Intelligent Transport Services (ITS)
ITS involves the application of information and communications technology (ICT) to improve the effectiveness, safety and efficiency of travel and the transportation of people and goods. These systems are used in the transport infrastructure and in vehicles: one of the key challenges for the future is to integrate the information within vehicles' electronics with information in the infrastructure, whilst protecting personal privacy and maintaining the integrity of the transport systems during transition periods when many vehicles are not equipped with these systems.
ITS includes initiatives in the infrastructure, such as:
- Urban Traffic Control (UTC) - essentially traffic lights
- Urban Traffic Management and Control (UTMC) - an evolution from UTC to use IP networks and open interfaces to allow collection of real-time traffic information and a variety of ways to distribute advice to drivers and travellers.
- Road usage charging - particularly when using variable rates to manage and spread demand
- Real time passenger information - for use trains, buses, boats and 'planes
- Ticketless travel - based on electronic tickets, including use of cellphones and contactless smart cards
- Personal travel advice - advice for the user's specific journey which may need to be updated during the journey
- Logistics and Fleet management - for freight, public transport and a mobile field force.
- Emergency services, who require all the above, plus access to specialist information, and excellent co-ordination
in-vehicle systems - Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) including:
- Satellite Navigation
- Automatic Cruise Control (ACC) - reduce speed when slower vehicle detected ahead
- Electronic Stabilisation Control
- Lane Departure Warning Systems
- Parking-assist and warning of objects in blind spot
Cooperative Vehicle Highway Systems (CVHS) where vehicles share information with each other and the infrastructure
- In-vehicle display of road-signage
- Intelligent Speed Adaptation (ACC plus knowledge of local speed limits)
- Problem ahead warnings (including accident on the intended route, vehicle stopped beyond a blind corner or slippery road surface)
- Safe merging of traffic at junctions
- Platooning, where a small group of vehicles travel together in a convoy, with the drives of following vehicles able to hand control to the lead vehicle - the ultimate vision that may never be realisable in practice?
ITS UK is the specialist professional body representing and co-ordinating across the industry.
Last updated 10th May 2009. (c) Shadow Creek Consulting Ltd 2009