Module Catalogue 2020/21

CEG8422 : Intelligent Transport Systems

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Paul Goodman
  • Lecturer: Dr Tom Zunder, Professor Phil Blythe
  • Owning School: Engineering
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0
Pre Requisites
Pre Requisite Comment


Co Requisites
Co Requisite Comment



Primarily this module introduces the key concepts of Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) and Intelligent Mobility (IM) to students. An Intelligent Transport System is a system intended to provide safer and more efficient transportation, through the use of information and control technologies (ICT). Intelligent Mobility (IM) aims to ensure that both people and goods are moved in an optimised and environmentally friendly way, regardless of mode. Both rely on the innovative use of data and applications to enable operators and users to make smarter, more informed decisions, about transport networks.

In more detail, the module aims:
•       To provide an overview of the challenges facing the transport industry, how policy objectives are formed to meet these challenges, and how Intelligent Transport Systems and Intelligent Mobility have a role in solving them;
•       To provide insight into the broad range of ITS currently deployed to meet diverse objectives, and to enable understanding of how current solutions have developed and evolved (legacy ITS).
•       To provide an appreciation of how rapidly technology is developing, and how ITS systems will play a role in the ‘smart’ cities of the future, as ITS transitions from being ‘infrastructure’ centric, to more ‘people and goods’ centric, providing services to enable ‘Intelligent Mobility’.
•       To give understanding of the ‘building blocks’ of ITS: as to how data from ‘hard’ infrastructure can be brought together with information collected from mobile vehicle sources, and ‘soft’ information from people’s behaviour, through the use of modern telecommunications and sensor technologies.
•       To facilitate discussion and debate as to whether solutions deployed in one region or country are relevant and applicable in other locations across the globe, to highlight the need for interoperability of systems, and international standards.
•       To enable understanding of the processes in the development of a business case for investment in ITS from different actors' viewpoints
•       To facilitate an understanding of how ITS systems can be evaluated, to ensure that they are meeting, or will meet their objectives in the real world.
•       To introduce students to key research areas of ITS at Newcastle University and to provide ‘hands on’ experience of using data processing and analysis techniques from these systems.
•       To highlight the need to ensure that ITS systems operate safely and securely in an online world.

It should be noted that the range of examples, applications and services, covered by the module, may change from year-to-year to reflect the hot topics and political realities of ITS deployment and the key University research projects that are running in the academic year. It should be further noted that some of the topics listed in the outline syllabus do deliberately overlap with topics covered (in more detail) in the ‘Technologies for Future Mobility’ (CEG84xx) module.

Outline Of Syllabus

The syllabus for the module will broadly cover the following topics:
•       Introduction to Intelligent Mobility and Intelligent Transport Systems
•       The context for IM and ITS: Urbanisation, Congestion, Efficiency, Safety and the Environment
•       How ITS policy has been formed, both in the UK, the EU and internationally
•       Professional bodies dealing with ITS, both in the UK and Europe
•       ITS in Action: Case studies of current ITS systems
•       The building blocks of ITS: Infrastructure, Vehicles and People, bound by ICT
•       ITS Systems Architectures (ITS, C-ITS, V2I, V2V, V2X)
•       Sensors and Sensing Technologies (e.g. inductive loop, ultrasonic, visual, radar, lidar etc.)
•       Communications technologies (e.g. radio, cellular and satellite etc.)
•       Algorithms for ITS: (e.g. Analog to digital conversion, GIS/GPS processing, Image recognition, Machine learning etc.) including workshop
•       Network impacts of ITS schemes: Congestion and the Environment, Life Cycle Assessment
•       ITS for Safe Mobility
•       ITS for Road pricing and road tolling
•       ITS for Public transport, including the use of electronic payment and account systems
•       ITS and its role in Freight and Logistics
•       Evaluation of ITS schemes: Modelling and simulation versus Field operational Trials (FoTs) and In-Situ studies
•       Human factors in ITS: Behaviour, Data collection, Work and Task Loads, HMI Design, Elements of successful design

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

At the end of the module, the student should:

