Intelligent Transport System and Traffic Management have an important role in Road Safety. ITS in which information and communication technologies (ICT) are applied in the field of road transport enables users to be better informed about the traffic and travel condition in order to make the journey safer and efficient. Atul Kumar, Former Managing Director, Uttrakhand Infrastrasture Development Corporation and Chief General Manager, National Highways Authority of India elaborates on the ITS-based Traffic Management tools used for Traffic Information/ Control and Management of Incidents, Demands, Parking, Driver Support, fleet etc
A key enabler for TM and ITS is the Traffic control center. When the number of operational tasks increases, or the size and complexity of instruments & scenarios increases, TMC could become necessary. Here, data is collected, analyzed and combined with other operational & control concepts to manage the complex transport network. It is the control entre for communicating transportation-related information to the media and the motoring public.
Advanced Travel Information System offers travel-related information in advance or on real-time basis to help in decision making on route choices, estimate travel times, and avoid congestion.
ITS Components to enhance Road Safety
- Variable Message Sign boards
- Red Light violation detection system
- Intelligent Signalling system
ITS technologies to enhance the enforcement of traffic rules and regulations
Speeding to detect over-speeding and levy of fines the violators are increasingly being used by Traffic Police. A number of in-vehicle and infrastructure-based ITS and telematics technologies can further assist Police in the enforcement of speed-related road rules. These tools include Intelligent Speed Adaptation (alerting and limiting), in-vehicle dynamic displays, flashing variable speed signs, school zone information built into existing route guidance or other systems, and brief school zone approach messages/ alerts transmitted via a DSRC system.
Intelligent Speed Adaptation
Intelligent Speed Adaptation (ISA) refers to a system that automatically warn the driver and/or limit vehicle speed when the driver, intentionally or inadvertently, exceeds the posted speed limit by a predetermined amount. ISA is one of the in Vehicle ITS tools which continuously monitors the speed of the vehicle, aimed at encouraging or preventing drivers from exceeding the speed limit. The position of the vehicle is established via GPS or roadside beacons. The current speed and position of the vehicle is compared with the local posted speed limit. ISA system can issue warnings or limit vehicle speed if the vehicle exceeds this posted limit.
In-vehicle Information Displays
The In-vehicle information displays present drivers with information that would normally appear on static or variable signs outside of the vehicle. The in-vehicle displays can be used to provide drivers with information regarding temporary changes in speed limits due to road works, road or weather conditions or an accident. The road side beacons or internet or satellite can transmit this information to onboard unit of in-vehicle information displays. The visual display used could be a stand-alone display or it is possible that it could be integrated as part of a multi-functional display into existing in-vehicle displays such as Intelligent Transport System to support police enforcement of road safety laws. Further, it could alert drivers, using either visual or auditory alerts, to approaching traffic control devices such as stop, give way and no entry signs, and even inform them if they are travelling in a restricted use lane such as an emergency vehicle lane. Flashing Variable Speed limit signs are installed at a number of school zones to display the temporarily reduced speed limit during school crossing hours.
Driving under the influence of alcohol and other drugs
The modern ITS technologies like alcohol detection systems, performance tests, electronic licenses & keys, Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) to target drug & alcohol testing, and telematics systems that immobilize the vehicles of recidivist offenders during high alcohol and drug use times could be used to enforce drink driving laws