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The University of Tennessee, Knoxville


Planes, Trains, and Automobiles…..and ??: Some Points to Ponder About Transportation

Shashi Nambisan, Professor of Civil EngineeringEngineering

Transportation systems are woven into the fabric of our daily lives - from meeting desires for individual mobility to serving trade and commerce related requirements.  We now are at a crossroads working with legacy systems while planning for uncertain future demands. We face numerous needs and wants, juxtaposed with opportunities afforded by technological advancements, all of which exist in a setting with a multitude of challenges and constraints. These include socio-political aspects, and considerations such as economics, energy, environment, efficiency, expediency, equity, and ethics (7 Es). This presentation will highlight these with reference to the elements that constitute transport systems:  users, vehicles, and networks while recognizing safety to be the prime focus. It will touch upon the balance between individual and societal optima, the potential role of emerging technologies (e.g., Google car, connected vehicles and infrastructure), and data-enabled decision support systems to guide policy and operational strategies for transport systems.​

images of planes and cars
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