Havas: The Future of NYC Transportation
A special event featuring university Presentations & interactive Demos

Tuesday, April 9, 2019 (9AM-12PM) | Hosted by Havas
200 Hudson St, New York, NY

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Explore the next generation of transportation technologies

We’ve hit a breaking point with congestion and our infrastructure. At present, 55% of the world’s population lives in urban areas. By 2050, two-thirds of us will. With all these people coming and staying in NYC, how can we keep our transit systems up to par, support the growing needs of this growing population, and ensure businesses can still prosper so those benefits of being at the epicenter of culture and access are not diminished?

Havas has partnered with 5 teams of talented faculty members and graduate students from NYC Media Lab’s consortium of universities to harness the power of technology, emerging media, and data. The effort will inform future NYC transportation needs for commuters, business, or city transit companies.

Throughout the spring, the teams have undergone an iterative prototyping process alongside executive mentors at Havas, and are building solutions within the context of several guiding questions: How will technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning and computer vision shape the future of transportation in cities? How will data and technology transform how we experience, access and move within cities? 

Join us for the Havas: Future of NYC Transportation event on Tuesday, April 9, 2019 to celebrate the prototyping solutions designed by our university partners.


9:00AM: Breakfast & Networking
Meet talented faculty and student program participants from NYU, The New School, Manhattan College, Pratt Institute, and the School of Visual Arts. Coffee and breakfast will be served.

9:30AM-10:45AM: University Presentations 
University partners will present proposed solutions using emerging technologies to a panel of experts from the City’s civic and private sector. Invited guests can leverage their expertise and provide feedback to the university teams. Feedback panelists include:

  • Rachel Haot, Executive Director of the Transit Innovation Partnership, Partnership for New York City

  • Seth Ullman, VP, Ports & Transportation, NYC Economic Development Corporation

  • Youssef Kalad, Program Director, NYCx, Mayor’s Office of the CTO

  • Harry Bernstein, Chief Creative Officer, Havas New York

10:45AM-12PM: Interactive Demos
Hands-on demonstrations of the projects and prototypes will be on view for open experimentation.

Project: Sub Signals

Project: Sub Signals

 ABOUT THE projects

Access to Places
NYU Interactive Telecommunications Program
Team Members:
Antonio Guimaraes; Emily Lin; Luming Hao; and Rashida Kamal
Access to Places seeks to make NYC subway stations accessible to people who are blind by leveraging iOS's native text-to-speech voiceover technology to offer entry and exit information, service changes, safety updates, train arrival times, and other key details within a mobile application. The informational content is complemented by beacon-triggered notifications to allow travelers to more easily navigate themselves within complicated station layouts.

Modular Buses
Pratt Institute
Team Members:
Jie Qian; Hiroyuki Kondo; and Sam Shin
Safer. Faster. Better. Our Autonomous Modular Bus System aims to reduce congestion in NYC while providing faster travel times with less hassle for all New Yorkers. We believe that by implementing the appropriate technologies and practices, Buses can become the preferred method of travel, over Ubers and Subways. In addition, the modularity of the vehicles enables a new form of retail for New York businesses, while creating additional profit for the MTA.  

Urban Ghost
SVA, Interaction Design (IxD)
Team Members:
Jennifer Wei; Ke Hu; Margarita Yong; and Jason Branch
The proposal is an on-demand city bus service that connects disparate neighborhoods and businesses. We aim to provide commuters with the convenience of ride-share but the affordability of public transit using real-time data.

Jaspers Transportation
Manhattan College
Team Members:
Mohab El-Hakim; Ahmed Hussein; Matthew Volovski; Issa Dahdal; and Leanna Bonanno
The project objective is to develop a working prototype to stream the passenger density in NYC subway cars through live data displayed on a website, phone application or on the subway platform. Travelers will be able to quickly find the least crowded subway car on the platform or use an alternative subway line with lower density. The prototype includes setup and programming of a security camera using AI to detect the presence of passengers through image processing.  

The New School, Design & Technology
Team Member:
Jacqueline Wu
Sub-Signals reimagines the form and function of New York’s subway globes as visual navigational tools at street level entry. The proposal embeds transit data into the urban environment to improve commuters’ wayfinding experience and reconsiders how cities might leverage existing public infrastructure for new use.

 Participating NYC Universities



About Havas

200 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10013
Havas is one of the world's largest global communications groups. Founded in 1835 in Paris, the Group employs 20,000 people in over 100 countries and is fully integrated into Vivendi. Havas Group is committed to being the world's best company at creating meaningful connections between people and brands through creativity, media and innovation. Based on a client-centric model across media and creative, the Havas Group is the most integrated company in its sector. We operate with three business units (creative, media and healthcare & wellness) within our Havas Villages all over the world where teams share the same premises ensuring agility and a seamless experience for clients.


Contact Alexis Avedisian (alexis@nycmedialab.org) and Erica Matsumoto (erica@nycmedialab.org) for any questions regarding this event.