As Farrell explained in an interview, the key to the two-year study of Chattanooga’s traffic was Eagle, NREL’s latest supercomputer. It can do 8 million-billion calculations per second. The computer’s technology and the accumulating knowledge of how to apply it, he pointed out, are a combination that didn’t exist five years ago.
It helped NREL use a process called “machine learning” that can explore huge amounts of data and quickly recognize patterns that might otherwise take humans weeks or even months to pick out. Chattanooga’s traffic provided mountains of data.
The scientists worked with a long list of partners. Those included the city’s transportation department, three universities, the Tennessee and Georgia departments of transportation, and several trucking companies such as FedEx Corp…
The next two years will be devoted to a regional traffic solution, one that includes other highways leading into the Chattanooga area.