Area universities, Texas Research Alliance to provide innovative transportation assistance

North Texas becoming a center for testing of mobility innovation


A new research initiative has been developed to help industry, municipalities and public agencies meet real-world transportation challenges through innovative partnerships with universities across Dallas-Fort Worth.
 
The North Central Texas Council of Governments is partnering with the Texas Research Alliance and four area universities that have created the North Texas Center for Mobility Technologies.
 
The new center includes The University of North Texas, The University of Texas at Arlington, The University of Texas at Dallas and Southern Methodist University, and will establish a community-driven approach to supplying the region’s employers with the talent and research capacity needed to continue to be leaders in transportation technology innovation. It is intended to strengthen the universities’ capabilities in the transportation sector and to attract mobility technology companies to the region.
 
The North Texas Center for Mobility Technologies will provide a research and development network consisting of mobility companies, cities and public agencies and use the network to attract industry and academic talent to Dallas-Fort Worth. In the process, the participating universities will be able to further develop transportation-related research capabilities.
 
“Today’s challenges are best addressed through strategic partnerships, and that is exactly what we are creating by bringing together leaders in higher education, industry and transportation,” said Dr. Victor A. Fishman, executive director of the Texas Research Alliance. “Ultimately, the relationships cultivated as part of this exciting new venture could lead to partnerships that help the region take today’s ideas and turn them into tomorrow’s mobility solutions.”
 
The Regional Transportation Council approved $2.5 million in seed money earlier this year to help fund sponsored research projects advanced by the center. The RTC has established selection criteria and a process through which NCTCOG identifies which research projects to support with the funding approved.
 
The center will have competitive calls for projects and will partner with the community through research and innovation projects that will help entities meet mobility challenges and move more quickly to serving their customers. The research project sponsors, universities and NCTCOG’s seed money will all contribute to cover the cost of the research projects.
 
“We are pleased to join forces with North Texas’ research universities and the Texas Research Alliance to move this exciting initiative forward,” said Thomas Bamonte, NCTCOG senior program manager for automated vehicles. “We want North Texas to be a place where mobility innovators can access research and talent to move their companies forward and solve real-world problems. The North Texas Center for Mobility Technologies establishes a firm foundation for these efforts.”
 
The center is expected to be open in January and could include autonomous vehicle projects as well as those that employ other advanced technologies to improve mobility and access for communities.
Projects eligible for NCTCOG seed funding will be designed to accomplish one or more of the following:
 
  • Address mobility challenges
  • Contribute to economic development and jobs
  • Provide mobility models that will help address regional environmental concerns
  • Provide mobility solutions for underserved communities
  • Demonstrate technology leadership
 
The presence of this transportation technology research consortium could help the region attract innovative modes of transportation such as the high-speed options being studied for possible deployment in Dallas-Fort Worth. NCTCOG has initiated the Dallas-Fort Worth High-Speed Transportation Connections Study to examine potential technologies and routes for a transportation alternative in the Dallas-Arlington-Fort Worth corridor.
 
For additional information about the North Texas Center for Mobility Technologies visit http://tradfw.org/ntcmt or contact Dr. Fishman at victor@tradfw.org– National Central Texas Council of Governments 
 
About the North Central Texas Council of Governments
NCTCOG is a voluntary association of local governments established in 1966 to assist local governments in planning for common needs, cooperating for mutual benefit and coordinating for sound regional development. NCTCOG's purpose is to strengthen both the individual and collective power of local governments and to help them recognize regional opportunities, eliminate unnecessary duplication and make joint decisions.
 
NCTCOG serves a 16-county region of North Central Texas, which is centered on the two urban centers of Dallas and Fort Worth. Currently, NCTCOG has 238 member governments including
16 counties, 169 cities, 22 school districts and 31 special districts. For more information on the NCTCOG Transportation Department, visit www.nctcog.org/trans.
 
About the Regional Transportation Council
The Regional Transportation Council (RTC) of the North Central Texas Council of Governments has served as the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for regional transportation planning in the Dallas-Fort Worth area since 1974. The MPO works in cooperation with the region’s transportation providers to address the complex transportation needs of the rapidly growing metropolitan area. The Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area includes Collin, Dallas, Denton, Ellis, Hood, Hunt, Johnson, Kaufman, Parker, Rockwall, Tarrant and Wise counties. The RTC’s 44 members include local elected or appointed officials from the metropolitan area and representatives from each of the area’s transportation providers. More information can be found at www.nctcog.org.