ITS Intelligent Transport Systems

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Nowadays road traffic should be regarded as one of the most complex components in the socio-economic development of cities and regions. In this area, the most modern technologies for gathering as well as processing data regarding the parameters of the traffic flow (composition, velocity, and density) should be used to ensure its continuity on the streets and roads. The significant socio-economic changes occurring in the world are placing new demands on the level of consistency in all spheres of the society, including the system of transportation. Meanwhile, in recent decades, imbalance between the needs for transport services and the actual capacity of all types of transport is growing.

The variety of possible extensive ways to meet the needs of the society increasing passenger and freight traffic by raising the number of transport is significantly exhausted, especially in large cities. Currently, there is the development and implementation of intelligent transportation systems all over the world. Intelligent transport systems are the most obvious ways of development considering the high rate of innovative technologies introduction and the urgent need to use the transport resources more efficiently while reducing the negative effects of motorization. The purpose of this research is to prove the importance and necessity of development and implementation of intelligent transport systems in major cities as a tool to enhance the efficiency of the economy and determine the problems associated with this process.

General Notion of ITS

Positive changes in the appearance of the global transport are accompanied by a number of negative consequences, the scope and significance of which give grounds to evaluate them as strategic challenges both on national and continental scale. These include the unacceptable level of human losses, increased consumption of non-renewable sources of energy and the negative impact on the environment. Moreover, there is constantly growing delay of people and goods in all transport modes associated with both the objective lack of power of the transport infrastructure and low-traffic control. An example of human losses is data of UN. Around 1.3 million people in the world die and about 50 million persons are injured and maimed in car accidents every year. It is commensurate with the daily collapse of several large airplanes. According to forecasts of the World Health Organization in Geneva, if the countries will not take urgent and effective efforts to establish a safe transport and advanced control systems by 2030, more than 2.5 million people will die on the roads per year. It is not considering other modes of transport. Reducing multimillion damages causing death of people justifies the costs of developement and implementation of the new technologies (Stopher & Stanley, 2014).

The global transport community found the solution regarding creation of transportation systems instead of transport management ones, in which the means of communication, command and control are initially embedded in the vehicles and objects of infrastructure. Moreover, management capabilities (decision-making) obtained on the basis of real-time information are available not only to transport operators, but also to its users. The problem is solved by constructing an integrated system: people - transport infrastructure - means of transport with a maximum use of the latest information and control technologies. These “advanced” systems are called intelligent.

In the past 10 years, the phrase “intelligent transport systems” and the corresponding abbreviations ITS have become common in the strategic, policy and program-target documents of the developed countries. “Intelligent transport system is a name used to describe complex and very often state-of-the-art systems to improve the driving experience” (Williams, 2008, p. 3). Intelligent transport systems are a set of informational and communication systems and resources of automation in conjunction with the transport infrastructure, vehicles, and users providing the efficiency of the transportation process, increase its quality and safety. It is a international system of modern information and communication technologies and means of automation with transport infrastructure, vehicles, and users. These are focused on improving the safety and efficiency of the transport process as well comfort of drivers and transport users. The scope of ITS promotion in the world practice ranges from problem solving of public transport, a significant increase in road safety, elimination of congestion in the transport networks, improved performance of the intermodal transport system (including road, rail, air and maritime transport) to environmental and energy issues.

In today’s world, intelligent transportation systems are a new direction in science, engineering, economics, and business considered as the most effective tool for solving problems of transport and the source of creating new sectors in the industries. The efforts of states, international organizations, academia and business, as well as the public focus on such key areas as a significant increase in the safety of sea, rail, road transport, transportation by pipeline increased productivity and capacity of the internal and intermodal transport system. Starting from the 1980s, most countries of Western Europe and the Asia-Pacific region (including China and India) as well as the United States purposefully and systematically promote ITS as the basis of transport policy (Zhou & Li-min, 2011).

