National Center for Understanding Future Travel Behavior and Demand (TBD)

― a National University Transportation Center sponsored by US Department of Transportation


The Center for Understanding Future Travel Behavior and Demand (TBD) is a National University Transportation Center established in 2023 by the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT). TBD’s vision is to undertake breakthrough research that will fundamentally re-examine and transform the scientific base for measuring, monitoring, modeling, and managing traveler behavior, thus fostering the design, development, and operation of a people-centric, multimodal, intelligent transportation system that meets the needs of people, institutions, and businesses for generations to come.

TBD aims to improve the mobility of people and goods within the nation’s transportation systems through:

  1. Developing novel insights into travel behavior related to new technologies and mobility options in rural and urban areas, through integrated multidisciplinary streams of scientific inquiry,
  2. Transferring knowledge to inform decision-making, and disseminating innovative solutions, technologies, and methods to the profession for implementation,
  3. Educating the next generation of transportation professionals in fundamental concepts and emerging interdisciplinary techniques.

Led by The University of Texas at Austin and in partnership with Arizona State University, California State Polytechnic University – Pomona, Diné College, Georgia Institute of Technology, the City College of New York, University of Michigan, and University of Washington, the TBD Consortium is committed to serving all communities and the entirety of the US economy through the safe, efficient, accessible, equitable, and sustainable movement of people and goods. TBD’s focus is on breakthrough research that can transform practice, while also fully engaging people, communities, businesses, DOTs, and planning agencies to ensure that all research is motivated by its potential to make a real-world impact and that all TBD activities create opportunities for all.

Consortium Universities


TBD’s mission is to revolutionize the understanding and management of travel behavior and demand through pioneering research and education, fostering a sustainable, efficient, and inclusive transportation system that effectively serves and adapts to the evolving needs of everyone.

External Advisory Council

The External Advisory Council (EAC) is an integral body of the TBD Center. Comprising representatives from State DOTs, private industry, consulting firms, Metropolitan Planning Organizations, Professional Organizations, and related University Transportation Centers (UTCs), the EAC guides our strategic direction and ensures our activities align with the needs of the transportation sector.

Key responsibilities of the EAC include:

  • Providing strategic planning advice to the center.
  • Contributing to the project selection process and offering guidance for individual projects.
  • Advising on priority research topics and ensuring alignment of center activities with stakeholder needs.
  • Identifying promising projects for further collaborative funding beyond the center’s resources.
  • Facilitating technology transfer (T2) through partnerships between the center and entities in the private, public, and policy sectors.

Meeting biannually, the EAC plays a crucial role in directing our research focus and expanding the impact of our work.

The list of EAC members will be available soon.

Sponsors & Partners

Our Sponsors

The Center for Understanding Future Travel Behavior and Demand (TBD) is established under the auspices of the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT), as part of its University Transportation Centers (UTC) program. This foundational support underlines our commitment to the nation’s strategic transportation goals.

Beyond USDOT, TBD is supported by a diverse spectrum of sponsors, including universities, utilities, governments, businesses, and nonprofit organizations. These sponsors provide essential funding and resources through research contracts/grants, student support initiatives, and generous gifts or donations, thereby broadening the reach and impact of our work.

To see the full list of our current sponsors, click here. For more information on our sponsorship opportunities or to explore how you can support the work of TBD, please contact us.

Our Partners

Innovation at TBD is driven by collaboration. We forge strong partnerships with organizations and entities that share our vision and actively contribute to our mission. These partners, spanning academic, consulting, industry, and public agency sectors, collaborate through joint projects, co-authored works, and data sharing, all crucial to our mission. These collaborations not only enhance our research capabilities but also ensure the practical applicability and broader dissemination of our findings.

Our current list of partners can be viewed here. For inquiries about partnership opportunities with TBD, please contact us.

Progress Reports

The Center for Understanding Future Travel Behavior and Demand (TBD) is committed to transparency and accountability in its research endeavors. As part of our compliance with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) grant reporting requirements, we regularly publish our Semi-Annual Progress Reports (SAPR). Through these reports, the TBD Center aims to share not just the progress of our projects, but also the tangible impact and outcomes of our research, reflecting our commitment to advancing transportation research and practices.

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