Safe-D: Safety through Disruption

Featured Safe-D Faculty Interview: Myunghoon Ko (TTI)

Myunghoon Ko is a Safe-D faculty researcher at TTI working on Safe-D Project 01-004: Driver Training for Automated Vehicle Technology and Safe-D Project 01-006: Implications of Truck Platoons for Roadside and Vehicle Safety Hardware. Safe-D Student Eddie Cordova (SDSU) interviewed Dr. Ko as part of the the Safe-D Student and Faculty Interview Chain. Read on to learn more about Dr. Ko and his research!

What are your research interests?

My research interests are safety analysis and evaluation, sustainable highway design, human factor analysis using a driving environment simulator, and safety improvement for vulnerable roadway users. Especially, I am leading several pedestrian safety projects regarding the safety improvement of pedestrians/bicyclists aged 5 to 10 years old, the development of pedestrian database at intersections and midblock, pedestrian safety near transit stops and systemic approaches on pedestrian involved crashes.

What did you obtain your degree(s) in and where?

I earned a doctoral degree in Transportation Engineering at Texas A&M University.

How did you end up working at your current institute? Describe the path that led you to your current position.

Starting my study at Texas A&M, I had an opportunity to work as a graduate research assistant at Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI), and then continued to work as a full-time researcher after graduation.

How did you hear about the Safe-D National UTC and how did you get involved with this Safe-D project?

I heard about the Safe-D UTC at the brown lunch bag meeting. TTI researchers regularly gather during the lunch time and share information on research and any update.

Please describe your Safe-D project, including how you will be conducting/have conducted your study/studies, any major findings thus far that you can share publicly, and how the outcomes of your project will impact transportation safety.

I have participated two Safe-D projects so far. Both projects used TTI driving environment simulator. Safe-D Project 01-004: Driver Training for Automated Vehicle Technology is intended to develop training protocol guidelines to train drivers on the use of automated vehicles. Safe-D Project 01-006: Implications of Truck Platoons for Roadside and Vehicle Safety Hardware is intended to develop a simulation model that can assist stakeholders in the design of automated platooning technology to meet human limitations. Automated vehicle technology opens new era in transportation. The outcomes of those projects provide guidelines to utilize the benefits from automated vehicles for transportation safety.

How is your team sharing the results of your project with other transportation researchers, practitioners, and/or the general public?

The results and findings from the projects are going to be presented at professional transportation conference/meeting.

Do you expect any follow-on studies to result from the work that you are conducting/have conducted?

In research, continuation plays an important role in improving the quality of the study. I am working on the proposal to continue the project.

What advice do you have for a student, like me, who is pursuing a similar career path as yourself?

Don’t be caught in the format of already developed. New idea can be came up from flexible thinking.


The Safe-D Student and Faculty Interview Chain was created to encourage Safe-D students to facilitate contact with faculty and staff members participating on Safe-D projects via conducting a brief interview as a networking and career-building opportunity. To learn more about this initiative, please contact Safe-D Program Manager, Eric Glenn.