Intelligent transportation systems are a set of interconnected automated systems that solve the problem of traffic management, monitoring, and control of all types of transport (private, public and freight) informing businesses and citizens about the transport services organization in the region. “ITS has the unique capability to integrate different models of transportations, such as public auto, transit and infrastructure elements through communication and control” (Crowdhury & Sadek, 2003, p. 115). The main problems solved by ITS are improving the quality of public transport services, road safety and traffic. Moreover, these include enhanced capabilities of a citywide system of automated traffic control to meet the growing demand for passenger and freight transport in all transport modes, improving the quality of the state functions and public services performance in the transport complex of the region. The general structure of ITS is the following:

ITS implies the systems, in which communication and information technologies are applied to the sphere of the road transport with users, infrastructure, and vehicles. Following the international practice, it is appropriate to discuss intelligent transport systems as a general transport ideology of integration telematics achievements in all types of the transport. “The term telematics was created by linking telecommunication and informatics” (Weintrit & Neumann, 2011, p. 41). The problem of intelligent transport systems implementation has a strategic character. Its solution determines in general competitiveness of each country in the world market, and in connection with the capital intensive cannot be implemented without the direct involvement of the state (without a corresponding state program and its support). Development and deployment of ITS is potentially effective innovation of business able to compete the national and international markets and encourage the development of new high-tech industry sectors.

Advantages of ITS

The intelligent transportation systems are a single set of automated systems designed specifically for the solution of transport problems in the urban areas. It is designed for the collection, processing, and transmission of information on the operation and status of the transport infrastructure. It also includes the exchange of data between the users and the relevant control structures in real time as well as control of ground vehicles. The solution is based on the use of modern informational and communication technologies as well as management practices taking into account the needs of law enforcement and legal requirements. The system has virtually unlimited scalability and integrates with existing the information systems and databases of the state bodies. Due to the modular nature, its structure can be varied and complemented depending on the specific needs, budget, and performance of the urban transport infrastructure. The system implementation will qualitatively change the transport situation in the city and increase safety on the roads. “Most ITS improvements have the potential to save user’s time and to reduce their operating costs” (Bekiaris & Nakanishi, 2004, p. 42). The main objectives of ITS are the following:

  1. Improving the efficiency and quality of planning and management of transport complex and infrastructure, including increasing the capacity of the transport system and the average speed of public transport.
  2. Increase of transport and environment safety of the population as well as reducing the number of road accidents, expenses of travelling time, and fuel consumption.
  3. Improving of discipline and culture of the road traffic in the city.
  4. Increasing of road users’ awareness.
  5. Optimization road services operation and improving the efficiency of response to the road traffic accidents.
  6. Modeling and assessment of the impact which is made by the construction of new and modernization of existing transport facilities, objects of living, and business construction, traffic management schemes, as well as emergency situations on the transport system of the city.
  7. The development of the public transport sector and increasing of its attractiveness.
  8. Growth of investment attractiveness of the city.

ITS allows the city administration to increase the efficiency of transport economy management at the expense of timely and accurate information obtained from various sources for resource coordination, analysis, and operational decision-making. Moreover, it is important to form a new tool for the current strategic and sustainable economic as well as social development of the city and implement continuous monitoring and centralized management of transport flows in the city on the basis of the analytical data (Bekiaris & Nakanishi, 2004).

Security agencies have the opportunity to reduce the response time for emergencies and improve its accuracy by delivering complete and timely information. They can also make better decisions, improve the coordination of emergency services and law enforcement agencies to prevent and minimize the consequences of road accidents. Finally, residents will be able to raise the level of quality and comfort of movement as well as get new services based on the information about the traffic, parking, or repairs. Although there are many advantages of ITS, there are still some drawbacks. “Many applications are still too expensive to purchase and install, they require substantial upfront investments and the returns will take many years to materialize” (Skersys, Butleris, Nemuraite & Suomi, 2014, p. 200).

Japanese Experience in the Development of Intelligent Transport Systems

“Different countries all over the world, particularly Canada, China, India and East European countries are interested and participate in ITS research, development and deployment” (Xiao & Zhou, 2008, p. 334). Japan is one of the first countries in the world that in 1973 started the research on ITS and implementation of an integrated management system of the motor transport. History of the active ITS application began in Japan in the 1990s. At that time, Japan with its small territory and extremely busy road network suffered heavy losses from congestion. In the mid-1990s, as a result of the joint efforts of the Ministry of Land, Transport and Tourism as well as the National Police Agency, one of the most modern driver information systems in the world was implemented. Its name is vehicle information and communication system (VISC). It operates with the help of inline devises. The system was launched in 1996, and since 2003 it has become operational throughout the country. Information on downloading and the state of roads collected by the surveillance center of the road traffic was transmitted to the VISC system. Then, this information was processed and transferred into the digital form by the system, and later, it was sent through the board navigation systems. System users received information in three forms: in the form of text, maps and simple graphics. Onboard systems dynamically processed the data and offered the best route to the driver. At the initial stage, the system collected information through a system of sensors installed on the road infrastructure objects (a road surface or surveillance cameras) (Xiao & Zhou, 2008).

