Research Interests
Supervised Students
Code and Data
Funding and Fellowships
Contact Information

Welcome to Nicolas Saunier's professional homepage.

I am a full professor in transport engineering at Polytechnique Montréal in Canada (official page). You can find my CV (in French) and a short bilingual biography. I am a member of

Prospective Students: I am always looking for graduate students who are interested in research in transport and computing (see my research interests: being able to prototype software to test your ideas, automate data processing and enable reproducibility is mandatory). Due to large volume of sollicitation by email, make sure to make a well articulated case for yourself and provide relevant information, or you will be ignored. Although all teaching is done in French at Polytechnique Montréal, you may write your thesis in English.

News may be provided more regularly on Mastodon (@aphex_twin) and this blog.

Warming Stripes for GLOBE from 1850-2022

Research Interests

My research interests focus on active and intelligent transport, road safety and data science for transport (data collection, storage, processing, analysis (machine learning), and visualization).

I am interested in really intelligent transport systems, i.e. systems that actually exhibit intelligent features such as adaptation to changing conditions with minimal supervising. Massive amounts of data are now collected continuously in our connected world, from geo-location devices in mobile phones to video sensors. If this data can be automatically analyzed, there are great opportunities for a better understanding and optimization of transport systems, from their management to user information. The field of computational transport science is thus emerging at the intersection of computer/data science and transport, to apply advanced data processing techniques to transport.

I am particularly interested in collecting and analyzing microscopic user data, e.g. trajectory data collected automatically using video sensors and computer vision techniques. This data can be interpreted automatically to learn and understand road users' behaviour and analyze road safety (without waiting for accidents to happen). I am also very interested in transport in general, in particular active transport, walking, cycling and public transit. Research on them has been typically limited, in particular in regard of their importance. The following is a list of keywords that are relevant to my research interests:

Transport keywords: intelligent transportation systems (inc. vehicular automation and driver assistance technologies), road safety, surrogate safety measures, interactions, traffic conflicts (near miss), risk of collision, exposure, simulation, utility cycling, walking, integration of transport and urban planning, placemaking.
Computing keywords: data science, computing, artificial intelligence, machine learning, algorithms, computer vision.

Finally, I am a supporter of open science for many reasons, both from a philosophical and moral point of view, and from a practical point of view. From a philosophical and moral point of view, it is the right thing to do, especially for publicly funded research institutions and it allows reproducible research: why should you trust my claims if you cannot replicate my work? From a practical point of view, it is a better method (open source software is a better software development technique) and my research benefits from collaboration and sharing code and data with you, as you reference my research and release publicly your improvements in turn). Join the movement!

This material is Open Knowledge This material is Open Data This material is Open Content

Research Associates and Supervised Students

Past Students


As stated in my research interests I support open science, i.e. sharing data and code. The most important project I started is called Traffic Intelligence and contains various tools for transport data processing, in particular an implementation of a feature-based tracking algorithm similar to our CRV paper of 2006.

Open source code

Shared source code



I support Open Access.

Disclaimer: This material is presented to ensure timely dissemination of scholarly and technical work. Copyright and all rights therein are retained by authors or by other copyright holders. All persons copying this information are expected to adhere to the terms and constraints invoked by each author's copyright. In most cases, these works may not be re-posted without the explicit permission of the copyright holder.

[HTML bibliography from JabRef] [bibtex file] [Google Scholar profile] [ORCID iD] [arXiv]



Contact Information