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 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.

Our Research

MTO lab

Traffic Management

Improving the management of transportation networks through simulation and modeling.

Learn More about traffic management research projects

Traffic Safety

Investigating and improving the safety and mobility of transportation networks.

Learn More about traffic safety research projects
MTO lab staff

Transportation Planning

Developing tools and techniques that bring complex planning issues into clear perspective.

Learn More about transportation planning research projects
intersection cameras

Emerging Technologies

Joining technological innovations with transportation systems to improve safety and efficiency.

Learn More about emerging technologies research projects

Research Spotlight: John Hourdos

Featured Research

Evaluation of the Effect MnPASS Lane Design has on Mobility and Safety
This study evaluated the safety and mobility of both restricted and open access MnPASS lanes.

Effect of Signing and Striping on the Safety of a Two-Lane Roundabout
This project examined driving behavior and safety before and after signing and striping changes at a two-lane roundabout.

Modeling Traffic Impacts on Visitor Experience and on Wildlife in Public Spaces
The MTO developed a model to simulate the complex relationships between traffic patterns and wildlife movements in Denali National Park.

Rapidly deployable, low-cost traffic data and video collection device
This portable traffic data collection system—designed for temporary data gathering and video recording—is easily deployable, non-intrusive, and inexpensive.