Photo of Chaoru Lu with his glasses on and the car in the background.

With car and glasses packed with sensors, Chaoru explores the urban environment

Chaoru Lu, Associate Professor at OsloMet, displays gadgets that are nothing short of exciting: mobile data collection platforms.

Chaoru wears retro-styled glasses that are packed with sensors – and by his side, there is a LIDAR tool, Light Detection and Ranging technology that scans the environment and returns digital representations of the world around us. 

Behind him is an electric vehicle, set to be mounted with additional equipment and sensors, including the LIDAR. 

He is designing a rig to mount all the scientific equipment on the electric car that is to be used in drive-around science by Chaoru and his colleagues.  

Chaoru Lu thumbs up TransfUrban Science. He wears eye tracking and video recording glasses and holds a LIDAR device for mounting on the car (in the background). 

Chaoru explains that when fully equipped, the driving urban labcar will be able to measure a wide range of environmental parameters, such as road quality, pollutants in the air, a 3D representation of the surroundings as the car is driving using the LIDAR technology. 

LIDAR is not a novel innovation, but something used in research on vehicle automation; the novelty lies in combining LIDAR inputs and driver inputs (from the glasses) to understand how we interact with our urban environment. 

Chaoru and the researchers connected to the TransfrUurban research group at OsloMet, are recording the car journey as the driver experiences it. 

Using eye tracking technologies, the TransfrUrban team can detect where and when the driver is looking on the road. 

Together with international colleagues, Chaoru has developed an algorithm that identifies humans and their motion behavior as they walk in traffic in the videos. 

The algorithm makes it possible to associate eye movements of the driver with people in traffic (without revealing personal information).  

The research can facilitate the transition towards a safer transport system and integrate findings with methods used in automated vehicles. 

At OsloMet, sustainable smart solutions are an integrated part of science and teaching – students at the SMUA master (Smart Mobility and Urban Analytics - OsloMet) are trained in technologies relevant for smart transport planning – including technologies and methods taught by Chaoru.  

Photo of Chauru with the glasses on.

Photo of Chaoru with the glasses on – I wonder if the glasses were recording our interview.

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Transport and urban planning

You get a practical and profession-oriented specialisation in integrated urban and transport planning, geographical planning, technology or landscape architecture.

Two Transport and Urban Planning master's students in front of an illuminated city map of Oslo.
Published: 29/03/2023 | Olav-Johan Øye