HEVT’s Aadi Kothari Interns at Argonne National Laboratory  

Aadi Kothari, rising senior and Connected and Automated Vehicle (CAV) Subteam member from Virginia Tech’s Hybrid Electric Vehicle Team, spent his summer interning at Argonne National Laboratory with the Sustainable Transportation Education & Partnerships (STEP) team. Located just outside of Chicago, IL, Argonne is a science and engineering research national laboratory and offers a wide variety of undergraduate internship opportunities.  

Aadi gained his Argonne internship through the EcoCAR Mobility Challenge where he participated in the Connected and Automated Vehicle (CAV) subteam and spent Year 4 developing an external diagnostic tool that helped the team with testing on-road for Year 4 competition. 

 During his summer internship, Aadi worked on a Connected Vehicles project with Advanced Mobility Research Engineer, Dr. Priyash Misra. Aadi worked toward developing tools to enable controlled on-road testing for Vehicle-To-Everything (V2X) enabled vehicles. The goal of this project was to improve test scenarios by automating parts of the workflow.  

 “The creation of Signal Phase and Timing messages (SPaTs) for a given intersection is quite a labored task,” said Aadi. “For example, if the Signal timing for a single phase is 10 seconds, there is a SPaT for every decasecond, making it 100 SPaTs for creation for just one phase. Creating it and storing it in a text file (line-by-line) can easily take up to 30 minutes, if not more. When the phases and timings increase, it may end up taking several hours.” 

During his internship, Aadi developed a Graphical User Interface (GUI) that allows for automated SPaT creation where the user can transmit the same SPaT/MAPs Unaligned Packed Encoding Rule (UPER) Hexes to the Cohda Wireless MK5 Road-Side Unit (RSU) radios.  

According to Aadi, “Using the GUI allows for SPaT creation in less than a second with the click of a simple button. Transmission of these SPaT hexes becomes just as easy and only requires the user to input IP address and port of the radio, and the file containing the SPaTs for transmission.” 

The work completed by Aadi will support multiple projects at Argonne, including the upcoming EcoCAR EV Challenge and Argonne’s Advanced Mobility Technology Laboratory (AMTL) Everything-in-the-Loop (XIL) project. The Argonne Lab Perception and Connectivity Activity (ALPACA) will also be able to leverage these tools for on-road and dynamometer testing of CAV enabled vehicles. 

“After spending 10 valuable weeks with Dr. Misra and the fantastic engineers/scientists at Argonne, I have gained a lot of experience in concepts regarding V2X communication and improved my skills with the Cohda Wireless MK5 and SDK tools,” Aadi said. “I was also able to experience Argonne’s work culture and absolutely loved it. Argonne allows for flexible opportunities with personal growth and development, which will ultimately help me in my future career” he added.  

Outside of his internship, Aadi enjoyed deep dish pizza from Giordanos, Navy Pier, exploring River North on weekends, and countless concerts including Lollapalooza festival where he was able to see his favorite band, Glass Animals. He also enjoyed the various social activities that Argonne interns took part in, which included volleyball, rock-climbing, and bowling. 

When asked what he will miss most about his internship, Aadi said both his peers and the unique experiences at Argonne.  

“I feel like I am a part of something bigger at Argonne. The AVTC team has always made me feel like home. This place has given me a new appreciation for the Midwest and a great positive experience to reflect back on,” said Aadi. 

Aadi will soon be traveling back to Virginia for his senior year where he will continue studying Computer Engineering. Aadi will also step into the role of Sensors and Connectivity CAVs lead for the EcoCAR EV Challenge and looks forward to utilizing his skills learned during his internship.