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U of MNUniversity of Minnesota
Center for Transportation Studies


Research at the ITS Institute focus on the development of tools and technologies to improve the safety and mobility of all forms of private and public transportation. These research activities span multiple disciplines, ranging from engineering and computer science to psychology and public policy.

Research spotlight

SMART Signal

SMART Signal (Systematic Monitoring of Arterial Road Traffic Signals) collects and archives event-based traffic signal data at multiple intersections and automati­cally generates real-time performance measures including travel time, number of stops, queue length, intersection delay, and level of service.

Learn more and watch a video about SMART Signal

Mobile Accessible Pedestrian Signal (MAPS)

Crossing a street isn’t risk-free for any pedestrian, but it’s especially challenging for the blind or visually impaired. The prototype Mobile Accessible Pedestrian Signal (MAPS) system uses GPS and other technologies to help people with limited or no eyesight cross signalized intersections safely.

Programs and Labs

  • The Minnesota Traffic Observatory (MTO) is a transportation laboratory focusing on testing and evaluation of new transportation management and operational strategies and traveler information technologies.
  • The HumanFIRST Program is the Institute’s primary human factors research laboratory, employing the tools and methods of psychology and human factors engineering to improve the understanding of driver behavior.
  • The Intelligent Vehicles Laboratory develops and tests innovative technologies that reduce driver error, integrating sensor networks, vehicle control systems, navigation systems, and specially designed human interface components.
  • Policy & Planning for ITS is a federally funded research program designed to equip transportation and infrastructure professionals with the technological tools to address congestion and other system challenges in the coming years.
  • The Northland Advanced Transportation Systems Research Laboratories (NATSRL) on the Duluth campus carries out a range of research including sensing, transportation data management, and management of transportation infrastructure.

Recently published research reports

More research reports

Key research partners

View complete listing of research sponsors