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2021 ScooterLab Workshop: Planning for the Development of a Community Testbed to Support Micromobility Research

Murtuza Jadliwala; Greg Griffin; Anindya Maiti; Raveen Wijewickrama; Jeffrey Jobe; Sushil Prasad

This report describes the planning, organization and outcomes of the workshop aimed at bringing together the broader computing, engineering, transportation, and urban planning research community to plan for the development and implementation of ScooterLab, a community research infrastructure initiative, currently under development at the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA). This publicly accessible micromobility testbed and crowd-sensing infrastructure will provide researchers with highly customizable access to a fully operational fleet of dock-less e-scooters, retrofitted with state-of-the-art sensors, and a community of riders, including data sensed/collected from (and during) their rides. Data collected from the various experiments on this testbed is expected to support and enable research in a variety of areas including, but not limited to, Machine Learning (ML) & Artificial Intelligence (AI), High-Performance Computing, Security and Privacy, Mobility Modeling, Urban Planning & Policy, and Civil & Transportation Engineering.

As a follow-up to the first workshop, which was organized locally, the goal of this nation-wide community engagement and planning event was to provide an overview of ScooterLab’s primary mission and vision to the broader research community, and to understand their needs and expectations vis-à-vis micromobility-related and micromobility-supported research data collection. The overarching goal is to build a collaborative research community around the ScooterLab testbed. This workshop was organized virtually using Zoom (due to the COVID-19 pandemic related restrictions) on Friday, June 18th, 2021. It was attended by a diverse group of faculty and researchers, which enabled rich discussion in four thematic areas – (i) Engineering, development, and deployment of ScooterLab, (ii) Customizable data collection and research enabled by ScooterLab, (iii) Research data publication and best practices, and (iv) Data analysis and visualization. Besides breakout discussion sessions on these topics, the workshop program also included an introduction to ScooterLab and an update on the prototype development efforts, short lightning talks by workshop attendees, and research poster presentations by graduate students. This report summarizes the discussion on the above topics and the general feedback from the community on the various design and operational aspects of the planned testbed. The expectation is that the discussions and outcomes reported here will serve as an important guide towards building an open, inclusive and multi-disciplinary community research infrastructure.

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