October 11, 2012
CTS commemorated our 25th anniversary at this special seminar and reception featuring Professor Hani Mahmassani of the Northwestern University Transportation Center. The seminar included highlights from Mahmassani's current initiative, Reinventing the User Experience in Transportation, and the reception featured fun facts from 1987—the year CTS was established.
In the seminar, Mahmassani explained how the quality of the user experience is falling across the spectrum of transportation systems and services. From crumbling infrastructure to crippling congestion, long waiting lines, crowded planes and transit vehicles, and missed time windows for critical freight deliveries, everyday experience with physical mobility continues to deteriorate. Yet in many other realms of personal consumption, new technologies and devices continue to please and delight consumers.
Drawing upon the lessons of highly successful consumer products and service concepts, Mahmassani explained how reinventing the user experience might call for rethinking the very definition of the output of a transportation system, or of the nature of the service provided by a transportation company. He also discussed issues related to placing the user at the center of system performance measurement. Mahmassani closed by illustrating some promising areas of best practice in improving the user experience and presenting the broad outlines of strategies that leverage personal communications, intelligent systems, and integrated physical design thinking in that process.
Hani Mahmassani is the director of the Northwestern University Transportation Center. He specializes in multimodal transportation systems analysis, planning and operations, dynamic network modeling and optimization, transit network planning and design, dynamics of user behavior and telematics, telecommunication-transportation interactions, large-scale human infrastructure systems, and real-time operation of logistics and distribution systems.