The purpose of the paper is to analyze the traffic system and its use of energy. A complete analysis would have to account for many other factors, such as general economic activity. Consequently, the paper limits its analysis to the traffic system and its "immediate scope".
The study formulates the traffic system in three different configurations: mass transport, transportation as an auxiliary business function, and a system of individual drivers. The traffic system may be viewed as any of these three concepts, and any general analysis must be true for all three. Subsequently, energy-related subsystems are identified (e.g., design, maintenance, energy control, etc.) and the relationships between these subsystems are discussed in terms of potential energy savings. Results of this approach leads to general statements of the system of a whole; in particular, energy costs per unit decrease as total transportational loading increases.