Thursday , 28 May 2020

ITS opportunities in Indian Market

The intelligent transportation system is about improving mobility, safety and revenue collection on city road network and highways with the help of information technology, computers, telecommunication and electronics (ICTE). All Smart Cities invariably use Intelligent Traffic Management Systems (ITMS) for improving mobility, enforcing traffic rules, identifying incidents, disseminating information, enhancing pedestrian safety, prioritizing emergency service vehicles at signalized intersections, better usage of parking facilities etc.

Adaptive Traffic Control Systems (ATCS) are widely deployed by Smart Cities and other local authorities for better capacity utilization of urban roads, improved travel time and reduced congestion levels. ATCS are the latest generation of traffic management systems that respond to changes in traffic patterns in real-time in a road traffic network. Traditionally, till recent time, all traffic signal controllers on our traffic junctions were first generation pre timed controllers. The pre-timed controllers fail to respond to the fluctuating traffic demand since no feedback mechanism is involved to assess the real-time traffic.

The Adaptive Traffic Control Systems operate in two levels (i) the traffic signal controllers, vehicle detectors and other street furniture installed at every traffic junction and (ii) the data acquisition system, user management application and the ATCS engine (signal time optimization algorithm) running at a server class machine at the Traffic Management and Control (TMC) station. The traffic junctions are networked to the TMC over an appropriate communication medium (dedicated fiber, Managed Leased Line Network, 3G/4G) for assessing the real-time traffic pattern in the control area and updating optimum signal timings to the traffic junctions.

Red-light enforcement and speed limit enforcement are other markets recently opened under the ITS. Both these enforcement systems use vehicle detection equipment, ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) camera, IR illuminator and video camera. Tamperproof digital evidences are provided by both the system for easy enforcement. Video analytics, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML) and Deep Learning (DL) techniques are widely used in enforcement systems such as ANPR, Helmet detection, Seatbelt detection. They are also used for incident detection, identification of unattended objects at public places, face recognition, unauthorized parking, wrong-way driving, etc. This is a huge market for solution providers.

Importance for providing signal priority for emergency service vehicles (ESV) such as ambulances and firefighting vehicles is being realized by the city authorities. Since the cities are already congested an ambulance caught in the RED signal during the peak-hour often risk the life of the patient inside the vehicle as the delay encountered at the traffic junction is significant. The current practice is to clear the ambulance through manual intervention that generally creates confusion at the junction. The efficient way of clearing an ESV at the traffic junction is to establish vehicle (ambulance) to infrastructure (traffic signal controller) communication (V2I) at a safe distance and provide priority GREEN signal for the ESV by the time it reaches the traffic junction. This is effective even during peak-hour traffic since the priority signal will start flushing the traffic accumulated in the direction of the ESV before it reaching the junction.

The ESV can negotiate through the moving traffic. The ESV priority system requires GPS inside the vehicle for identification of its coordinates and heading direction and, a radio equipment to send these information to the traffic signal controller. The traffic signal controller on receiving the coordinates of the ESV shall prepare for the priority GREEN signal by gracefully terminating the currently running Signal Phase and, provide right-of-way for the ESV by the time it reaches the traffic junction. The traffic signal shall resume to normal operation as soon as the ESV exits the junction. A Hooter also is required at the traffic junction to alert the road users well in advance on the arrival of the ESV.

The Adaptive Traffic Control Systems has now virtually opened a huge market for vehicle detection system, communication equipment, video-walls, various application software, etc. The vehicle detection market is for vehicle detection camera (both streaming and nonstreaming), microwave radars and thermal cameras


Another opportunity is for the pedestrian accessible controller having special features for addressing the requirements of differently abled. For example, the pedestrian pushbutton controller shall provide different tones for the visually challenged to identify the place to cross, when to cross, when not to cross and when to clear the motorway. The system shall take inputs from Pushbutton Switch, RFID enabled Smart Cards and automatically detect SmartCane (SmartCane device is an electronic travel aid for visually challenged which fits as handle of the white cane. SmartCane can detect objects from knee to head height. This was developed by IIT Delhi with financial support from the Ministry of Electronics & IT, Govt. of India). The pedestrian accessible controller shall provide extended Pedestrian GREEN time for people carrying RFID enabled Smart Card and SmartCane. Pedestrian controllers are required for mid-block crossings near schools, hospitals, markets, etc. where pedestrian movements are significant.

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