Feb. 2, 2016 - Tucson, Arizona  Metropia, Inc., in partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), was awarded a lead role in developing an architecture that incentivizes drivers to improve their commuting behavior through more energy-efficient  choices.

This effort, funded by the TRANSNET program, a national initiative by the Department of Energy's Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), selected five high-potential, ground-breaking technologies to revolutionize the energy efficiency of the transportation sector. The other selected teams are Palo Alto Research Center, Georgia Tech Research Corporation, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and University of Maryland at College Park.

NREL is partnering with Metropia to leverage their urban analytics platform including Metropia, the only mobile app that incentivizes drivers to make better travel decisions. "The Connected Traveler project will move beyond existing transportation studies that look at only roads and drivers," NREL urban mobility project leader Stan Young said. "The idea behind the project is that travelers may be willing and able to adjust how they get somewhere if they have current data and are incentivized to act on that information in a way that also delivers energy savings," Young said.

Metropia's App and back-end big-data analytics systems will serve as the core research platform on which researchers will design and develop personal signaling associated with various energy efficient and contextually relevant commuting options to present to Metropia users. The data collected from these interactions with Metropia users during this project will help researchers better understand how commuters seek information, what they care about when making a travel decision and how system managers can play a role in creating win-win outcomes for both the transportation system and individual.

"Technologies only work when users accept and adopt them," said Dr. Yi-Chang Chiu, Metropia Founder and CEO. "We've been engaging drivers through the Metropia app in four cities to date and have cracked the code on commuter behavior. We know that when we deliver contextually relevant information and incentives at the right place and the right time, users make decisions that help reduce traffic congestion. We're excited to work with NREL and the other team members to continue research that will shape urban traffic management strategies and policies for years to come."