Our transportation system connects all aspects of life—home, work, education, commerce and recreation. TTI‘s research and development improves all aspects of the system and creates new ideas and innovations that save lives, time and resources. Our focus areas include: connected transportation; economics; environment; freight movement; human and behavioral studies; infrastructure; mobility; planning and operations; policy; safety; security; and workforce development.
Mobility analysts at TTI examine problems associated with congestion and access to transportation, develop innovative solutions, and measure the effectiveness of the outcomes. TTI prepares the definitive national study documenting congestion costs and trends in almost 500 U.S. urban areas. The Institute also provides expertise in metropolitan, urban, and rural bus and passenger-rail transit planning and operations.
The Institute’s safety innovations can be found throughout Texas and around the world. Major advancements have occurred in the design of roadside safety devices such as guardrails, crash cushions and sign supports. TTI is leading other significant advancements in traffic signals and signs, distracted-driving and crash analysis, and bicycle and pedestrian safety, just to name a few.
Human and Behavioral Studies
Roadway users play a critical role in the safety of our nation’s roadways. TTI’s Human Factors Program examines human limitations and capabilities, and works to optimize the user-vehicle and user-roadway interfaces to improve safety. The Behavioral Research Program examines roadway user attitudes and actions to help identify methods to promote safer behavior.
TTI is finding innovative and cost-effective ways to maintain and rehabilitate roadway infrastructure. Researchers have assessed land-side improvements that may be needed to effectively serve additional port, rail and truck traffic generated by the expansion of the Panama Canal.
TTI is exploring innovative solutions that support the use of multiple modes of transportation, facilitate freight transfer and operation, enhance freight mobility, improve air quality, and reduce border wait times. TTI has also developed an innovative technology called the Freight Shuttle System, which has the potential to revolutionize freight movement by improving safety, reducing emissions and decreasing shipping costs.
The Institute has successfully developed and evaluated new technologies resulting in the cost-effective implementation of devices and standards to help keep our country safe from terrorists. In the area of homeland security, TTI conducts testing of antiterrorist safety barriers for the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Diplomatic Security, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and private-sector companies.
As the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s standards evolve, the sophistication of the environmental research methods necessary to test for these standards also changes. TTI is focusing on transportation-related air quality, sustainability, energy and climate change, and sediment and erosion control through its environmental research programs and facilities.
TTI has extensive expertise in transportation economics and finance research, working closely with public agencies and private-sector companies to evaluate the economic impacts of the transportation network and explore options for financing our transportation system. TTI-developed tools allow decision makers to prioritize projects based on robust benefit-cost analyses.
TTI researchers are developing and testing innovative applications for advancing connected transportation. Along with the Accelerate Texas Center, TTI’s connected transportation initiative includes an automated and connected transportation system testing facility in development at TTI’s Proving Ground and a variety of urban test beds.
TTI employs more than 200 students in its research laboratories and offices. Over 40 Texas A&M University faculty regularly work on TTI research projects. TTI experts also provide training on transportation topics. Many of TTI’s researchers are recognized national and international leaders in their fields, including about 80 who lead or serve on Transportation Research Board committees.
TTI provides information critical to state and national decision makers in the areas of transportation policy. Institute researchers are often asked to offer objective and credible testimony on a wide range of transportation topics and emerging issues. With the addition of the Transportation Policy Research Center in 2013, TTI continues to serve as a valuable resource to the Texas Legislature.
Planning and Operations
Researchers at TTI continue to be at the forefront of using data collected from Bluetooth® devices, cell phones, GPS, web surveys and virtual open houses to engage the public and other stakeholders. The information collected includes trip purposes, origins and destinations; travel times and speeds; and needed improvements. This input helps determine a desirable combination of multimodal transportation projects.