The Transportation Research Board (TRB) held its annual meeting in Washington, D.C. last January. The event brought together leading transportation experts, researchers, and professionals from around the world to exchange knowledge and ideas about the latest developments in transportation.
The Transportation Research Board (TRB) annual meeting is a crucial gathering for transportation professionals, providing a platform for the exchange of knowledge and ideas, and the opportunity to learn about the latest advancements in the field. The event serves as a catalyst for the advancement of transportation research and the development of innovative transportation solutions that will help to create a better future for everyone.
The Centre de Recerca Matemàtica was present at this year’s TRB annual meeting. David Romero, from the CRM Knowledge Transfer Unit, and Lluís Alsedà, CRM Director, attended the meeting in Washington D.C. and had the opportunity to exhibit a poster presenting the Bus on-demand project developed by the CRM and promoted by Transports Metropolitants de Barcelona (TMB). They were accompanied by Josep Mensión, Director of the Bus Central Services Division at TMB.
The project studies the feasibility and advantages of using Demand-responsive transport (DRT) to replace local fixed routes within the city of Barcelona. It offers a service based on pre-established or dynamic routes and stops, which are adapted to the needs of origin or destination of the users. The aim is to optimize vehicle routes by maximizing the number of passengers and reducing travel time, by using cutting edge technology, custom made algorithms. These algorithms are inspired by aspects found on genetics and the natural selection mechanism, due to their adaptability, and that are also involved in the creation of Artificial Intelligence systems.
“Our goal by attending the TRB Annual Meeting is two-fold”, says David Romero, doctor in mathematics and member of the CRM KTU team. “On the one hand, we want to bring attention to the fact that there are mathematicians currently working on solving transport related problems, but we also want to explore what other challenges affecting society are out there that could be approached from a mathematical perspective to optimise procedures, whether it’s the use of certain materials to build roads or the impact of traffic lights frequency on traffic flow.”
The meeting offered an open forum to discuss the role of transportation in addressing global challenges such as climate change, equity, safety, and economic growth. Over the course of five days, participants attended technical sessions, workshops, and plenary sessions to hear presentations on cutting-edge research and innovative transportation solutions.
Transportation Innovation for a Better Future
In terms of what the future of the project developed together with TMB has in store, Romero believes that ‘’working with TMB brings a great opportunity for us to explore other problems and challenges affecting their activity, that could be improved or systematized. We would like to keep collaborating with them to strengthen our participation in international events from a research standpoint, such as the TRB Annual Meeting in the future.’’
The TRB meeting also featured several interactive sessions, including roundtable discussions, and networking opportunities. These sessions provide attendees with opportunities to discuss transportation challenges and explore potential solutions with their peers, with an emphasis on research and scientific advancement. In addition, the TRB showcases several exhibitions featuring the latest in transportation technology, products, and services. Events such as this stress the importance of collaboration and cooperation in advancing the transportation field and serves as an excellent opportunity to highlight the role that mathematics and math-based solutions can play when addressing global challenges to create a better future for all.
CRM Comm Team
Anna Drou | Pau Varela
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