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Integrating Its Research Project Results Into Engineering Curricula

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1996 Annual Conference


Washington, District of Columbia

Publication Date

June 23, 1996

Start Date

June 23, 1996

End Date

June 26, 1996



Page Count


Page Numbers

1.264.1 - 1.264.11

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Paper Authors

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John Collura

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David E. Kaufman

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 1626

Integrating ITS Research Project Results into Engineering Curricula

John Collura, David E. Kaufman University of Massachusetts, Amherst


A number of factors have recently produced a need for new capabilities in the transportation profession. Increasing travel demands in urban and suburban areas have strained the capacity of existing roadways, while changing land-use patterns have challenged traditional public transportation systems. As traffic congestion has increased, the alleviation of congestion by building new roads has become impractical, due to considerations of cost and crowding in urban areas. Furthermore, energy consumption, noise, and air quality continue to be important factors. Meanwhile, new technologies in real-time communication and computing have made it possible to gather and analyze unprecedented quantities of information to better understand and deal with these factors.

These factors combine to hinder the physical expansion of our transportation systems, while giving us the opportunity to utilize existing networks more efficiently. We can accomplish this by improving our ability to monitor the status of the networks in real time, allowing us to recognize transient variations in congestion levels. Using Advanced Traveler Information Systems (ATIS) technology, we can then disseminate route guidance information to travelers in the network so that they can favor currently underused routes or modes of travel over currently overused or impeded modes of travel. Efforts are also underway to design and implement Advanced Public Transportation Systems (APTS) to improve overall mobility, accessibility, mode choice, and intermodal transfer. An essential complement to ATIS and APTS is Advanced Traffic Management Systems (ATMS), which focuses on real-time control of variable elements of the transportation system itself. Existing applications of ATMS include adaptive traffic signal control and freeway ramp metering, which seek to balance access to a merge or intersection point by its various approaches. Another inherently dynamic aspect of ATMS concerns reducing the severity of non-recurring congestion caused by incidents which may affect the capacity of individual transportation links.

For ATMS and ATIS applications to succeed, we must also study the interaction between the traveler and the transportation system. In order to choose from among alternative ATIS and ATMS policies, we must be able to understand and evaluate their effects. This depends fundamentally on an understanding of how individual travelers choose among their own travel options, with regard to both mode choice (e.g., train vs. car) and route choice (e.g., freeway vs. arterial), and on knowledge of how people will react to new forms of information provision.

1996 ASEE Annual Conference Proceedings

Collura, J., & Kaufman, D. E. (1996, June), Integrating Its Research Project Results Into Engineering Curricula Paper presented at 1996 Annual Conference, Washington, District of Columbia.

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