Institute for Transport Studies (ITS)

Research Projects

Projects are arranged chronologically by end date.

A high proportion of road accidents can be reduced by assisting pedestrians in their interactions with vehicles. Using a virtual reality simulator this project will compare the effectiveness of various designs of pedestrian warning systems.

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Automated driving technology has matured to a level motivating a final phase of road tests which can answer key questions before market introduction of the systems. L3Pilot tests the viability of automated driving as a safe and efficient means of transportation on public roads.

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Sustainable Behaviour Change

Delivering tailored, persuasive and ethical arguments for sustainable behaviour change in transport mode choice.

Working on a solution that will give 2.5 million deafblind people a more active part in society.

Developing a smart, haptic interface to: extend the perception and spatial orientation of the user; enlarge and facilitate their communication; and enhance their engagement.

The interface involves machine learning, sensor technologies, smart textiles, image and signal processing, psychophysics and affective computing.

Demonstrating the usefulness of light electrified vehicles for urban transportation. Focussing on bicycles, scooters, tricycles and quadricycles for more innovative, more sustainable and more connected urban mobility in Europe.

The Propensity to Cycle Tool.

Getting more people to use the bicycle by investing in cycling infrastructure.

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Modelling long and short term decisions in a changing world. Realigning modelled behaviour with real world behaviour. Representing multiple options with links between long term decisions and day to day choices. Accounting for the growing importance of virtual social networks and the role of joint decisions.

Enabling the safe integration of automated vehicles into mixed traffic environments.

Using machine learning to develop natural, human-like vehicle control. This project aims to see an autonomous vehicle performing a 200 mile journey across the UK through live traffic and natural conditions.

The journey will be driverless but human-like for the benefit of the occupant and other road users.

AUTOmated driving Progressed by the Internet Of Things.

Using the Internet of Things to connect vehicles. Testing autonomous cars in real conditions in six large-scale pilot sites in Europe.

Optimised Real-time Yard and Network Management.

Designing a decision support tool to optimise yard management processes in real-time, interacting with relevant networks. Developing a software module enabling on-time delivery and operational efficiency.

Optimal fuel consumption with Predictive Power Train Control and calibration for intelligent trucks.

Bringing together the most advanced technologies from powertrain control and intelligent transport systems to achieve a 20% reduction in consumption of fuel while achieving Euro VI emission standards for heavy duty road haulage.

Smart Maintenance and the Rail Traveller Experience.

Bringing together two related but distinct areas of research: Smart Maintenance and Human Factors.

Using information technology to enhance decision making by industry players in respect of maintenance decisions, and by rail travellers using apps to navigate the rail system and its interaction with other modes.

Electricity Smart Availability Topology of Network for Abundant electric Vehicles.

Investigating the feasibility of a system to provide real-time information for a peer-to-peer decentralised electricity market between households with PV systems and EV owners.

Automatic Train Operation

Developing energy-efficient ATO systems. Testing and embedding the software in train-borne ATO systems to generate individual train speed profiles in real time.

Next Generation - Driving Behaviour Models.

Developing dynamic models that explicitly account for the effects of driver characteristics.

The models combine experimental data from the University of Leeds Driving Simulator and real traffic data collected from video recordings.

Aggressive driving is a leading cause of road traffic injuries and air pollution.

To reduce this, GamECAR is developing an innovative strategy to provide the driver with personalized and proactive hints on how to adjust their current driving style in the setting of a multiplayer gaming environment.

Customer, Quality, Cost.

Public satisfaction with roads.

Working with Local Authorities and Highways Agencies in Britain to achieve greater savings and efficiencies to fund road improvements.

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Fairer, safer cycling.

Cyclists suffer a disproportionate share of road collisions and are not treated equally by traffic systems.

XCYCLE is developing technologies to improve detection of cyclists at junctions, and effective methods of presenting information in trucks to help avoid collisions with cyclists.

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Coordination and support of automated road transport by increasing market and policy certainties. CARTRE will support the development of clearer and more consistent policies for EU Member States in collaboration with industry players, ensuring that automated road transport systems and services are compatible at EU level and are deployed in a coherent way.

Smarter Travel Solution.

Developing an app that integrates sustainable transport services to offer users a “One screen journey”.

Transport Analytics Centre of Excellence.

Promoting research and innovation to address critical transport-related scientific, technological, educational and industrial issues with a focus on competitiveness, entrepreneurship and Big-Data Analytics. Facilitating society and economy towards sustainable development.

International Network for Transport and Accessibility in Low Income Communities.

Building lasting research partnerships to promote urban transport systems that can meet the travel needs of low income populations in the Global South.

Needs Tailored Interoperable Railway Infrastructure  for Sustainable Railways

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What is energy for?

Taking a distinctive approach to end-use energy demand.

Exploring how energy demand can be reduced by modifying social and institutional rhythms of home, work and travel.

Empowering sustainable mobility.

Positive incentives to encourage citizens to reconsider their travel choice and reduce travel in conventionally fuelled vehicles.

Empowering a change to active transport, public transport or shared transport via smartphone apps.

Programme for Simulation Innovation 

Delivering advances to the capability of the virtual simulation industry in the UK. This project has given manufacturers like Jaguar Land Rover access to new, world-class simulation tools and processes

Identifying the next generation of measures that will enable us to effectively reduce road accidents and air pollution requires a far more in-depth understanding of actual road user behaviour. This project observed the behaviour of road users unobtrusively in a natural setting.

Development of Integrated Tools to Optimise Rail Systems.

The project developed formulations, algorithms and processes to deliver a step change in rail system performance incorporating safety, reliability, dynamic decision making and maximising capacity.

Advancing Automated Driving.

Driver support for demanding and repetitive tasks.

Ensuring safer and more comfortable driving.



Motoring and Vehicle Ownership Trends in the UK.

Bringing together new sources of data to give a spatially disaggregated diagnosis of car ownership and use in Great Britain and the associated emissions and energy demands.

Field Operational Test Networking and Data Sharing Support.

Contributing to the market introduction of improved vehicle ICT.

This project continued the momentum of the FOT network and delivered new perspectives with regard to the sharing and re-usage of FOT-Net Data sets.

This project explored opportunities to reduce the energy use and associated greenhouse gas emissions from the transport sector.

Encouraging the adoption of green driving behaviour. This project developed and tested driver support systems aimed at conserving energy and reducing emissions.

The project has developed a toolkit for sustainable urban mobility planning.