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Innovative Transportation Research Institute


The Innovative Transportation Research Institute (ITRI) at Texas Southern University was developed in the fall of 2006 by expanding the former Urban Traffic and Air Quality Lab (UTAQL), which was first established in 2000 and has already achieved extensive accomplishments. By utilizing advanced technologies, large scale computer simulation methods, complex modeling systems, and state-of-the-art lab equipments, ITRI will attempt to develop, evaluate, optimize, and recommend comprehensive strategies for traffic congestion mitigation, urban transportation planning, ITS development, mobile source emission reduction, and fuel consumption saving.



  • Conduct innovative research and development to seek optimal solutions to various transportation problems

  • Develop and deliver high-quality education and training programs to traffic engineers, transportation planners, transportation managers, air quality specialists, etc.

Research Focuses

  • Traffic planning and simulation for real-time and large-scale traffic network applications
  • ITS data management strategies for ITS and planning applications
  • Automatic traffic condition monitoring and prediction
  • Transportation system performance evaluation based on traffic video
  • Mobile source emission modeling
  • Safety and human factors



Five Affiliated Research Centers

1.   Center for Modeling and Simulation (CPS)

The Center for Modeling and Simulation aims to develop suitable transportation planning models for middle and large-scale networks, and to develop and identify microscopic and macroscopic simulation tools for various transportation applications such as evaluating evacuation plans, recommending comprehensive congestion and incident mitigation strategies, improving roadway traffic operation performances, etc.    

2.   Center for Air Quality Analysis (CAQA)

The Center for Air Quality Analysis aims to conduct extensive research on the microscopic and macroscopic modeling of mobile emission estimation and fuel consumption, and the measurement and evaluation of on-road vehicle emission and fuel consumption using advanced Portable Emission Measurement System (PEMS). CAQA will also identify the impact of transportation behaviors to air quality, and propose comprehensive strategies to reduce emissions and fuel consumption from on-road vehicles and non-road equipments so as to enhance the regional air quality.     

3.   Center for ITS (CITS)

The Center for Intelligent Transportation System aims to investigate approaches to significantly improve the performance of multi-modal transportation systems by smartly utilizing various up-to-date innovative technologies in interdisciplinary fields such as transportation engineering, computer engineering, electric and electronic engineering, communication, automatic control, cybernetics. CITS has the ability to obtain the transmitted real time traffic data from Houston TranStar, and is equipped with the advanced Autoscope Van for on-road data collection. CITS will monitor and store the real time data, and develop innovative models and procedures to archive, aggregate and compress the huge amount of traffic data for the use of various applications such as rural and urban transportation planning, environmental protection, operational management, and incident prevention.

4.   Center for Driver Behavior (CDB)

The Center for Driver Behavior aims to investigate the application of emerging technologies to transportation safety improvement and to identify the impact of human factors in roadway accidents by using the advanced driving simulator. CDB is also capable of conducting cooperative human behavior related studies such as drug and psychology tests.

5.   Center for Training and Technology Transfer (CT3)

The Center for Training and Technology Transfer aims to perform any transportation studies and conduct professional trainings to field traffic engineers, air quality specialists, transportation planners, etc. CT3 may invite new software and technology developers for trainings from various industries, governments, and organizations. All developed technologies in ITRI will be introduced and transferred via CT3



Department of Transportation Studies
TB 125, College of Science & Technology, Texas Southern University
3100 Cleburne Avenue, Houston, Texas 77004-9986 USA
Phone (713) 313-1841 or (713) 313-6809 
 Fax (713) 313-1856  

Dr. Yi Qi, Interim Chair
Ms. Paula Eakins, Administrative Assistant


Last updated: 09/30/11 US Central Time