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What Can Intelligent Transportation Systems Offer?

Date: 09/17/2014, 1:00pm to 2:00pm
Speaker: Professor Hesham Rakha
Organization: Virginia Tech
OST-R Office: Office of Research, Development and Technology (RDT)


The transportation sector consumes around 100 quadrillion BTUs of energy worldwide [was 96 quad in 2011 according to the IEA, and the sector is only growing], which is mostly petroleum-based products including gasoline and diesel fuels. More than 7 gigatonnes of CO2emissions [7 Gt CO2 is the value for 2011 according to the IEA] are also attributed to the transportation sector and represent about 20% of the total CO2 emissions from fuel combustion. However, it would be difficult to imagine our modern life without motorized transportation. Alternative transportation energy sources such as hybrid-electric technologies, bio-ethanol, and hydrogen fuel cells are emerging and are being broadly investigated as replacements for the conventional internal combustion engine. However, these new alternatives have not been able to replace petroleum-powered engines because of challenges that relate to availability, cost, convenience, lack of technology, and accessibility. Consequently, there is a need to improve the efficiency of travel in urban and rural areas. One of the key strategies to improving vehicle fuel efficiency is obtaining more miles from each liter or gallon of fuel. The presentation will highlight some of the research being conducted at the Center for Sustainable Mobility at the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute to use Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) technology to achieve these goals.

The presentation will highlight the work on (1) developing vehicle fuel consumption and emission models that can be calibrated using publically available data; (2) studying the impact of driver routing decisions on their fuel consumption level; (3) developing eco-routing systems that minimize the fuel consumption and carbon footprint of urban transportation networks; (4) developing intelligent eco-cruise control and adaptive cruise control systems; (5) sharing and receiving information with traffic signal controllers to reduce vehicle fuel consumption levels in the vicinity of traffic signalized intersections; and (6) developing novel autonomous vehicle control systems at intersections to reduce vehicle delays and fuel consumption levels.

Sponsored by: The Office of Research and Technology (OST-R), University Transportation Centers Program

DISCLAIMER: The views, opinions, findings and conclusions reflected in this presentation are the responsibility of the authors only and do not represent the official policy or position of the USDOT/OST-R, or any State or other entity.”

For more information, contact Denise E. Dunn at

Last updated: Wednesday, May 31, 2017