A journal article by Sakdirat, Sussman, and Matsumoto discusses the challenges of the transportation infrastructure. The paper focuses on addressing the issues of modern transportation systems in all of their diversity. The authors note that while the public and private means of transportation face their unique problems, they offer opportunities for further research into the topic as well. Article offers a summary of strategic research areas in this sphere, highlighting the biggest challenges faced by the systems of transportation and transit.
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Generally, the article is separated into sections based on the areas of interest for previous research. The first paragraph is titled “Translating Policy, Strategy, and Innovation into Practices and Products” and states that the recently discovered ways of advancing industry practices are used to improve development in a number of directions. Manufacturing, design, construction, maintenance, and other areas in transportation all benefit from innovation. The paragraph notes that for effective translation of policies and new technology into working approaches requires collaboration between the stakeholders and the public.
The next section is concerned with counteracting the risks and uncertainties in the transportation sphere. Natural disasters and unexpected occurrences are a frequent factor in the field, and the need to account for the unforeseen is recognized by many. Practical knowledge has developed to respond to such events as floods and earthquakes, but the technology used is still insufficient in innovating the industry. Many fundamental issues connected with the engineering properties and the choice of materials are not being resolved. The inability to solve the emerging issues raises costs for repair and maintenance. The current challenge in this regard is using the available technology, innovation, and research to effectively adapt to unforeseen circumstances and natural events.
The third paragraph raises the issue of urban infrastructure and its connectivity. In many cases, older transportation systems are not being kept in shape due to insufficient funding and inefficient spending. Modern technology faces the need to modernize the existing infrastructure and efficiently integrate it with the newer system. This issue is especially pronounced in areas with increased population, where the needs of the people put much pressure on transportation. Both engineers and policymakers are faced with the problem of creating effective and sustainable transportation systems. The fourth paragraph discusses the use of the Internet of Things in automated transportation systems. Responding to the need for better management and maintenance of aging transportation systems as well as the improved performance of older ones. The last section is dedicated to the problem of educating new professionals in the industry. Skill shortage in the transportation field is detrimental to the overall effort of improvement, creating the need to attract new talent. New industry professionals need to use their modern expertise to provide sustainable, smart, and efficient infrastructure.
Overall, the text offers a large evaluation of many areas for development in the industry. Giving a detailed look, it manages to introduce the most important aspects of the discussion in an effective and concise manner. However, the attempt at covering all of the subjects at the same time is the biggest detriment of the piece. The authors cannot spend much time discussing any particular issue in-depth, leading to predictable conclusions and limited insight. As a starting point for a deeper look into the industry, however, this article is excellent.
Kaewunruen, Sakdirat, Joseph M. Sussman, and Akira Matsumoto. 2016. “Grand Challenges in Transportation and Transit Systems.” Frontiers in Built Environment 2. Web.