Volpe Center Highlights
Volpe Center Participates in 78th Annual TRB Conference
As one of the leading transportation research centers, in the country, the Volpe Center always makes a strong showing at the Transportation Research Boards (TRB) annual conference. This year was no exception as numerous Volpe Center employees presented papers, chaired and attended committee meetings, and met with the 7,000 members of the transportation research and development community who attended. Many of the Volpe staffs activities are highlighted throughout this edition. The Volpe Center also hosted an exhibition booth to highlight the Center and its work. Featured at this years booth were two demonstrations of ongoing Volpe Center efforts. The first presented the management information system developed by the Automation Technology Division for the U.S. Postal Service. The system, which is currently used by the U.S. Postal Service to support facility and environmental management for its 35,000 facilities nation-wide, attracted interest from numerous TRB attendees, including a number of federal and state agency officials. The Volpe Center booth also included a demonstration of the Microscopic Traffic Simulator (MITSIM) co-developed by Dr. Haris Koutsopoulos, of the Office of Service Assessment Division, and Professor Moshe Ben-Akiva, director of the Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). MITSIMs simulation-based laboratory allows transportation planners to test, evaluate, and refine dynamic traffic management systems before implementation. The MITSIM model uses a graphical user interface to show the detailed movements of individual vehicles as well as the operations of traffic control and surveillance devices. This representation allows traffic management systems to be evaluated at the operational level and provides a rich set of calculations that can produce a variety of measures of effectiveness, such as travel times at various levels of detail. MITSIM is currently being used in several applications, including the testing, evaluation, and refinement of the traffic control system in Boston's Central Artery Tunnel project.