The Center for Accessibility and Safety for an Aging Population (ASAP Center) is a multidisciplinary collaboration organized to conduct research in the primary area of transportation engineering, as well as performing educational and outreach programs. With motivation from Florida's large number of senior residents, the reported relatively high involvement of seniors in traffic crashes nationwide, and their special needs for transportation, the theme of the center is to provide safe and accessible transportation to the aging population. The center is supported by a strong research team from various disciplines including civil engineering, urban planning, geography, psychology, and health care management.
Established as a Tier 1 University Transportation Center (UTC) and funded at $2.8 million by the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT), the center addresses two of USDOT's strategic goals: improving highway safety; and strengthening transportation planning. The center focuses on four interdisciplinary areas: accessibility and community connectivity among older adults; human factors affecting the older population, especially regarding acceptance of emerging technologies; geometric design research, especially regarding elder crash mitigation; and health, wellness and safety of seniors as it relates to multimodal transportation and emergency operations. Providing seniors with safe and convenient access to the goods and services they need to participate fully in society is a key issue explored by center.
Current research projects include safety investigation of elder drivers and pedestrians at roundabouts, multi-modal emergency transportation operations with a focus on an aging population, and improving cutaway bus safety for aging passengers.