Developing Higher Education

Transport and Traffic Science Expertise for Sustainable Mobility

Dresden (GER), April 2021 - The roads of Sri Lanka and high-quality university education of transport and traffic experts and geodesists in the Asian country are the focus of a current Erasmus+ project with the participation of TU Dresden (TUD) entitled "LBS2ITS - Location-based Services to Intelligent Transport Systems". The three-day online kick-off event took place recently, with around thirty participants. Prof. Regine Gerike and her team took part on behalf of the TUD. She is scientifically supervising the project through her Chair of Integrated Transport Planning and Traffic Engineering at the "Friedrich List" Faculty of Transport and Traffic Sciences.

Together with the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA) and the Technische Universität Wien (TUW), which is in charge of the overall project management, the Dresden transport and traffic scientists will support four universities in Sri Lanka in the development of new study programmes and curricula for higher education in the country at the southeastern tip of the Indian subcontinent over the next three years.

"The aim of the EU project is to further develop the training of transport and mobility experts, who will in future make a significant contribution to improving the quality of life in urban and rural areas of Sri Lanka," says Regine Gerike. At the same time, the project contributes to strengthening international networking and cooperation at the "Friedrich List" Faculty of Transport and Traffic Sciences.

Transport and mobility have a significant impact on people's living standards, social participation, and economic development worldwide. Sri Lanka, with its 21.7 million people, is currently focusing on long-term strategic and structural development challenges to make the transition to an upper-middle-income country. "The country faces many challenges in the transport sector. Access to modern technology and up-to-date research knowledge at the interdisciplinary interface among geodesy, geoinformation, and intelligent transport systems can bring about social, economic, and environmental improvements in terms of road safety, pollution, and transport efficiency," says the Dresden professor.

The specific objectives of the LBS2ITS project are

(1) to establish a regional cooperation network in LBS to ITS education

(2) the modernisation of existing and the development of new LBS and Smart Transportation course modules

(3) to upskill teaching staff through targeted training on the project theme

(4) to upgrade equipment, including digital resource kits for interaction with students

(5) to strengthen problem-based learning (PBL) and introduce eLearning tools

(6) to promote interaction and collaboration between universities and other relevant stakeholders

(7) to extend students’ reach through expanding their employment opportunities in national and international markets

(8) to implement quality assurance procedures in education

"Location-based services" (LBS) are mobile computer applications (e.g. with smartphones). They record the specific location and, if necessary, supplementary information, e.g. on users and the environment. With the integration of mobile information and communication technologies (ICT), 4A "services" (anytime, anywhere, for anyone and anything) are being developed.
Examples of emerging mobility services based on location information range from travel and traffic information, public transport, and emergency management to personal mobility, the use of commercial vehicles, road pricing, and driver assistance systems. In short, LBS promote healthier, greener, and more active mobility behaviour through "intelligent transport systems" (ITS). They provide innovative services related to different transport modes and traffic management, enabling users to be better informed and to use transport services in a safer, more coordinated, and "intelligent" way.