Wayne State introduces Mobility for All competition to tackle real-world issues in transportation and community health

The Wayne Mobility Initiative (WMI), an interdisciplinary group formed in February to promote collaboration and innovation across Wayne State University in the area of mobility, recently announced the launch of a Mobility for All competition. The objective of this yearlong, three-phase event is for teams to create impactful and adaptable solutions to mobility challenges, with applications in transportation as well as community health and planning.

"This competition is the first of its kind in the state. It is community driven and student led," said Weisong Shi, professor of computer science in the College of Engineering and chair of the WMI steering committee, which includes faculty members from various schools and colleges across campus. "We solicited input from and talked with community leaders intensively about the mobility challenges they face."

In the initial design phase, teams will propose solutions to one of eight identified challenges that include public transit; connected and autonomous vehicles; alternative transportation modes such as biking and walking; and accessibility of food, health care and community engagement. This portion of the competition ends Dec. 11, at which time up to 10 finalists will be selected to present their ideas to the WMI panel.

Subsequent phases include development, testing and scaling. Remaining teams will be pared down until a winner is selected in October 2021.

Wayne State University has made establishing itself as an academic and research leader in the evolving domain of mobility a priority given how understanding and implementing these concepts can transform cities and the ways people live and move. The College of Engineering offers a graduate certificate program in mobility as well as online professional development courses in specialized areas of mobility. A newly established master of science program in robotics includes a smart mobility track, and plans are in place to offer a fully-online M.S. in computer science with a concentration on autonomous driving. In 2019, Wayne State and the Michigan Mobility Institute created the Center for Advanced Mobility to close the gap and better align academia curriculum and industry needs.

Shi noted that, according to Michigan's Office of Future Mobility and Electrification, Wayne State has developed the most comprehensive mobility training program among all other universities in the state over the last year.

"Wayne State has more than 60 faculty members across the campus actively undertaking mobility-related research activities and education," said Shi. "This competition will provide the opportunity for our students and faculty to work with community leaders to develop innovative, impactful and accessible solutions for the real world."

Visit mobility.wayne.edu to learn more about WMI or to apply for the Mobility for All competition.

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