This area tackles the problems of traffic planning, design and operation on streets, roads, and motorways, as well as its networks, infrastructures and relationship with the various methods of transport, achieving safe, efficient and convenient mobility both for people and for freight.
Transport services arise from the need of the public to carry out activities that involve travelling (work, leisure, etc.). In order to satisfy efficiently the demand associated to the complex behaviour of the public, short and long term planning is necessary, with exact knowledge of the various attributes that influence it (zoning, transport networks, O–D matrixes...). Therefore, this line of work centres on studying the most relevant aspects regarding these attributes, as well as explanatory variables of the transport demand, data obtaining methods (surveys, assessments) and transport models.
Direct choice models
In the field of transport modelling, discrete choice models allow the choice mechanism of the mode of transport in which to make a certain journey to be modelled. For example, the choice of bus, underground, own car, shared car for daily trip into work. In this respect, it is necessary to look closer at the factors determining the choice of each mode of transport as well as calculate the subjective value of time, which is an important instrument for performing cost-benefit analysis, for the economic evaluation of projects and also the prognosis of model changes when faced with changes in tariffs, frequency of service, etc. This line of work centres on analysing the most relevant aspects related to the discrete choice models, especially the hierarchical logit and mixed logit models.
Macroscopic and microscopic simulation
Traffic simulation is a basic tool in traffic engineering; there are two main types according to the depth of analysis to be carried out: microscopic and macroscopic. This line of work is centred on using these types of simulations to measure vehicle traffic flow according to the degree of detail required. On one hand, microscopic simulation considers the movement of every vehicle individually, giving a very detailed idea of network performance which is very useful for analysing the network or the sensitivity of the system to very concrete changes in the traffic or in the road infrastructure, amongst others. On the other hand, macroscopic simulation is based on analysing traffic from a more global perspective, where traffic is considered as continuous (vehicles are not considered individually) and its application is focused essentially on capturing the global variables of the system, such as flow, speed, times and traffic density.
Dangerous Freight Transport
Studies of transport mobility are usually carried out in general, but special analysis of dangerous freight transport is necessary because of its peculiarities. The aim is to predict the flow of dangerous freight along roads in order to perform risk analysis, provide measures in the case of future accidents, etc., as well as decide the best routes for this type of transport.
Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
Geographically registered information can be integrated, stored, edited, analyzed, shared and shown by these systems in order to solve complex planning and management problems. With these systems it is possible to put into order and visualize the results of any other line of research related to traffic, such as flows, density, travel times, etc.
Continuous Traffic Modelling
This is advanced research in traffic modelling in large cities. In this area of research, new resolution models are proposed, specializing in reformulating the laws of traffic behaviour to tackle high road density regions. Development of tools for planning, demand management, regulation and control of urban traffic. Online regulation systems for urban traffic.
Intelligent Transport Systems
The set of technological solutions designed to improve operation and safety in land transport are tackled, both for urban and rural roads, as well as for railways. These would also be applicable to other means of transport, although they have mainly been developed with a view to land transport. This set of telematic solutions capture, process and generate information related to human and freight transport for using in systems that manage mobility bringing safety and advanced control for vehicles.