Standardized, high-quality travel data is used by agencies and governments to understand travel behaviour and plan transportation services. If properly fused with traditional data sources, newer sources of data such as automatic vehicle location systems, highway sensors and smartphones show great promise.
ITS collect data through pervasive sensors then adapt the transportation system to the current situation and the users’ needs to optimize system performance. The back end of the system comprises data collection and analysis while the front end advanced information systems enable users to make more informed, safer and “smarter” use of the transportation network.
Traffic congestion, which costs Ontario billions of dollars a year, follows traffic breakdown, often at bottlenecks, but generally when the demand for travel exceeds the available road capacity. Controlling traffic flows through adaptive traffic signal control at ramps and intersections and road congestion pricing strategies has the potential to ensure more rational use of road resources.
Advanced Public Transit Systems (APTS) apply information technology to make public transit operations more efficient and safe. These systems include advanced traveller information systems, adaptive transit signals that prioritize transit vehicles over private vehicles at traffic intersections and transit vehicle arrival notification systems.
Logistics and goods movement
We are developing forecasting models of commercial vehicle movements that are sensitive to government policy, changes in logistics processes and changes in the global and regional economy based on behavioural models of decision-making by the various actors involved in the freight system. Our goal is to influence policy, to result in a more sustainable, efficient and equitable urban transportation system.
Integrated travel demand and land use modelling
We are attempting to better understand the complex multi-faceted relationships between each of the individual players in an urban system, how they make decisions about where and when to travel, and how the complex relationships cause the urban system to evolve over time.
Who should pay – and how – for infrastructure investments? How do we account for the life-cycle costs and benefits to users, investors and society at large?
Active transportation and transit-oriented development
Active transportation and new forms of urban development bring health benefits, improve accessibility and mobility and cyclists are good for business.
Safety and driver behaviour
Research into the behaviour, performance and attention of multi-tasking drivers operating in uncertain, complex situations improves the understanding of their behaviour and the benefits of decision support systems.
Travel demand modelling
How do changes to the urban transportation system, patterns of urban development, work and leisure habits of an aging population affect travel behaviour?
Transportation planning for massive events
The transportation master plan for Mecca, home to the world’s largest pilgrimage, will prepare the city for growth and more visitors. There are lessons to be learned by cities everywhere planning massive events.
Alternative fuels and vehicles systems
Studying the environmental, engineering, economic and public policy implications of alternative energy systems for transportation and electricity generation derived from bioenergy and unconventional fossil resources.