2023 Orientation BBQ | Michael Fortunato

The ITS-Davis family at our traditional year-end BBQ. Photo Credit: Michael Fortunato

The World’s Leading University Center on Sustainable Transportation

The Institute of Transportation Studies at UC Davis (ITS-Davis) is the leading university center in the world on sustainable transportation, hosting the National Center on Sustainable Transportation since 2013 (awarded by the U.S. Department of Transportation) and managing large research initiatives on energy, environmental, and social issues. It is home to more than 60 affiliated faculty and researchers, and more than 120 graduate students, and, with its affiliated centers, a budget of $20 million. We have a strong commitment not just to research, but interdisciplinary education and engagement with government, industry, and non-governmental organizations.

ITS-Davis hosts an award-winning graduate program, Transportation Technology and Policy (TTP), which draws from 34 different academic disciplines. Our nearly 300 master’s and Ph.D. alumni are leaders in government, industry, and academia.

We are committed to putting our cutting-edge research to good use—to informing policy making and business decisions, and advancing public discourse on key transportation, energy and environmental issues. ITS-Davis is focused on issues important to society.

Our researchers are leading influential international, national, and regional initiatives on electric, automated, and shared vehicles, low carbon fuels, urban mobility, bicycle use, and much more. We are unraveling the mysteries of consumer behavior, developing and analyzing new technologies, and creating the tools needed by government and industry. We play essential roles in determining how best to direct our transportation system to a more sustainable future.

A landmark international collaboration with Chinese researchers and government agencies, spearheaded by our China Center for Energy and Transportation, is accelerating the commercialization of plug-in and fuel cell electric vehicles in China and the U.S. The multi-university National Center for Sustainable Transportation is helping federal, state, regional, and local agencies reduce greenhouse gas emissions from passenger and freight travel.

Our Sustainable Transportation and Energy Pathways (STEPS) Program is assisting governments and companies around the world in assessing energy and climate strategies. Our Plug-in Hybrid & Electric Vehicle Research Center plays a pivotal role in designing and analyzing initiatives on zero emission vehicles. Our Three is creating the knowledge and policy foundation for steering automated vehicles and shared mobility services toward the public interest.

The affiliated Policy Institute for Energy, Environment, and the Economy is facilitating productive engagement between policymakers and university researchers on pressing energy and environmental issues. The affiliated Energy and Efficiency Institute is advancing impactful energy and energy efficiency solutions. The affiliated UC Pavement Research Center is developing more cost-effective and environmental road pavements.

ITS-Davis also serves as one of the four ITS branches in the University of California (UC) system. The other branches are located at UC Berkeley, UC Irvine, and UCLA. The four ITS branches work closely together to implement a statewide research program funded through California’s Public Transportation Account and the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017.

Our Mission

To serve the needs of society and promote a more effective, sustainable, and equitable transportation system by conducting multidisciplinary research on important transportation issues; informing government and industry decision-making; and training the next generation of transportation leaders and experts.

Learn More about ITS-Davis

Find out more about ITS-Davis: Our two-page fact sheet provides an excellent, concise overview of the institute and our affiliated centers and programs.

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