"Chicago has always been a transportation hub, and transit has always been an important element of our economy," Dr. Hani S. Mahmassani said in a recent RedEye Chicago article. "We could be a leader in the logistic operations of autonomous vehicles. It’s an important opportunity that we should be nurturing and not putting roadblocks on. We want to be a leader and not a laggard, and ultimately, it is a race. If you don't prepare, you will be obsolete when the next wave of technology hits. We should be asking ourselves, 'How should we reconfigure transit and infrastructure to accommodate this?' "
Mahmassani holds the William A. Patterson Distinguished Chair in Transportation at Northwestern University, where he is the Director of the Northwestern University Transportation Center. He has over 30 years of professional, academic and research experience in the areas of intelligent transportation systems, freight and logistics systems, multimodal systems modeling and optimization, pedestrian and crowd dynamics and management, traffic science, demand forecasting and travel behavior, and real-time operation of transportation and distribution systems.