However, since 2003, the collection of information on the state of road traffic using the probe machines (mobile observation points of traffic) has been actively developed. Information is also collected by the use of the already installed on-board systems VISC since they allow collecting information about the speed of the traffic flow, weather and road conditions. Data from the system VISC is transmitted to the driver through three channels:

  • With the help of radio beacons reporting information about the status of the traffic load 200 km ahead of the car. Basically, radio beacons are used on high-speed cars.
  • With the help of infrared beacons reporting information about the status of the road traffic load at 30 km. Infrared beacons are used mainly on highways.
  • With the help of radio broadcasting at frequencies of FM. This method is usually used on the back roads.

There are following effects of the VISC system introduction:

  • The increase of comfort and safety of the drivers as well as the reduction of time losses. Using the system VISC reduces the average travel time by 20%.
  • “A ripple effect” in the economy due to capacity of the technology sector with orders for the creation and maintenance of the system.
  • The overall increase in the efficiency of economy.

The system VISC, despite its public origin, operates through the support of 90 automotive companies and does not receive government funding. Furthermore, this system has limitations due to the architecture formed in the early 1990s. For the development of the success, Japanese public authorities and businesses made a decision to move to a new system Smartway. It represents the next generation of intelligent transportation systems. The board device of Smartway provides users with three types of services:

  1. Supply with information on the road network and security issues.
  2. Internet services.
  3. Cashless payments at payment centers of roads, parking, and petrol stations.

As part of Smartway, the technologies V2V are also used for the prevention of collisions and technologies increasing the safety in high-speed motion. The system Smartway provides the driver with information both in a visual and acoustic form. The system was created in the framework of cooperation of more than 30 automotive manufacturers and navigation equipment. Moreover, its development has occurred in record time, namely the way from concept to the first prototypes (2007) was passed in three years. In 2010-2011, over 1,600 stationary devices of the system were found on the freeways (Xiao & Zhou, 2008).

European Projects in the Field of Intelligent Transport Systems

Infrastructure projects and increase of efficiency is one of the policy priorities of the European Union. The development of the ITS received support at the level of the European Commission. However, the intensity of the projects and the total amount of funding significantly lagged behind the scale of Japanese programs.

TEMPO Program (2001-2006). Projects in the field of intelligent transport systems in Europe before 2001 differed on the limited coordination at the European level. Initiated in 2001, the program TEMPO being a part of the transport program TEN-T has become a common European project of ITS. Direct funding from the budget of the European Commission amounted to 132 million Euro. The total amount of attracted investments amounted to 1.2 billion Euro for six years. The main goal of the program TEMPO was to increase the security and improve the quality of services on the roads through the implementation of a series of cross-border projects ITS, namely Streetwise, Viking, Centrico, Arts, SERTI, Corvette and Connect. Every country of the EU received its project.

The main achievements of the program TEMPO are the following:

  1. The equipment was installed on the estimation of the transport stream and traffic conditions (including stations of the traffic count, meteorological stations, and network cameras).
  2. New centers of traffic control were built, and the existing ones were upgraded through improved data processing systems. Several international centers of data exchange about traffic were built. Pan-European databases and digital maps were also established.
  3. For all regions, management plans for the traffic flow were established. Special emphasis was placed on cross-border and main transport corridors.
  4. Large-scale alert information systems for road users were created including Web resources.

