Seeing the Future: Changing Highway Engineering Practice Over the Next 10 Years

by E. Dean Carlson, Federal Highway Administration,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Pacific Rim TransTech Conference—Volume II: International Ties, Management Systems, Propulsion Technology, Strategic Highway Research Program


The computer age is here, and the more a highway engineer knows about computers, the better. This really symbolizes the direction highway engineers are headed - into a high-tech world where the computer is their passport. Already, we've seen area after area enter the computer age. Designing roads and bridges. Management systems. Mapping. Traffic control, from traffic light synchronization to areawide traffic monitoring andd control. Data collection and processing. Modelling of everything from traffic forecasts to noise level to clean air conformity determinations. To a large extent, then, one challenge facing the highway engineer over the next 10 years will be to continue adapting the computer, even as it evolves with more capacity and greater capability, to the demands of our transportation network. That challenge has a corollary. The highway engineer will have to continue adapting to the demands of the computer.

Subject Headings: Engineering profession | Traffic signals | Highway engineering | Bridge design | Highway and road design | Systems management | Traffic models | Mapping

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