The Institute of Transportation Studies at UC Irvine (ITS-Irvine) is an organized research unit, established to foster research, education, and training in the field of transportation.

 A fundamental goal of the Institute is the stimulation of interdisciplinary research on contemporary transportation issues. ITS-Irvine research typically involves over 20 faculty associates and over 50 graduate students from The Henry Samueli School of Engineering, the School of Social Sciences, the School of Social Ecology, the program in Public Health, the Paul Merage School of Business, the School of Law, and the Bren School of Information and Computer Science. The Institute also hosts visiting scholars from the U.S. and abroad to facilitate cooperative research and information exchange, and sponsors seminars, conferences and colloquia to disseminate research results. ITS-Irvine is part of the US DOT Pacific Southwest Region University Transportation Center, which is one of ten federally designated regional centers for transportation research and education, the USDOT University Transportation Center for Automated Vehicles Research with Multimodal Assured Navigation (CARMEN), and the California Statewide Transportation Research Program funded by the State of California. ITS-Irvine is also a member of the US Council of University Transportation Centers, (CUTC).

Research at ITS covers a broad spectrum of transportation issues. Current funded research projects at Irvine focus upon:

  • Intelligent transportation systems, particularly connected and automated vehicles (CAVs) and their relationship to advanced transportation management systems
  • Analysis and simulation of urban traffic networks
  • Transportation system operations and control
  • Travel demand forecasting and analysis of complex travel behavior
  • Freight operations
  • Transportation/land use interactions, particularly those which encourage alternative modes of travel
  • Planning and evaluation of advanced public transit systems
  • Transportation pricing and regulation
  • Energy and environmental issues, particularly demand for alternative fuels
  • Effect of land-use on transportation demand
  • Artificial intelligence in transportation
  • Growth of automobile use in the U.S. and Western Europe

Research on advanced transportation technologies, a focus at Irvine, is supported by a wide range of programs and sponsored research projects. These include:

  • UC ITS Mobility Research Program, funded by the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017 (SB1)
  • Pacific Southwest Regional Region 9 University Transportation Center
  • Various sponsored research projects with California Air Resources Board, Caltrans, the California Energy Commission, and other State agencies

The transportation research program at Irvine is also supported by computerized access to the ITS Transportation Library at UC Berkeley. In addition to the resources available from the ITS Berkeley Library, ITS at UCI subscribes to the major transportation research journals and offers a variety of computer-based information retrieval services. ITS is linked to the broader professional community through a series of research colloquia and specialty conferences. The latter programs attract an international audience.

The Institute maintains a publication series which documents research conducted within its programs from 1976-2013.