is to produce accurate average daily traffic (ADT) counts and a software artifact with the purpose of counting vehicles and vehicle movements using existing road-facing video cameras.

This project builds on the findings of a previous ICT/IDOT project, “Leveraging Traffic and Surveillance Video Cameras for Urban Traffic,” where the use of existing video resources such as traffic cameras, police cameras, red light cameras, and security cameras for long-term, real-time collection of traffic statistics, was investigated.

Phase II of the project, which kicked off in May 2015, focuses on making the existing prototype video-based traffic counting software produced in the first project available to practitioners in the field and usable by IDOT personnel.

“In addition to improving the software and its user interface, Phase II will focus on improving the software’s algorithmic accuracy and robustness to adverse conditions,” says Eriksson.

The project, led by an IDOT Technical Review Panel chaired by William Morgan, Planning and Systems Section Chief at IDOT, is expected to be completed by November 2016.

In addition to that two-phase project, Eriksson previously served as principal investigator on “Evaluation of Traffic Flow Monitoring Technologies: Cicero–Midway Smart Corridor Case Study,” completed in December 2010, which led to development of a prototype system for low-cost traffic-flow measurement using Wi-Fi transmission monitoring.

Among other research efforts, Eriksson is helping lay the foundation for comprehensive real-time monitoring of traffic conditions throughout urban streets and highways in a project sponsored by a National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER award under the title “Sensor Fusion for Multi-Modal Traffic Sensing.” He is also involved in a collaborative research study titled “Cyber-Enabled Demand-Interactive Transit for Sustainable Transportation,” which is funded by NSF’s Civil, Mechanical and Manufacturing Innovation Division. Eriksson’s role in that project focuses on investigating new ways of interacting with public transit services through electronic displays and smartphone applications.

Eriksson grew up in Sweden, where he earned his M.Sc. in computer science from the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. He graduated with a Ph.D. from the University of California–Riverside in 2006.