Arizona State University (ASU) has been named the lead institution for a new U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) Tier 1 University Transportation Center that will focus on improving regional travel demand forecasting.
The center’s work will be part of a larger U.S. DOT program to develop new systems and technologies that provide better surface transportation mobility and accessibility across the country.
The new center, called the Center for Teaching Old Models New Tricks (TOMNET), puts ASU in charge of a consortium that includes researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology, the University of Washington and the University of South Florida.
TOMNET’s mission is to significantly improve data models and analytical tools that are used to plan transportation infrastructure, operate multimodal systems and optimize travelers’ movements in complex networks, said Ram Pendyala, the center’s director.
The inspiration for the TOMNET center is drawn from the decades of complementary research and experience of Pendyala and Georgia Tech Professor Patricia Mokhtarian, the center’s research director.
More than simply advancing the analytical aspects of forecasting models, TOMNET will incorporate “human factors” into its research by exploring ways in which sociological and psychological aspects of people’s attitudes and values can be used in predicting transportation choices and mobility patterns.