Transportation and Highway Engineering represents a complex application of basic engineering skills and critical thinking to solve a basic urban planning and societal problem. Every single person who commutes in an urban area has experienced the frustration and difficulty of traffic and gridlock. Yet this is not necessary. Transportation and highway engineers, combined with top-level traffic analysis can alleviate many of the woes consistently suffered by nearly every American worker on a daily basis.
The ultimate goal of highway engineers and traffic analysts is to develop a sustainable and effective transportation infrastructure that can support the relevant population. They design and supervise the construction of highways, bridges, overpasses, and all of the associated structures, but more importantly, they work to develop an integrated transportation plan that allows effective movement between urban areas. This requires a total knowledge of the basic engineering principles, as well as a top-level understanding of the entire transportation network.
The future holds significant value for highway engineering and traffic analysis. There are a variety of concepts that are currently emerging that have the potential to revolutionize the field. At this point in time, the cars and the roadways are unable to communicate with each other. In the near future, both the vehicles and the roads on which they travel will be able to exchange data and optimize the driving process, alleviating many traffic problems, removing gridlock and decreasing the incidence of traffic accidents.
Highway engineering is a highly dynamic field that incorporates a variety of different disciplines to better the overall society and produce efficient and effective systems. By integrating basic engineering principles with advanced urban planning knowledge, complex highway and transportation infrastructure can be planned and executed to produce networks usable by all.