Reinventing Urban Transportation and Mobility

The RITMO project is funded by the Michigan Institute of Data Science and aims at reinventing urban transportation and mobility. It builds on two key enablers, connected and automated vehicles, and leverages the tremendous progress in data science to design and operate a new generation of on-demand urban transit systems. RITMO assembles a multi-disciplinary team of researchers, from computer science, industrial and operations engineering, medicine, the school of information, urban planning, and the transportation research institute.  

RITMO carries basic research in data science, from descriptive to predictive and prescriptive analytics, spanning research in data mining, machine learning, optimization, computational economics, marketing, and urban planning. RITMO also aims at deploying its results on significant case studies through the development of mobile applications and high-performance analytics over massive data sets. The project is partnering with the UM Parking and Transportation Services, the UM Information and Technology Services,, the UM advanced research computing technology services for the deployment of our technologies, and the Mobility Transformation Center. A first deployment on the UM campus should take place in 2017.

Mobility Living Laboratory

One of RITMO’s goal is to establish the UM campus and the broader Ann Arbor region as a unique living laboratory for mobility.  RITMO aims at dramatically improving the mobility experience for everyone on campus, integrating on-demand transportation, multiple fleets of vehicles, and bike sharing. See our UM case study. The following video visualizes the new proposed transit system at the University of Michigan. High-frequency buses are depicted in blue, on-demand shuttles in green, and waiting riders in red. The taller the buses, the shuttles, and the waiting queues are, the more people are traveling on the buses and the shuttles or waiting at the stops.The visualization is based on real ridership data.


Data Science for Transportation

RITMO believes that data science presents a unique opportunity to transform urban mobility. We now have access to substantial data sets about mobility, infrastructure, transit systems, and congestion. The RITMO project is collecting and mining huge data sets to inform the design and operations of on-demand transportation systems. The picture below depicts a density map of boardings on the Ann Arbor transit system.


This video depicts the operations of the transit system on October 7, 2013.

Congestion Management

Rush hours is essentially an evacuation or the reverse of an evacuation. The RITMO team has substantial experience in designing evacuation algorithm. The video below illustrates some of the work.