•       Achieve an understanding of why ITS and IM have developed in the way they have within the overall transport ecosystem and the potential benefits of their use.
•       Possess knowledge of the key building blocks of ITS and how they may be combined to deliver systems.
Have familiarity with the types of systems, services and techniques that are currently in-service, and understand how the landscape for such legacy systems will change in the near future.
•       Appreciate the policy drivers, financial/investment issues and the social and economic impacts of introducing new technologies or service delivery channels in the transport sector.
•       Understand the role ITS can play in tacking issues of congestion, pollution, climate change and energy use, against a backdrop of limited availability of public funding.
•       Understand how systems may be tested and evaluated to ensure that they function correctly in the real world, and to establish what impacts such systems may have in terms of network and behavioural effects.
•       Understand the context in which ITS is used and how it is likely to evolve and play an ever increasing part in sensing, managing and controlling transport networks of the future, providing mobility as a service to users, and in enabling the ‘smart’ cities of the future.
•       Appreciate why international standards on the operability of systems and conformance to such standards are necessary.
•       Understand the role technology can play in helping to deliver policy more effectively and efficiently and to understand that new technologies can help create new policy options that were not feasible before.

Intended Skill Outcomes

At the end of the module, the student should be able to:

•       Appreciate the range of ITS applications and services that could be potentially delivered, have high-level knowledge of the underlying technologies utilised by these, and be able to identify how a particular approach may support a given objective. Appreciate, at a general level, the key technologies that enable the collection, transmission, storage and processing of data required for ITS operation.
•       Understand and apply both existing and emerging systems and services to a range of transport problems and situations with an appreciation of the benefits that such deployments could derive.
•       Understand, critically appraise and evaluate how a particular ITS approach may fare in the real-world, and be able to identify benefits or issues with a system in relation to economic performance, network performance, safety, security and environmental concerns. Appreciate how ITS systems may, or may not, be appropriate in given circumstances in students own, home nations.

Teaching Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials151:0015:00Content lectures, split into “bite-sized” chunks (~20m) on individual aspects of Intelligent Transpo
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture11:001:00Module outro and feedback session. Online Synchronous
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture11:301:30Welcome & Intro to the Module Introduction to Intelligent Transport Systems Synchronous online
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion126:0026:00Preparation for group presentation submission
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion125:0025:00Preparation for individual report submission
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials31:003:00Content lectures, split into “bite-sized” chunks (~20m) on individual aspects of Intelligent Transpo
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops21:303:00Group-based computer exercises: Workshop 1: Sensors, Comms & Data Workshop 2: Data analysis PiP
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery21:002:00Online Question and answer/surgery sessions on all aspects of the module. Synchronous online
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study123:3023:30Background reading for full understanding of module material
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Formal lectures are used to provide a high-level overview of the ITS sector, and to introduce key systems, technologies, policies and concepts. The deeper understanding of key sensor and communications technologies, as well as the analysis of systems data will be handled through structured ‘hands-on’ computer workshops and demonstrations, as well as lecture material. Broadening understanding of ITS systems generally, understanding how ITS fares on a global scale, the suitability of ITS systems in students home nations, and the design of Human Machine Interfaces, will involve collaborative discussion sessions. Driving home how ITS operates on a day-to-day basis will be handled through a site visit to the operational Tyne and Wear Traffic Control Centre. Due to COVID use of the driving simulator and UTMC site visit will not be possible – so video briefings on these, recorded on-site will be substituted. The module will still feature pre-recorded material from a variety of industry leaders in the field.

Alternatives will be offered to students unable to be present-in-person due to the prevailing C-19 circumstances.
Student’s should consult their individual timetable for up-to-date delivery information.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Prof skill assessmnt1M50Group video presentation (15 minutes)
Report1M50Individual report on the topic of intelligent transport systems (1000 word max)
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The coursework report will test the students' knowledge and understanding of elements the taught material. The collaborative group work, culminating in a formal group submission with individual contribution elements, will reinforce and embed knowledge of the systems being studied, as well as providing practice in presentational skills required in the modern workplace. A good presentation would require clear coverage of how a particular system may fulfil its stated goals, whilst also appreciating both synergistic benefits, potential issues, its contribution to a larger set of policy objectives, and how similar systems have performed elsewhere.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


Disclaimer: The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2020/21 academic year. In accordance with University Terms and Conditions, the University makes all reasonable efforts to deliver the modules as described. Modules may be amended on an annual basis to take account of changing staff expertise, developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback. Module information for the 2021/22 entry will be published here in early-April 2021. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.