EasyWay Program (2007-2013). The program EasyWay develops its approach of TEMPO. “The EasyWay project receives the EC support from the calls in 2007-2009 because of its wide European scope” (Intelligent transport systems). Participants in the project were 27 EU member states, and three countries had an observer status. The project was implemented by the national road operators in partnership with car manufacturers, telecom operators, and public transport management. The European Commission provides 20% of project funding (200 million Euro in the period from 2007 to 2013). The key objectives of the project EasyWay are the following:

  • The development of an integrated approach to the management of major road networks.
  • The formation of a pan-European system of services in the field of traffic management.
  • Active study of the best practices in the development of intelligent transport systems.
  • Integration of management systems by the road transport between the countries, namely EU members and candidate countries for accession to the integration community.
  • The development of interaction systems between infrastructure and vehicles involving the private sector.
  • The development of the urban transport infrastructure and intermodal transport.

The main objectives for the project EasyWay till 2020 are the following:

  • The decrease of road deaths by 25%.
  • The reduction of traffic congestion by 25%.
  • The reduction of emissions CO2 by transport by 10%.

Over three years’ existence of the program EasyWay, 28 thousand kilometers of the road network were equipped with driver information systems. More than 70 million Europeans gained access to pan-European road network information. More than 3000 kilometers of the road network received improved speed control systems. 164 new points of traffic management were established (Intelligent transport systems).

CVIS Program (Cooperative Vehicle-Infrastructure Systems). The project was implemented within the framework of the Sixth Framework Program of the European Union by a consortium of 60 participants represented by automotive companies, component manufacturers, research institutes, universities, and public authorities. The total project budget was 63 million Euro. The aim of the project was to develop cooperative intelligent transport systems V2I and V2V. At the beginning of the project, a list of expected results was designated:

  1. Creation of a multi-channel terminal capable of maintaining a constant Internet connection with a large number of vehicles using the mobile network, Wi-Fi, infrared and shortwave channels while ensuring the effective interaction between different types of ITS.
  2. Creation of an open architecture for ITS vehicles and infrastructure, easy to update and capable of reacting with different types of client and service applications.
  3. Creation of the system of vehicle position determination in real time for inclusion in the dynamic mapping.
  4. Creation of improved protocols, which allow the exchange and verification of data between vehicles, road infrastructure, and traffic control centers.
  5. The development of software for the management of the urban transport network, improved warning systems of drivers on intercity routes and parking management systems.

Most of the intended results have already been achieved. In particular, a central system CVIS on the basis of the operating system kernel Linux was set up. Together with the project Safespot, a dynamic map of traffic was designed. Currently, there are six pilot regions where the system of road traffic management is implemented (in France, the UK, Germany, Italy, the Benelux countries, and Norway).

American Projects in the Sphere of ITS

Since 1991, researches in the field of intelligent transport systems in the US are conducted primarily under the auspices of the Office of Research and Innovation Ministry of Transportation. At the same time, there is both support of basic researches in the field of intelligent infrastructure and vehicles as well as the creation of prototypes. In 1990, the total funding of ITS was about $ 2 billion. Comparable amounts were directed to support projects in 2000-2008 (Bekiaris & Nakanishi, 2004).

For several years, positive results were achieved in several areas:

  1. Reduction of traffic jams due to the development of technologies and implementation of agglomeration strategies of the traffic control.
  2. The development of warning systems on incidents (a new generation of 911).
  3. Interaction with car manufacturers to create a new generation of security systems for cars and trucks.
  4. The development of control systems for transport corridors.
  5. Improved weather systems and more accurate weather prediction systems.

There can be the following areas of researches in the field of ITS:

  1. The development of systems V2V and V2I with a separate focus on the problems of safety such as warning system for possible collisions, loss of control, the support system of movement between the rows, and the speed control of the traffic flow.
  2. The development of systems for collecting traffic information in real time including the use of machines probes.
  3. The development of intermodal transport.
  4. The development of systems for tracking the weather on the roads.
  5. Researches in the area of influence of the road system on the environment.

In the United States, there is a system of constantly updated official strategic and policy documents for the development of ITS. It covers all levels of planning, from the strategic to the current ones, guaranteeing the state’s participation in the research, development, and deployment of ITS at the legislative level (Sussman, 2008).

