The Wayne State University School of Computer Science is working on an AI tool that may transform the way Detroiters get around the city.  

In response to a Civic Innovation Challenge Award by the National Science Foundation and Department of Energy, Dr. Dongxiao Zhu, the founding director of Wayne State’s AI research initiative, and his team are developing an AI tool to improve public transit operations and options for Detroiters. The goal of the tool is to create the ability to update bus routes more often to increase the availability and reliability of the overall transit system. 

Among the resources used in developing the tool, the team is using foot traffic data to identify where the highest bus rider needs are within the city, aerial images to map sidewalks so they can be more easily navigated by riders after they exit a bus, and potential user generated data from an app that would be developed as part of the AI prototype.  

The Detroit Department of Transportation has said it’s too early to comment on potential AI tools to enhance mobility in Detroit. One Detroit Producer Will Glover talks with Dr. Zhu, who is also the director of graduate programs in Computer Science master programs in AI, and his team about their AI for Mobility Project. 



Artificial intelligence is here. If you’re a student or a young adult entering the workforce, how might it affect where you head in your career? How can you connect to AI jobs in the future? To explore those questions, check out this companion video discussion guide from our collaborative series, “AI & Work & You.

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