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The agent computing paradigm is rapidly emerging as one of the powerful technologies for the development of large-scale distributed systems to deal with the uncertainty in a dynamic environment. The domain of traffic and transportation systems is well suited for an agent-based approach because transportation systems are usually geographically distributed in dynamic changing environments. Our literature survey shows that the techniques and methods resulting from the field of agent and multiagent systems have been applied to many aspects of traffic and transportation systems, including modeling and simulation, dynamic routing and congestion management, and intelligent traffic control. This paper examines an agent-based approach and its applications in different modes of transportation, including roadway, railway, and air transportation. This paper also addresses some critical issues in developing agent-based traffic control and management systems, such as interoperability, flexibility, and extendibility. Finally, several future research directions toward the successful deployment of agent technology in traffic and transportation systems are discussed.