MTI Briefs World Bank Representatives on New Transportation Research
The Maryland Transportation Institute (MTI) hosted a delegation from the World Bank on Wednesday (July 17), presenting an overview of transportation initiatives being developed at the University of Maryland.
The visit reflects the World Bank’s goal of “bringing to our client countries top-notch solutions in the areas of transportation to help with our main mission, which is to eliminate extreme poverty,” said the delegation’s head, World Bank Transport and Information-Communications Technologies (ICT) Practice Manager Maria Marcela Silva.
With over 100 faculty conducting transportation-related research at 20 centers and labs, UMD is a hub for innovative solutions that address a range of transportation issues, including traffic safety and congestion. MTI, based at the A. James Clark School of Engineering, was established in 2018 to bring together research being conducted across the university.
Wednesday’s meeting included a presentation by Michael Pack, director of the Center for Advanced Technology Transportation Lab (CATT Lab). Pack provided an overview of CATT Lab's Regional Integrated Transportation Information System (RITIS), an analytics and visualization platform that is used by more than 8,000 transportation researchers and professionals nationwide.
Also presenting at the event were Kathleen Stewart, who directs the Center for Geospatial Information Science (CGIS) and Chenfeng Xiong, who has collaborated with MTI’s director, Herbert Rabin Distinguished Professor Lei Zhang, on the development of IncenTrip, an app that rewards users for congestion-reducing travel choices. In addition, Fred Ducca, policy group director for the National Center for Smart Growth Research and Education, briefed attendees on data and modeling tools for transportation policy studies, and Emily Boyle, vice president of the UMD student chapter of Engineers Without Borders (EWB), presented an overview of the student membership’s engagement in projects around the world, from Peru to Nepal.
The meeting highlighted the global reach of the work being done at UMD, Zhang said.
“While we have a specific focus, at MTI, on supporting the State of Maryland in addressing critical transportation challenges, the solutions being explored here have the potential to benefit everyone,” Zhang said. “Transportation is a global issue, and many areas of research at MTI—including traffic operations and safety, congestion reduction, environmental considerations, and the use of data analytics—have applicability to the developing world.”
July 25, 2019