Intelligent Traffic Management Systems
In the next decade, transportation systems and management will face many exciting changes. According to the Transparency Market Research, the global market of intelligent traffic systems will surpass $80 billion by 2027. It will be a leading logistics field, implemented all over the world.
How can logistics providers get on board by offering global transportation innovations? What technologies are required to build a powerful, intelligent traffic management system? Let’s take a look at current patterns and future trends, as well as examine some real-life examples.
What is an intelligent traffic management system?
An intelligent traffic system (ITS) is a combination of services and tools, connected to various transportation modes and traffic management software. The most common uses of such systems are providing citizens with detailed transportation information, shortening the commute duration, preventing downtime, and reducing traffic jams.
As mobility becomes a key part of modern lives, ITS taps into people’s day-to-day needs, serving thousands of users simultaneously. Vehicle operators, on the other hand, can navigate through routes and schedules, synchronizing their activities with colleagues.
Use cases for ITS
An intelligent traffic management system can be connected to all types of transportation, from public transportation to emergency vehicles. Let’s see the most common applications of the technology with existing global examples.
Providing real-time commute data
The main feature of ITS is to provide commuters with schedules, real-time updates, route availability, the current location of a vehicle, and report seat availability. Such a system has been implemented in Glasgow, where users have applications that collect real-time commute updates.
In Seoul, the government designed the application to store night bus schedules and allows users to pick transportation means that provide the shortest and safest late commutes. The government partners with telecom providers to analyze calls made before 5 am.
Communication with emergency services
In 2015, the European Union required car manufacturers to implement e-Call, a smart system that contacts emergency services immediately after collisions. A call request can be sent manually by car drivers and passengers, or by an automatic system.
The system automatically sends datasets with accident’s time, location, travel direction, and vehicle identification data. The system is available on mobile devices or connected to the seats.
Automatic road enforcement
ITS can be used to identify drivers who disobey traffic rules and enforce immediate punishments. The system uses cameras to identify cars that exceed the speed limit and electromagnetic radars that measure the speed precisely. Additional measures include intelligent traffic lights management systems and bus lane cameras, which spot cars that travel in bus-only road sections. Level-crossing cameras are used to spot drivers that illegally cross railways.
Such systems have already been implemented in the United States, Brazil, the UK, and many European countries. An ITS installed on the M25 motorway near London led to shortened commute times, a decrease of accidents, and reduced traffic jams.
An integrated traffic management system is often equipped with AI and IoT to reduce human involvement in city transportation. A good example is the Cityringen initiative in Copenhagen. The city government is developing a driverless subway that will fully rely on ITS for communication and management. This line will fulfill the transportation needs of 240,000 passengers and work 24/7. Such an application will cut costs on training and employing personnel, achieve constant availability, and reduce the incidents of human errors.
Vehicle-to-vehicle communication, also known as V2V, is the use of communicating nodes, machine learning, and AI to enable vehicle cooperation for assuring seamless and safe traffic. Vehicles can transmit data about their speed, direction, trajectory, and technical state.
The American government is already discussing making V2V ITSs mandatory for automobile manufacturers. In 2016, the U.S Department of Transportation proposed a project that would gradually introduce required V2V technologies into production.
Connecting non-traditional transportation methods
Intelligent transportation systems aren’t limited to traditional transit means. As new business models rise to prominence — this is mostly relevant for car, bike, and scooter sharing. Logistics providers can integrate these solutions into their systems. Startups like Bird and Lime are becoming more popular in big European and American cities, which will motivate governments and transportation specialists to develop new, smart solutions. Already, there are projects for smart parking of rental cars, scooters, and bikes, especially common among last-mile delivery workers.
Enabling new payment options
Innovative mobility methods require an innovative approach to billing and accepting payments. Customers would be able to pay directly from their cards and online wallets without using the intermediate hardware. Frequent commuters prefer to be rewarded with special offers, loyalty bonuses, and discounts. ITSs can enable additional payment sources and provide customers with personalized payment plans based on their activity.
Technologies for intelligent traffic control systems
All described applications use similar technology to provide users with seamless real-time data streams and connect all participants of the transportation processes. Let’s take a look at the main technologies that are applied in ITSs.
Wireless data exchange
A smart traffic management system uses short-range and long-range communications. They are executed with protocols that respond to governmental standards and 3G, 4G, and 5G networks.
ITS platforms work with vast amounts of data that require powerful storage and databases. Developers can connect Cloud storages to store these masses of information. The raw data analysis is executed by Artificial Intelligence that recognizes logical relationships between acquired data.
Vehicles are connected to satellite systems that define their precise location and send it back to a device. It can be a mobile phone or a device embedded in the car. GPS readings of different vehicles can be exchanged and compared to determine how close they are to each other, and prevent a potential collision.
Using smartphone sensors
Smartphones have many sensors that can be potentially useful in monitoring location and movement speed. ITSs can get access to the smartphone’s accelerometer and alert car drivers on violations and safety risks. GPS-connection can be used to determine the probability of traffic jams in a given route by comparing readings from multiple mobile devices. This algorithm was successfully demonstrated in India by a research team.
Car manufacturers and city governments can build an intelligent traffic management system using IoT — networks of connected devices and beacon sensors that collect data from vehicles and road infrastructure. Sensors can be installed on the road or in the car. They send data to connected devices, which is usually saved on the Cloud storage, and displayed on mobile applications. Using the Internet of Things allows ITS providers to distribute the same data among multiple devices, provided that they are connected to the online network.
Services of a smart traffic control system
Intelligent traffic systems can target specific aspects of city commutes or focus on multiple areas. Let’s take a look at the most common features of ITS all over the world.
Intelligent Transport Systems can incorporate each of these services or focus on a particular aspect, depending on their scope and size of the network.
Logistics providers, local governments, and car manufacturers should consider implementing a road traffic management system to optimize day-to-day commute experiences, navigate through road emergencies, plan traffic, and decrease costs associated with accidents and traffic jams. ITS can be implemented on a global scale, on the level of cities or countries, but can also be limited to a particular transport company. Logistics developers can create ITSs for inner operations to optimize communication between vehicles, drivers, and management.
At Amconsoft, we build Intelligent Transport Systems with the Internet of Things software and Artificial Intelligence. An IoT based traffic control system can control transportation processes and create space for making data-driven decisions. Contact our experts who have developed dozens of traffic management and reporting projects for logistics organizations and startups.