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About Us

Smart Road bridge

The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) conducts research to save lives, time, and money and protect the environment.

As one of six premier research institutes created by Virginia Tech to answer national challenges, VTTI is continually advancing transportation through innovation and has affected public policy on national and international levels.

VTTI has grown from approximately 15 faculty, staff, and students to become the second largest university-level transportation institute in the U.S. with approximately 500 employees. VTTI has effected significant change in public policies for driver, passenger, and pedestrian safety and is advancing the design of vehicles and infrastructure to increase safety and reduce environmental impacts.

In all endeavors, the VTTI community is charged with finding solutions to the greatest transportation challenges facing not only the nation but the world. The faculty, staff, and students of VTTI are truly dedicating their lives to saving lives.

Welcome from the Director

Tom Dingus

It is rare to have a career in which one feels they are truly making a difference. It is rarer still to work with others–faculty, staff, and students–who are dedicated to such a daunting endeavor. But that is what makes VTTI unique. This is a community with a voracious desire to dig deep to find the solutions that will ensure the safety of all ground transportation users, from truck and car drivers to motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians. This is a community that is dedicated to creating a sustainable transportation system and to preserving our mobility, our infrastructure, and our environment.

It has been 30 years since VTTI was founded. Then called the Center for Transportation Research, we encompassed 15 employees. Today, we stand at approximately 500 employees, house the largest group of driving safety researchers in the world, annually see sponsored research expenditures of more than $50 million, have an infrastructure worth more than $150 million, and support many undergraduate and graduate students who are gaining first-hand knowledge into the field of transportation research.

This is but a snapshot of what VTTI has accomplished. What we will continue to accomplish is nothing short of our core mission: to save lives, save time, save money, and protect the environment.

VTTI at a Glance

VTTI has more than $50 million in annual sponsored program research expenditures and is conducting more than 300 active projects.

VTTI ensures its national and global success by employing a select team of multidisciplinary researchers, engineers, technicians, support staff, and students.

To accomplish its groundbreaking research, VTTI uses a range of tools that include the Virginia Smart Roads, the Virginia Connected Corridors, and data acquisition systems. These capabilities have earned VTTI an exclusive standing in the transportation research field, making it a renowned option for transportation research, analysis, and development.

At its core, VTTI is a family; we are a community committed to conducting cutting-edge research to save lives.

VTTI pioneered the use of the naturalistic driving study research method. Using data acquisition systems developed in house, VTTI researchers are able to gather continuous video and driving performance data in real-world driving conditions. To date, more than 4,000 instrumented vehicles have been deployed nationally and internationally, resulting in more than 70 million miles of continuous naturalistic driving data.

Annually, VTTI produces more than 150 publications.


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