Transportation science is the study of how people and goods move around cities, regions, and beyond. In this article, I’ll explore some of the major fields involved in transportation science from mapping to optimization and show how you can use these tools to understand how different modes of transportation affect one another in terms of efficiency and affordability.
Mapping of computational transportation science
Mapping is an important part of computational transportation science, and it can be used in many different situations. For example, mapping could be used to help determine the best route for a delivery truck to take. This could make it more efficient and save time and money on fuel. Mapping can also be used to help determine the best route for a person to take, such as when they are walking or biking around town. By making this decision using GIS software or other mapping tools, people can get where they’re going faster and more safely than before!
Finding optimal routes
The first step to finding an optimal route is to gather data about the routes you want to compare. For example, if you are comparing two different computational transportation science paths from home to work every day, you will need data on these paths. You can use Google Maps to collect this information easily by making a copy of your routes and noting the time and distance between each point. It’s also helpful to visually inspect your routes in Google Earth or other software that allows you to see map data in three dimensions (like OpenStreetMap).
Once you have your data, there are many ways of analyzing it computationally. The main things we’re interested in when looking at routes are:
- The length of the route (in miles)
- The average speed (in mph) along each segment of road/highway (or other transportation networks)
- Estimated fuel consumption per mile on each type of road/highway
- Number of stops required on each route
Modeling traffic flows
You can use traffic flow models to computational transportation science the expected travel time between two locations. You can also use these models to predict how the volume of traffic will change under different conditions, such as a change in the speed limit or construction on a road. Traffic flow models are used in many different situations:
- To evaluate proposed changes in road designs and new developments (for example, a new highway)
- To plan for changes in traffic patterns due to holidays or other events (for example, changes in work schedules)
- To compare different routes based on time and fuel cost savings using spatial data
Predicting travel times in the future
Travel times are predicted using historical data that includes traffic volume and speed, road conditions, weather, and other factors such as holidays and rush hours. The predictions are then used by the city’s traffic engineers to determine where new roads should be built or existing ones expanded to accommodate more vehicles on them; they also help determine which streets should be closed off to create public spaces like parks or plazas, how many lanes should be added or removed from key thoroughfares such as Park Avenue, where bus stops should go along with their exact location in relation to one another (to prevent crowding), where bike lanes should be placed for maximum effect, etc.
Evaluating the impact of road designs
Road design is a complex process that must consider many factors. As you can imagine, this can be quite challenging for researchers to do. Computational transportation science can help you understand how road designs affect traffic flow. It also allows you to analyze the impact of road design on the environment and economy.
Optimizing transit schedules
The goal of this activity is to analyze and optimize the bus schedule for a transit system, based on the data that you have available. This is a great introduction to programming and optimization problems in general, but it also provides valuable insight into how transit companies make decisions about their computational transportation science routes.
Accordingly, we’ll be using Python to solve this problem. We will first import our data into Python as NumPy arrays (which contain numbers), then use those arrays as inputs for various functions in scipy (a library that handles solving optimization problems). Finally, we’ll analyze the results of running each function against our dataset and use them to determine which scenario yielded optimal results.
Studying transportation networks and their vulnerabilities
To study computational transportation science networks, you can examine the impact of road designs on traffic flow and safety. For example, what happens when you add a roundabout to an intersection? How does this affect traffic speeds, gaps between vehicles, and overall safety? What about if you replace a stop sign with a yield sign?
To learn more about studying transportation networks and their vulnerabilities, check out these resources:
- A guide for modeling traffic flow and predicting congestion.
- Information on how researchers use simulation models to study how urban sprawl affects commute times in major metropolitan areas across the United States.
- Analyzing urban sprawl and its consequences
Urban sprawl is a problem. It’s bad for the environment, public health, local economies, and the quality of life in cities. Sprawl can cause long commutes to work that contribute to computational transportation science congestion and air pollution, it also contributes to poor access to parks and green space. The vast amount of land used for parking lots can lead to soil erosion or flooding due to overbuilding on floodplains. There is also a growing body of evidence linking urban sprawl with negative effects on mental health because there are fewer opportunities for people to engage with others face-to-face in their daily lives if they live far from where they work or shop.
There is a wide range of fields involved in Computational Transportation Science. These include engineering, economics, planning, and geography. The field also draws on other disciplines such as sociology and psychology.
Computational Transportation Science is both interdisciplinary and multi-faceted; it involves many different aspects of transportation including physical infrastructure (roads and railways), traffic flow modeling, land use planning, and socio-economic issues related to transportation policy making.
As you can see, there are many areas of Computational Transportation Science. It’s a fascinating field that is constantly developing new ways to make our transportation systems better and safer. If you are interested in learning more about the applications of this science, I recommend looking up some of these topics online or talking with someone who works in this field today!