- Grand Challenges in Modeling and...

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Grand Challenges in Modeling and Simulating Urban Transportation Systems Richard Fujimot o John Leonard II Center (MSREC) and the College of Computing Georgia Transportation Institute (GATI) and the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering Georgia Institute of Technolog y Georgia Institute of Technology Atlanta, Georgia 3033 2 Atlanta, Georgia 30332 [email protected] [email protected] Abstract Congestion in surface transportation systems has reached unprecedented levels, and now costs tens of billions of dollars each year in productivity and extra fuel costs in the U.S. alone. Accidents kill tens of thousands of individuals each year, and pollution from vehicle emissions degrades the quality of life of every citizen. Given the cost and danger of experimenting with operational systems and limitations of purely analytic techniques, effective solving these problems. However, existing simulation tools are far from adequate, and typically focus on only a particular aspect of the problem. This paper transportation systems. A grand challenge is proposed to realize robust, accurate models of transportation infrastructures and its users for large metropolitan areas over time scales ranging from minutes to years. the impact of both planned and unplanned changes as well as the introduction of new technologies, to prioritize infrastructure investments, to manage the system under unexpected operating conditions and traffic loads, to develop emergency and security- related contingency plans, and to test the impacts of various governmental policies on regional economic viability. Meeting this challenge will require a holistic approach that includes accurate models of individual travelers and businesses, as well as the transportation infrastructure itself. 1 INTRODUCTION Transportation systems have broad, far-reaching economic and social impacts in our modern society. Travel delays are a constant source of stress, frustration, and dissatisfaction to the traveling public every day. Traffic accidents account for more than 40,000 fatalities in six million crashes each year in the U.S. alone (ITS America 2001). Delays also increase operating costs in the movement of goods, leading to higher costs for consumers. Vehicle emissions are the leading cause of air pollution in the U.S., degrading the quality of life for drivers and non-drivers alike. These issues are increasing in importance on a global scale as developing countries expand their use of private vehicles, mimicking the behavior of industrialized nations. It is well established that congestion on roads and
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