It defines ?what? must be done; not ?how? it will be done
What is an ITS architecture? To know this, let us first try to understand the term architecture.
We all know that ?architecture? is a framework within which a system can be built up. Functionally, it defines what the elements of the system do, the information that is exchanged between the systems and allows integration options to be considered prior to investment in the design and development of the elements of the system because we have got various systems.
Functionality is extremely important as we have a lot data. Hence, the question of how the information and data to be shared and exchanged becomes very important. The functionality also allows integration options in the areas of designs and elements of the systems. If it is properly designed, we can do a lot of communication sharing. ITS structure defines that.
Besides, an architecture is functionally oriented; not technology specific and defines ?what? must be done; not ?how? it will be done. Naturally, what is required is defined under the ITS architecture. It warrants for the need of the ITS architecture or it is here where the necessity of ITS architecture comes in. ITS is a combination of applications, computers, electronics, various other devices and communications. When we have all these things, to deliver the defined results, it needs to be mainstreamed. In the overall developmental process, a systematic mainstreaming is needed.
Planning is an ongoing process. You do the planning, change it and modify it. The goal for all these is to make ?quality informed decisions? pertaining to the investment of public funds in the regional transportation system and services.
A regional ITS architecture can enhance regional planning by bringing together a diverse array of agencies and stakeholders to discuss future transportation need and how these needs might be met by ITS.
Need for ITS Architecture
ITS architecture is primarily important. ITS has been defined as ?the application of advanced sensor, computer, electronics, and communication technologies and management strategies ? in an integrated manner ? to improve the safety and efficiency of surface transportation system.
In order to fully incorporate ITS into the surface transportation network, it needs to be ?mainstreamed? into the overall transportation planning and project development process.
Transportation Planning and ITS Architecture
Primary components of ITS architecture are:
? Individual components of ITS that perform particular functions
? Managing Traffic
? Providing Traveller information
? Responding to emergencies
? Can be associated with particular organizations
? Department of Transportation
? Information Service Providers
? Public Safety Agencies
Let us have a broad overview of the primary components of ITS architecture which, inter alia, includes the flow of information. Information Flow is vitally important as it is something on which the entire system depends.
Information that is exchanged between sub-systems (Traffic Information, Incident Information and Surveillance and Sensor Control data) means a lot to the ITS Architecture. We also have to ensure that the integration is technical as well as institutional and the system interfaces define cooperation and shared responsibilities on the part of the owners and operators of each participating system.
Different types of ITS Architectures
? National ITS Architecture
? General framework for planning, defining, and integrating ITS
? Aim is to support ITS implementation over a period of 20-year time period in urban, interurban, and rural environments across the country
? Regional ITS Architecture
? Specific regional framework
? Ensure institutional agreement and technical integration for the implementation of ITS projects in a particular region
? User Services and User Service Requirements
? Logical Architecture
? Physical Architecture
? Equipment Packages
? Service Packages
They primarily are: Pre-Trip Travel Information, En-Route Driver Information, En-Route Transit Information, Route Guidance and Traveller Services Information. Other things involved are: Traffic Control, Incident Management, Travel Demand Management, Emissions Testing and Mitigation and Public Transportation Management.
Personalized Public Transit, Public Travel Security and Electronic Payment Services are some of the vitally important things that also have to be looked into.
Goal of Regional Architecture
The regional ITS Architecture comprises a number of components and each one of them is of primary importance. Let us first look into the sharing of information and coordination of activities among regional transportation systems.
Information from one system may be used by another system for a different purpose. To exemplify, the transit AVL data can be used by a freeway management centre as probe data to obtain speed information on freeway segments travelled by the transit vehicles. We can also identify opportunities for making ITS investments in a more cost-effective manner.