Driver-facing Technologies to Improve Urban Mobility

February 04, 2011
An MIT symposium on technology and research for smart roads and smart vehicles.

A one-day symposium was held on Friday, February 4, 2011, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to address issues related to urban traffic congestion.

The goal of this symposium is to encourage discussion of ideas, research, pilot programs and technologies for reducing traffic congestion.  While there is broad consensus that reducing congestion requires pricing and other policies that “push” drivers to change their driving habits, there are also manifold opportunities to use beneficial programs and technology to “pull” drivers to achieve the same goals.  This workshop will investigate ways to implement “pull” programs that use traveler and traffic pre-trip, in-trip and real-time information; personalized driver feedback; social networking; setting of lifestyle, health and carbon reduction goals; and pay-as-you-drive insurance.  The underlying premise is that an integrated program to provide incentives and tools for more intelligent and efficient use of transportation infrastructure can result in significant reductions in vehicle miles traveled and congestion with benefits for both individual drivers and system performance.   

The workshop focused on opportunities to use in-vehicle devices and software applications toward achieving these goals.  The workshop addressed a number of questions: What approaches should be considered for integration of vehicle and driver-facing technology, communications and applications?  What are effective ways to motivate drivers to become active and engaged participants?  What insights can behavioral economics provide to “nudge” behavior using these tools?  What opportunities does social networking offer to attract, motivate and engage potential participants?  What are potential business cases for app development?


Speakers Included:

John Attanucci (MIT)
Hari Balakrishnan (MIT)

Max Donath (University of Minnesota) presentation
Emilio Frazzoli (MIT)
Marta Gonzalez (MIT) presentation
Sanjay Sarma (MIT)
Bruce Schaller (New York City Department of Transportation)
James Whitty (Oregon Department of Transportation) presentation
Nigel Wilson (MIT) presentation