Engineering Innovation Podcast and Radio Series

Traffic Engineering

PostedNovember 27, 2011

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Anchor Lede: The Sunday drive home from a holiday can be filled with unpleasant surprises, like bad traffic on usually fast moving back roads and highways.

Randy Atkins: Traffic patterns shift daily, often in maddeningly unpredictably ways.  But Tim Lomax, a research engineer for the Texas Transportation Institute, says new technologies are beginning to help.

Tim Lomax: We understand a lot of that frustration at a lot better level than we used to. 

Randy Atkins: In addition to using traffic sensors, Lomax checks data coming from traveling smart phones and navigation devices.

Tim Lomax: We don’t really know individual people’s traffic patterns, but they are in essence allowing us to see the speeds on the roads they’re traveling on.

Randy Atkins:  He says they reveal valuable details that can help with new ideas for moving traffic more smoothly. With the National Academy of Engineering, Randy Atkins, WTOP News.