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Mobility, Meet MSU

a traffic signal

Mobility, Meet MSU

Phone apps and networked signals are just a few ways MSU is connecting its streets and sidewalks with the pedestrians and drivers who use them every day.


Phone app puts a virtual tour guide in your pocket

MSU Guide is an iPhone app to help users navigate around campus. It’s interactive and provides real-time location-aware information about campus landmarks and is accessible and useful to all. Designed at the Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities, it is especially helpful for those with visual, spatial and mobility disabilities.

Here are its three core tools:

WAND: Point your phone at any building on campus to discover its name and more information, including wheelchair-accessible entrances.

MAP: A map that lets you view campus landmarks. Tap to drop a pin, then click on it to view a compass that locks on to the closest landmark under the pin.

SEARCH: Use the iOS home screen search function (Spotlight) to locate any campus building by name. Once you search and identify your building, simply select it and Guide locks onto it so you can always check where it is relative to where you are without needing a map. You can even use navigation from Spotlight results to view detailed directions to a landmark.

a student uses the guide map app


Campus as a living, breathing test bed

MSU is always working on new ways to improve campus safety and access for pedestrians, bicyclists, moped riders, scooter enthusiasts and countless vehicles.

Here are some of the extensive ideas campus planners are either implementing or have on their drawing boards:

  • Creating networked smart signals that work with vehicle and pedestrian sensors
  • Optimizing class schedules and locations with vehicle density in mind
  • Establishing predictive signals and routing assistance sent to mobile devices
  • Collecting data for decision support and virtual testing before implementation
  • Producing a sensor-driven on-campus parking app
  • Synchronizing services with MSU Police and East Lansing emergency services for rapid and safe on-campus responses and potential traffic management
  • Establishing signal controls to ease inbound/outbound traffic to athletic and other major events on campus
  • Studying redesign of parking locations—like opening a lot on the edge of campus and deploying e-van rides to MSU’s core
  • Considering creation of a high-frequency e-van service between the Shaw complex and the Life Sciences areas
  • Exploring whether to reroute roadways, and improving efficiency and safety at entrances and campus exits, in collaboration with the city of East Lansing

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