Let’s imagine what a public transportation system for the future will look like: There will be a network of bus stops and transit stations strategically positioned connecting each neighborhood to the city’s business districts, hospitals and shopping centers. There will be a fleet of buses, light-rail, shuttles, driverless cars and bikes, all controlled by an intelligent management system. The system analyzes real-time data on the number of passengers at each location and their destinations and traffic conditions, and deploys the fleet to take every passenger to his/her destination in the most efficient and economical way. No more walking for two miles before getting to the nearest bus stop. No more congestion at the end of a workday. No more loss of employment opportunities because two communities are not connected by public transportation. Dr. Lynch’s team continues the work that was led by Dr. Pascal van Hentenryck in designing novel data-driven urban transportation systems and building the descriptive, predictive, and prescriptive technologies to power them. The team works with Benton Harbor as the site to validate the product. Benton Harbor presents an exciting opportunity for this research project to have significant societal impact due to the dire need this community has for improved transportation service. This project signifies the impending revolution in public transportation and mobility enabled by ubiquitous digital connectivity, significant advances in autonomous vehicles, intelligent transportation and asset management systems that benefit from state-of-the-art data science methodology.
Jerome Lynch, Principal Investigator, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Tierra Bills, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Wayne State University
Amy Cohn, Industrial and Operations Engineering
Robert Goodspeed, Taubman College
Jonathan Levine, Taubman College
Neda Masoud, Civil and Environmental Engineering
The “Mathematics of Transportation” webinar was presented in June 2019 for the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Mathematical approaches that inform transportation policies and improve transportation networks were discussed. The webinar will soon be posted to this link.
The team has developed and simulated an on-demand, multimodal transit system for Ann Arbor and is ready to deploy it. The system improves convenience, cost, and accessibility.