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UA forms transportation research institute

Posted at 2:15 PM, May 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-22 20:18:21-04
The way commuters get from point A to point B has come a very long way since the days of ship or horse and buggy. 
But, the University of Arizona says, we still have a long way to go when it comes to finding a solution to traffic congestion and safety. That is why the university announced this week that they have developed the Arizona Transportation Research Institute. 
The institute is looking to drive us into the future of transportation. 
"Transportation is sort of one of those over-arching areas that impacts everybody's life everyday," said Larry Head. "I mean, we all have to travel one way or another."
Head is a professor of Systems and Industrial Engineering at the UA. He is one of the handful of experts on-board of this transportation institute. 
"One of the goals is to really improve transportation for the citizens of Tucson, Arizona, the nation and the world," Head explained.
The UA reports the average urban commuter in the country lost more than 40 hours last year for being stuck in traffic. That is estimated to cost about $160 billion for loss of productivity, plus wear and tear on cars and roadways. 
"The institute allows the faculty to pursue the things that they're interested in, but helps build better collaborations," Head said. "We'd love to be part of reducing the 34,000 deaths that occur every year from traffic crashes. We would love to improve the environment and the atmosphere and make people's lives better by making mobility just part of what you do everyday and not a hindrance."
Head said, there will be a time when cars take us exactly where we want to go safety and efficiently. 
"You can just turn your back on the car and have a conference call and do all the texting you want and show-up at your destination," Head said.
He is a small piece of the puzzle working to make that happen. 
To learn more about the institute and those involved, click here.