The Minnesota Traffic Observatory (MTO) is a transportation laboratory focusing on the testing and evaluation of new transportation management and operational strategies and traveler information technologies. The MTO also provides laboratory facilities for graduate and undergraduate students as well as educational resources for course instructors and transportation professionals.

The MTO is a facility of the University of Minnesota's Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geo- Engineering. It is also affiliated with the Roadway Safety Institute, the Region 5 University Transportation Center.

Mission and goals

The primary research mission of the Minnesota Traffic Observatory is to support research in the monitoring, management, and simulation of traffic systems. Within this mission, the MTO has four research focus areas: traffic management, traffic safety, transportation planning, and emerging technologies.

The MTO works in partnership with other University of Minnesota research facilities, including the HumanFIRST (Human Factors Interdisciplinary Research in Surface Transportation) Laboratory. MTO facilities are also used by faculty and students in civil, mechanical, and electrical engineering, computer science, and affiliated disciplines.

The MTO also hosts training events for transportation professionals, covering topics such as the effective use of traffic simulations for capacity analysis and planning.

In addition, the MTO is dedicated to supporting transportation education at the University. Members of the MTO staff work with faculty members to develop interactive laboratory modules that help students understand advanced topics in traffic management.

Location and contact information

The Minnesota Traffic Observatory is located in the Civil Engineering Building on the East Bank campus of the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.

Minnesota Traffic Observatory
University of Minnesota
790 Civil Engineering Bldg.
500 Pillsbury Drive SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Phone: 612-626-5492
E-mail: hourdos@umn.edu
Maps/Parking: U of M Map

Parking is available at the Washington Avenue Ramp, the University Avenue Ramp, and the Church Street Garage. For additional transit information, please visit the Metro Transit website or call 612-373-3333.