Nobody likes sitting in traffic. That’s one reason the Center for Applied Transportation Sciences (CATS) at the University of Arizona is bringing together government agencies, private companies and educational institutions to improve transportation systems, with a particular focus on smart cities.
“We want to use data to measure demand in the region so we can make recommendations about how people can adjust their travel behaviors,” CAEM associate professor and center director Yao-Jan Wu said. “Our goal is to combine emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence with existing multimodal infrastructure to make traffic move more efficiently – thereby reducing emissions and preventing people from sitting in congested traffic.”
The center partners with universities, private companies, and government entities throughout Arizona. Its core partners – the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT), Pima County and the City of Tucson – provided $400,000 in membership fee funding in fiscal year 2022.
“With the combined resources of government and academia, this team can create technologies to boost safety and efficiency for the traveling public,” said Brent A. Cain, Director of the Transportation Systems Management & Operations Division at ADOT.
Wu specializes in data-driven solutions to traffic operations issues, and has previously worked with the City of Tucson to optimize traffic light timing.