CEG8422 : Intelligent Transport Systems

Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


To provide timely information on many of the key state of the art of Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) and Intelligent Mobility services being adopted by the transport industry.
To understand the philosophy of why technology has been developed to support the management and control of the transport sector and how the systems and services have an influence on transport policy development.
To provide an understanding of the basic building blocks and techniques used in the delivery of ITS systems and services including the main communications and information backbones developed for the UK.
To understand the processes in the development of a business case for investment in ITS from different actors' viewpoints and the subsequent cost benefit and economic appraisal of proposed projects from both the private and public sector perspectives as well as the end users' willingness to pay for many of the optional services.
To provide an understanding of the building blocks of ITS systems and services and, through examples, critically examine a range of ITS deployments and the policies they are designed to support.
To introduce the students to key research areas of ITS at Newcastle University to see practical examples of leading edge ITS and to gain some hands on experience of the research systems and the data collected from them to support our aim of ‘Research led Teaching’.
To set all of the above in the context of the current UK and global challenges in transport, energy, sustainability and climate change and provide a vision of how smart technologies will be adopted to optimise and better manage the transport networks of the future.

Outline Of Syllabus

Context of the evolution of ITS through the research programmes of the 1980’s and 1990’s to the early deployments in the 2000’s and the gradual implementation of major integrated systems and ‘consumer ITS’ in the past decade. This will include a brief introduction to ITS research programmes from across the world.
Introduction to key professional bodies in the ITS world and ITS resources available to support the students' knowledge gathering and research for the module.
The building blocks of ITS: communications; sensor; data processing; Human Machine Interface and computing technologies.

The evolution from ITS
Putting ITS into the political context providing examples of white papers, transport acts and EU directives that shape the development and deployment of ITS Systems and Services, including ‘doing more for less’ the compelling case for ITS and smart systems in an age of austerity.
Following on from the background and introductory foundation information, the remainder of the module will focus on introducing the student to key areas of ITS which will include: the fundamental principles of the system or service; the wider political and challenge context; technologies deployed; case studies and experiences from practitioners; impacts and benefits; and future vision.
These areas will include:
1. Intelligent Mobility Concepts
2. Public transport systems (covering a broad sweep of technologies from electronic ticketing, AVL, journey planning, DRT, information systems, PT priority systems and new innovations in PT delivery and operation)
3. Safety systems (the six categories of safety systems and ITS examples and impacts of each)
4. Environmental sensing
5. ITS and the aging society (supporting older drivers and travellers to maintain their mobility)
6. Electromobility (electric vehicles and their associated charging and management infrastructure)
7. Eco-driving and whole journey monitoring and analysis: The Newcastle DriveLAB
8. ITS to support the principles of demand management

Finally the module will provide the students with insights into future developments and visions of ITS and how it may be deployed in the future through visioning scenarios and other techniques.
It should be noted that the range of examples, applications and services 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 ITS specialist modules (CEG8414 and CEG8415).

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture241:0024:00The lecture topics do change to reflect the key political and technical issues of the current year.
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion240:3012:00Revision for exam
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion115:0015:00Coursework report
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion12:002:00Exam
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion115:0015:00Oral presentation and preparation
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching81:008:00To generate discussion with the students to consider the wider context of their coursework topic.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesFieldwork12:002:00Site visits
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study122:0022:00Includes background reading and reading lecture notes for a full understanding of material
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures are the primary means of delivering the curriculum. Students are given a programme of required reading to supplement the lectures (a list handed out at the first lecture and essential reading sources referenced at the end of each individual lecture), and are also encouraged to read round the subject as widely as possible (conference CD’s and other sources are made available to students). It is noted that due to the rapid evolution of the state of the art in ITS and e-Services that journal and academic publications should be augmented by up to the minute information from government web-sites and from trade/industry publications. A programme of self study work is provided which explores how the techniques and technologies for various ITS sectors, such as road-use pricing, public transport and payment schemes, electromobility, eco-driving, safety systems, demand management and technologies to help older travellers, and environmental. Developing the business case for investment in such systems is seen as crucial for understanding the reality that transport operators have to live within – thus the policy issues, cost benefit, social issues and the economic case for investment is covered through workshops and case studies which is all aimed to ensure the students extend their knowledge to the wider context of transport and related challenges. To tackle practical problems and to encourage discussion of issues relating to strengths and weaknesses of the methods.

Students are required to discuss these issues in small teams and to present their findings to the rest of the class, thus developing oral-communication skills.

The self study programme helps students to develop problem-solving, numeracy and written communication skills. Self study is critical to delivering the learning objectives of the module as the ITS field is growing rapidly year on year and not all topics and areas that are important for a wider understanding of ITS can be covered in lectures and thus are covered through guided self learning and the coursework assessments. Seminars and discussions to discuss ITS in the wider political and economic context are also a feature of the course. To achieve the above this involves insights from practitioners and recognised experts from industry.

Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination1201A70Unseen written exam
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Report1M15Individual written research contribution to support group presentation (approx. 1000 words)
Prof skill assessmnt1M15Group work assessed by group presentations with individual components (approx. 15 hours work)
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The coursework element critically assesses the students' understanding of the role ITS systems and services do or could, play in tackling transport problems in a new, innovative way. The coursework requires the students to discuss and critically analyse the context in which ITS and e-Services are deployed from the political, societal, transport challenges, impacts and user acceptance points of view as well as considering the financial and political environment we find ourselves in at present.

All the above areas are requested to be covered in the presentations that the group are tasked with researching and preparing. The group coursework is assessed both as a piece of group coursework but also from the individual contribution and presentation performance.

The unseen examination is to test knowledge, understanding and interpretation of the Intended Learning Outcomes through written communication.

Reading Lists