McMaster and industry powerhouse Cubic reimagine the future of inclusive mobility

A smiling man stands outside in front of a minivan with its door open. The sky is blue and the sun is shining.

Experts from the McMaster Automotive Resource Centre, led by engineering prof and Canada Research Chair in Transportation Electrification and Smart Mobility Ali Emadi, are working with Cubic Transportation Services to reimagine the future of inclusive mobility.

McMaster and Cubic Corporation’s Cubic Transportation Systems (CTS) business division are partnering to launch the Centre of Excellence for Artificial Intelligence and Smart Mobility.

This long-term program will develop the building blocks to design the future of inclusive mobility through innovation and technology collaboration between government, academia, and the public and private sectors.

The program will also train the next generation of engineers, scientists and leaders through hands-on research and product development with public and private mobility service providers.

Experts from the McMaster Automotive Resource Centre (MARC), one of the most extensive transportation research institutes in North America and headquarters of the new centre, and CTS, the leading provider of transportation and traffic management solutions, will work together  to address complex issues facing transportation systems through multidisciplinary research and product development.

In addition to developing the future workforce — including undergraduate and graduate students, postdocs, faculty and research staff — the program focuses on bringing diversity to product development and innovation.

“Creating this Centre of Excellence delivers an ecosystem dedicated to improving the way people move around their towns and cities through the advancement of transportation technology and products,” said Galen Chui, SVP of engineering at CTS.

“Data analytics, computer vision, and machine learning are our technical areas of focus while our design foundation centers around accessibility and inclusion to ensure mobility works for all citizens.”

Students will have an opportunity to participate in projects from research through to implementation in areas such as leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) techniques for integrating and controlling smart devices, infrastructure, traffic, and environmental conditions to improve and optimize mobility as a whole. Other research will develop scenario simulations to help build, test, and validate innovations before real-world implementation.

Engineering professor Ali Emadi, the Canada Research Chair in Transportation Electrification and Smart Mobility, will represent the partnership during the Toronto Region Board of Trade Transportation Summit on Feb. 3.

The Transportation Summit addresses the need for a transportation system that adapts to users’ needs for reliable mobility and how the industry can deliver solutions.

“I look forward to sharing the Centre of Excellence’s mission to design the future of mobility through innovation and technology through the equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) lens,” says Emadi.

“We want to invite all sectors to join forces with us to support research and advance the state of the industry. With the help of academia, non-profit organizations, governments, government labs, private start-ups, SMEs, and large corporations, as we come out of the pandemic we can build back better, with more sustainable and inclusive technologies that benefit our communities.”

The partnership with Cubic emphasizes the need to incorporate EDI into transportation system development, says Arig al Shaibah, the university’s associate vice-president, equity and inclusion.

“Keeping principles of inclusive excellence at the forefront of research projects will drive innovation, and with this partnership, will result in moving toward a future of electrification and automation that is more accessible, sustainable, and better reflects the world and people around us.”

The initiative speaks directly to Emadi’s reputation as a leader in the automotive and transportation industry and allows McMaster students and faculty to develop cutting-edge solutions with partners, says Karen Mossman, McMaster’s vice-president, research.

“This collaboration with Cubic will lead to new and innovative technologies that will both advance the industry and benefit society.”

Click here to learn more about Cubic, MARC and the new centre of excellence.

Related Stories