Natural and man-made disruptive events can have major impact on our transportation system. These events range from simple traffic accidents to major loss of infrastructure as a result of natural disasters, such as hurricanes and earthquakes. The major goal of transportation agencies is to make sure that the affected transportation system continues to operate at an acceptable level of service under the threat of such events. This can be achieved by developing and deploying effective on and off line incident and emergency management plans. This event used real-world examples to illustrate major issues related to incident/emergency operations and their planning and real-time management. Then, modeling needs were discussed with the goal of focusing on emerging issues such as data driven dynamic forecasting models and real-time control, use of on-line traffic data, role of feedback mechanisms, effect of uncertainties and cascading failures, and real-world implementation. Application examples will be from the Greater NY/NJ metropolitan area where Hurricanes Irene and Sandy increased the awareness of the need for such comprehensive decision support systems.
The talk was concluded with the discussion of some of the most promising future directions and opportunities for effective planning and management of real-time incident and emergency operations as a result of the emergence of disruptive technologies such as big data, AI and machine learning, and connected / autonomous vehicles among others. The crowd very much enjoyed the presentation featuring traffic macro- and meso-scale modeling at their best.