Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) contribute to all major transport policy objectives. Through the application of ITS, road networks can be operated and utilized more efficiently. The term ITS encompasses many systems with different objectives and applications that can be found everywhere.
Safe roads and safe driving: ITS plays an important role in both preventing accidents and mitigating their impacts. ITS helps to implement and deliver the ambitious policy objectives as set by national governments and supra-national bodies.
Delivering road sustainability: as with road safety, there is no one single way ITS contributes to the improved sustainability of roads. There are many ITS applications either aimed at optimizing the available supply of road infrastructure, or reducing demand for it; thereby helping to make road transport more efficient and stabilizing and even reducing its share in causing climate change.
A simplified description of steps involved in the chain for most ITS applications are:
Data collection: on, for example, road conditions, like the number of vehicles passing a certain point and average speed, but also weather conditions. Other examples are the positioning of vehicles through mobile phone tracking or satellite-base systems.
Data transfer, processing and analysis: the communication of collected data to central units for aggregation and transformation into decision-making information.
Use of the information: this might be a decision by road operators to apply certain measures on the road network; it could also be a decision by a road user to alter his route after receiving updated traffic information.
The IRF feels that with ITS, road managers have a very strong and cost-efficient tool at hand for saving lives, reducing emissions and increasing the reliability of our road journeys. The IRF therefore strongly supports the implementation of ITS in order to make better roads for a better world.
For more information on the IRF Policy Committee on ITS and its activities visit www.irfnet.ch