An intelligent transportation system (ITS) is an advanced solution which aims at providing innovative services related to different modes of transport and traffic management and enables users to be better informed and make safer, more coordinated, and ‘smarter’ use of transport networks.
Intelligent transport systems vary in technologies applied, from basic car navigation; traffic signal control systems; container management systems; variable message signs; automatic number plate recognition or speed cameras to monitor applications, such as CCTV systems, and automatic incident detection or stopped vehicle detection systems; to more advanced applications that integrate live data and feedback from a number of other sources, such as parking guidance and information systems and weather information systems. Predictive solutions are being developed to allow advanced modelling and comparison with historical baseline data.
“Self-driving cars are the natural extension of active safety and obviously something we should do.” — Elon Musk
Application areas of Intelligent Transport Systems
ITS is based on data collection, analysis and using the results of the analysis in the operations, control and research concepts for traffic management where location plays an important role:
- Traffic Management Systems
- Advanced Traveler Information Systems
- Vehicle Control Systems
- Public Transportation Systems
- Rural Transportation Systems
- Commercial Vehicles Operations systems
Intelligent Transport System operational process
Strategic planning needs precise, extensive and prompt data collection with real-time observation. So the data here is collected via varied hardware devices that lay the base of further ITS functions. These devices are Automatic Vehicle Identifiers, GPS based automatic vehicle locators, sensors, camera etc. The hardware mainly records the data like traffic count, surveillance, travel speed and travel time, location, vehicle weight, delays etc.
Rapid and real-time information communication is the key to proficiency in ITS implementation so this aspect of ITS consists of the transmission of collected data from the field to TMC (Traffic Management Centre) and then sending back that analyzed information from TMC to travelers. Traffic-related announcements are communicated to the travelers through internet, SMS or onboard units of Vehicle.
The data that has been collected and received at TMC is processed further in various steps. These steps are error rectification, data cleaning, data synthesis, and adaptive logical analysis.
Travel Advisory Systems (TAS) is used to inform transportation updates to the traveling user. The system delivers real-time information like travel time, travel speed, delay, accidents on roads, change in route, diversions, work zone conditions etc. This information is delivered by a wide range of electronic devices like variable message signs, highway advisory radio, internet, SMS, automated cell.