Prof. Dr. S. Travis Waller is head of the new Excellence Professorship for Transport Modelling and Simulation at the "Friedrich List" Faculty of Transport and Traffic Sciences at TU Dresden since 1 April 2022. On 16 June, he gave his university-wide inaugural lecture.

Many roads lead to the destination. But if you open up a new, more efficient route, it is certain that traffic will concentrate exactly there and the relief will initially fail to materialise. "The Braess Paradox is always a concern," explained Prof. S. Travis Waller at his university-wide inaugural lecture on 16 June, "as our traffic systems are extraordinarily complex because they are determined by the self-interest of the participants: Because of our individual goals, we sometimes run diagonally or at a surprising point across the road. In automated simulations, spontaneous decisions and preferences are difficult to represent."

To ensure that the traffic of the future can nevertheless be designed in a fair and sustainable way, Prof. Waller and his research team are taking up this challenge at the Chair of Transport Modelling and Simulation at the "Friedrich List" Faculty of Transport and Traffic Sciences at TU Dresden. Their goal: to include conditions such as climate, human decision-making, health risks or economic backgrounds of individuals in mathematical formulas. "The biggest disruption in the system is formed by the traffic participants themselves. To effectively maintain traffic flow, human behaviour would have to be more predictable," Waller explains. Cost would be one aspect that could regulate equal distribution.

For example, tolls could be calculated individually as an "agent-based system" to prevent social injustice. Another approach Prof. Waller is pursuing in connection with automated and networked mobility is the lightning-fast buying and selling of small sections of road on which one is currently travelling - via blockchain. "Transport is being transformed by technology and social awareness. The exciting challenge of our approach is to shape the transition into the future through mathematics and by mixing different technologies. However, what is crucial is what ethical values we agree on now to pursue then."

The renowned US-Australian researcher will primarily help shape the Emerging Field of Automated and Networked Mobility at TUD, which focuses on the development of efficient, safe, intelligent and sustainable transport systems (see article in the online magazine "Verkehrslage").

"How We Move into the Future" - Inaugural lecture of Prof. S. Travis Waller in full length


Magdalena Selbig

Emerging Field Automated and Networked Mobility of TUD

The focus of this Emerging Field is on designing efficient, safe, and intelligent transport systems. Transport and mobility are being rethought under the normative vision of sustainable development. Research on user needs and mobility services will drive and simultaneously inspire research on new automated and connected technologies.

Five key areas have been defined for this integrative research approach: technological innovations, user needs & mobility concepts, governance & transition paths, overarching research & simulation methods, research laboratories & driving simulators

Sustainability and ethics in the mobility of the future: #Introducing S. Travis Waller

The US-Australian and transport visionary Prof. Dr. S. Travis Waller took over the leadership of the new Lighthouse Professorship "Transport Modelling and Simulation" at the "Friedrich List” Faculty of Transport and Traffic Sciences at TU Dresden (TUD) on 1 April 2022. Engineer S. Travis Waller is a world-class researcher in the field of simulation and modelling of innovative transport systems. His work has supported stakeholders worldwide in the planning and design of mobility and infrastructure for more than 20 years. A central theme of his current research is the development of quantified methods for transport system modelling with consideration of equity, fairness, environmental impacts and other ethics-related impacts of transport.

Prof. Dr. S. Travis Waller

Head of the Lighthouse Professorship "Transport Modelling and Simulation”
"Friedrich List" Faculty of Transport and Traffic Sciences, TU Dresden