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AZ Tech Beat | May 26, 2017

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Metropia’s patented algorithms can alleviate your rush hour woes

Metropia’s patented algorithms can alleviate your rush hour woes
Ryan Loebe

Yi-Chang Chiu, an associate professor of civil engineering at the University of Arizona (UA) and the founder of Metropia Inc., a Tucson-based startup with roots in the UA, recently received the patent for the “active traffic and demand management system” he created for the mobile app Smartrek. Chiu’s startup, Metropia Inc., has an exclusive license to the patent.

metropia phone

The last time AZTB covered the then-named Smartrek mobile app and Metropia Inc., they had just raised $2.5 million in funding and were in the beginning of beta-testing in a handful of cities such as Los Angeles, Phoenix, El Paso and Austin. They planned to expand to more cities after the app’s successful first implementation.

The app now has a new name — Metropia mobile — and is available for beta users in Tucson and Phoenix. Interested beta testers can sign up here.

The technology involves a citywide “ecosystem” connecting commuters, businesses, employers and governmental agencies to help drive improvements in metro mobility.

An essential element is Metropia’s mobile app, which gives commuters advanced traffic-prediction and vehicle-routing technology so that they can make choices to help alleviate traffic by changing their traditional travel routes and times. Community and business partners in participating cities provide individuals with rewards who make smarter and safer travel decisions.

Related: Startup Smartrek aims to give you a smoother commute

Chiu said that the UA was “the seed that was able to jumpstart the whole thing,” as his journey from associate professor to company founder and tech entrepreneur has all taken place during his time in Tucson.

Chiu continues and explains the mission of Metropia as “a new way of thinking of how we manage our urban transportation in the future,” one that calls for all community individuals to contribute to tackling local traffic congestion.

The patent itself can be found here.

Contributions from Paul Tumarkin, Tech Launch Arizona