Projects of the Asia Pacific Region in the Sphere of ITS

In the Asia Pacific region, transport problems become extremely serious due to the high concentration of population in cities and a sharp rise of motorization in many countries. “Research on ITS in Asia began late but the development was rapid” (Zhou & Li-min, 2011, p. 2). “In the early 1990s, Chinese scholars began to turn their attention to the development of ITS” (Zhou & Li-min, 2011, p. 2). In China, Ministry of Communications has started development of ITS in 1997 with the creation of the laboratory as well as the National Center of Engineering and ITS technologies. Ministry of Science and Technology and more than 10 concerned ministries and commissions jointly established the group charged with coordinating of ITS. In 2007, the country adopted the “Strategy of development of ITS in China”. There are institutional frameworks for the gradual and systematic development of ITS (Zhou & Li-min, 2011).

The development of ITS in China is implemented on a scheduled basis under the full control of the state. Appropriate tasks for the development and implementation of ITS services are reflected in the five-year economic development plans. Priority projects of ITS in China are implemented in the system collecting the payments on toll roads. It is closely linked with the development policy of the network of high-speed highways of the country located in all provinces. In December 2006, there were 160 systems of the electronic payment of duties on 64 expressways with a total length of 3200 km (Zhou & Li-min, 2011).

The Scope of the Active Development of ITS

Implementation of ITS globally became possible only in conditions of saturated communication space, when there are no problems with the transfer of substantial quantities of cheap digital information in real time anywhere in the transport network. Nowadays, core technologies for the transport infrastructure and vehicles are developing the most actively:

  1. Traffic management on motorways.
  2. Commercial trucking.
  3. Preventing collisions of vehicles and the safety of their motion.
  4. Electronic payment systems of transport services.
  5. Management in emergencies.
  6. The weather control on the roads.
  7. Information for road users.
  8. Management of public transport.
  9. Collision avoidance systems.
  10. Collision notification systems.
  11. Driver assistance systems.

One of the main directions of the development of ITS in Europe, the US and Japan, which are actively promoted during the last 15 years is the implementation of an intellectual car concept. There is an international program called “Vehicles of increased safety”. The first experience of using onboard intelligent systems showed that they are able to reduce the number of accidents by 40% and the number of fatal accidents by 50%. The term “onboard intelligence system” means systems installed on the vehicle in order to improve its safety. It uses information, which comes directly from the onboard sensors of the car and from the road infrastructure or other sources.

Currently, more than ten types of onboard ITS are already commercially available or pass field testing. These include the system of maintaining distances in heavy traffic, the system keeping the vehicle on the runway, the warning system of driver’s fatigue, the system preventing side collisions, the system of holding the vehicle while driving on a curve, the system of detection of motorcyclists and others. Onboard ITS provide assistance to the driver in anticipation of road the conditions, encourage for the actions to prevent a dangerous situation. Moreover, it helps to reduce driver’s fatigue taking some of the load of the driving automatically taking control if the driver is not able to perform the necessary actions to prevent an accident or reduce its consequences.

Nowadays, in Japan, ITS equipment is installed as staffing on all cars of high and middle class. The sales volume is constantly growing. As of December 2008, the number of onboard devices sold reached 23.2 million units and over 33.9 million units of car navigation systems (Skersys, Butleris, Nemuraite & Suomi, 2014).

ITS began to be implemented worldwide not so long ago. “ITS have had a dynamic but short history” (Sussman, 2008, p. 16). Since 2000, the society has begun to feel the results of the ITS deployment. Drivers got cars equipped with safety features, new technologies, information about the trip, and the traffic program in real time. Government agencies saw new possibilities of control systems and traffic management in real time. Markets have evolved to a level of practical use in the transport activity of the new technologies. Commercial projects of the ITS creation are implemented. According to the Association “ITS America”, by 2015, worldwide sales of ITS will be more than 400 billion dollars. The European market is estimated at 100-130 billion Euro.


Transport policy in all developed countries of the world for over 20 years is based on the promotion and development of intelligent transport systems and the creation of the single information space in the future multi-modal networks. For a successful and dynamic development of the modern city, the appropriate transport system is necessary. This transport system has to be one step ahead of the city needs in passenger and freight traffic. In international practice, the problem of urban congestion is solved through the application of technologies of intelligent transportation systems (ITS) that are able to control effectively the traffic and urban passenger transport on the existing street network without increasing the density of roads.