Role of ITS in cities
A smart city is the one where everything from menial routines to tourist activities is effortless and having an intelligent transport management system truly aids this. The key is to have systematic processes and smart technologies in each part of the transportation.
For example, a basic smart transportation system is expected to take care of different aspects of the problem like – the lack of a strict schedule, the inconsistent and un-secure payment options, lack of tracking options for the vehicles, inefficient routing etc.
The success story of Smart City Ahmedabad Development Limited (SCADL) in transforming its manually operated bus transit system into a smart transportation system must serve as the best example.
Each of these aspects of the problem was assessed and an easy solution was set in place. The Automated Fare Collection Service (AFCS) facilitated the easy cashless payment option via prepaid RuPay card or smartphone for the passengers, while the Automatic Vehicle Location System (AVLS) allowed them to get the current location and other information of the bus, in real time. The Vehicle Planning Schedule and Dispatch System (VPSD) provided a revamped and optimized schedule for the buses and the Depot Management System (DMS) helped with the allocation and optimization of the crew and the overall bus operations. In addition to this, Passenger Information System (PIS) provided real-time bus information via mobile app, website, and in-station boards to enable passengers to plan their route and estimate waiting and arrival times.
“Approximately 33% of India already lives in Urban agglomerates and urban population is expected to go from 340 million in 2008 to 590 million by 2030 as per Mckinsey. The sheer magnitude, unplanned growth and a lack of IT usage has put heavy pressure on public utilities in transport, water, electricity, health, education etc. This is an opportunity. With IT &IoT convergence as well as evolution of Internet, we can solve real world challenges and help simplify lives,” says Anil Menon, CEO, CMS Computers.
CMS has footprint across most state Governments, Public Sector and several Central Government departments. With over 300 projects spanning 80 cities under its wings, CMS Computer’s Traffic and Transportation Solutions is synonymous with the Intelligent Traffic Systems in the country and here we serve Municipal Corporations and the Police across Cities.
There is a need for single data framework underlying these technologies and that is where technologies like big data play a major role. The implementation authorities need to understand that this framework creation is of paramount importance. Isolated implementation of the individual segments and as-is deployment of available technologies may prove fatal, if we are not consciously looking at the broader framework. There has been an increased awareness about available ITS technologies, but deployment has been sporadic and fragmented.
There should be a more traffic engineering-based approach to ITS deployment in the country. Specifically, there should be a clear picture of traffic demand and a plan of how a multi-modal transport network is going to fulfill that mobility demand. There should be an informed decision about how technology is going to help achieve that mobility plan and safety requirements and, ITS systems should be designed and deployed based on that plan. Internationally, this step is often captured in a Concept of Operations document. Moreover, there should be a structured approach to how ITS systems are designed, configured and operated.