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Affiliated Centers

University Transportation Centers

The U.S. Department of Transportation University Transportation Center (UTC) program was the cornerstone upon which VTTI was built. In 1988, VTTI—then called the Center for Transportation Research—was established in direct response to the UTC program, serving as part of a Penn State-led team (along with the University of Virginia) composing the Mid-Atlantic Universities Transportation Center (MAUTC) and in cooperation with the Virginia Department of Transportation. From its inception, VTTI evolved and thrived through access to the interdisciplinary base of faculty members and students at MAUTC consortium institutions. Because of this strong foundation, the institute advanced to include hundreds of research sponsors, partners, and clients from both the public and private sectors, as well as a strong educational program that seeks to train the future workforce for the multidisciplinary needs of our nation’s transportation future.

VTTI has been involved in multiple UTCs, including leading the Tier 1 Connected Vehicle/Infrastructure University Transportation Center (CVI-UTC) from 2012-2016 and serving as a consortium member of the Mid-Atlantic Transportation Sustainability University Transportation Center (MATS UTC) led by the University of Virginia.

Currently, VTTI leads the national Safety through Disruption (Safe-D) UTC and is a consortium member of two Tier 1 UTCs.

Safe-D: Safety through Disruption

Vehicle on road

Fueled by the inevitable changes in our transportation system, the Safety through Disruption (Safe-D) UTC endeavors to maximize the potential safety benefits of disruptive technologies through targeted research that addresses the most pressing transportation safety questions. Safe-D focuses on three key areas: (1) cutting-edge research by leading transportation safety experts and their students; (2) education and workforce development with programs for all levels from grade school through college to continuing education for professionals; and (3) fully supported technology transfer including practitioner training partnerships, social networking, commercialization, and intellectual property management.

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Center for Advanced Transportation Mobility


The Center for Advanced Transportation Mobility (CATM) fosters transdisciplinary collaboration to address current and anticipated future transportation needs for all vulnerable populations. With “Ensuring Mobility for Vulnerable Populations” as its theme, CATM promotes the development of novel solutions focused on enabling safe and efficient mobility for vulnerable individuals and optimizing mobility for vulnerable populations in emergency situations. Research conducted through CATM will improve the availability of transportation options for the most vulnerable members of society, enabling equitable access to the ever-changing world.

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Urban Mobility and Equity Center

City traffic

The Urban Mobility & Equity Tier 1 Center (UMEC) focuses on research to improve the urban mobility of people and goods in a safe, environmentally sustainable, and equitable manner. UMEC’s research program addresses the following topic areas: increasing access to opportunities, smart cities, novel modes of transport, systems integration, analytical tools to optimize movement, and regional planning. UMEC also promotes education and research opportunities for minorities and women to prepare them for transportation careers.

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