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Published by Justin Thomas

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Published by: Justin Thomas on Aug 16, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Today, many cities in the world are facing serious land transportchallenges. Increasing traffic congestion has brought with it environmental, social andeconomic implications. With the proportion of the world’s population residing inurban areas projected to increase to more than two-thirds over the next 20 years or so,and with rising car ownership, more cities will find themselves facing the potentiallycrippling problems of traffic congestion. Many major cities in Malaysia such as KualaLumpur, Penang, Johor Bahru and others are currently facing serious transport problems as other big cities of the world. Traffic congestion remains one of the biggest problems in urban areas. Congestion can be easily recognized: roads filledwith cars, trucks, buses, sidewalks filled with pedestrians. Congestion results fromvarious sources on the road system. The interaction between these multiplesources is complex and varies greatly from day-to-day and road-to-road. The sourcesof congestion also produce another effect: variability in travel time. The latter isdefined in terms of how travel times vary over time e.g. hour-to-hour, day-to-day.The increasing demand for travel by highway and public transit is causing thetransportation system to reach the limits of its existing capacity. IntelligentTransportation Systems (ITS) can help ease this strain through the application of modern information technology and communications. ITS is a global phenomenonattracting worldwide interest from transportation professionals the automotiveindustry and political decision makers. Phenomenal growth in road traffic and vehicle population of National Highways have stretched the capacity of the arterial systemalmost to the limit. ITS provide policy makers, government, operators, industry andthe general public with tool that will help them to meet their objectives moreefficiently, cost effectively and safely.
Infrastructure can be defined as the basic physical and organizationalstructures needed for the operation of a society or enterprise, or the services andfacilities necessary for an economy to function. The term typically refers to thetechnical structures that support a society, such as roads, water supply, sewers, power grids, telecommunication, and so forth. Thus transportation contributes to economic,industrial, social and cultural development of a country. Transportation is vital for economic development of any region since every commodity produced whether it isfood, clothing, industrial products or medicine needs transport at all stages from production to distribution. But with the increase in population, change in populationdensity, motorization and urbanization, traffic volumes on roads have increasedconsiderably. Congestion reduces utilization of transport infrastructure and increasestravel times, energy consumption, air pollution and accidents. There IntelligentTransport System (ITS) comes into picture it holds the promise of sustainability.Intelligent Transport System is the name given to the application of computer andcommunication technologies along with the transportation management totransportation problems. Intelligent Transport Systems intend to improve theeffectiveness and efficiency of surface transportation systems through advancedtechnologies in information systems, communications, sensors and intelligentvehicles. Intelligent Transport Systems provide the technology to enable people tomake smart travel choices. Intelligent Transport Systems encompass a broad range of wireless and wire line communications-based information and electronicstechnologies. When integrated into the transportation system’s infrastructure and invehicles themselves, these technologies relieve congestion, improve safety andenhance productivity.Users want real-time information to help them to select the best route to takeat any given time. They need to know the traffic speeds, incidents (accidents or landclosures) and road conditions. With Advanced Traveler Information Systems (ATIS)driver make informed decisions and are better equipped to plan their route andestimate their travel time. Thus ATIS provide several benefits to road users likereduced travel time, reduction in stress levels, the avoidance of congestion as well asthe avoidance of unsafe driving conditions. Advanced information andcommunication technologies are required for ITS. These include Data Storage &
Processing Equipment, Wire line and Wireless Communication Systems, GlobalPositioning Systems (GPS), Sensors, Smart Vehicles, etc. In addition to the abovetechnologies, institutional and market factor plays an important role in successful ITSdeployment.Interest in ITS comes from the problems caused by traffic congestionworldwide and a synergy of new information technologies for simulation, real-timecontrol and communications networks. Traffic congestion has been increasing world-wide as a result of increased motorization, urbanization, population growth andchanges in population density. Congestion reduces efficiency of transportationinfrastructure and increases travel time, air pollution and fuel consumption. The goalof ITS is to improve the transportation system to make it more effective, efficient, andsafe. Building new transportation infrastructure is expensive and can be detrimental tothe environment. In most urban areas where more capacity is needed, it is becoming physically impossible to build enough new roads or new lanes to meet transportationdemand. By applying the latest technological advances to our transportationsystem, ITS can help meet increasing demand for transportation byimproving the quality, safety, and effective capacity of our existing infrastructure. ITSrepresents a wide collection of applications, from advanced traffic signal controlsystems, to electronic transit fare payment systems, to ramp meters, to collisionwarning systems. In order to apply ITS services most effectively, it is important tounderstand their benefits and costs. Some applications provide more cost-effective benefits than others, and as technology evolve, the choices available change. Often,several technologies are combined in a single integrated system, providing a higher level of benefits than any single technology. The costs of these technologyinvestments not only the first-time, initial costs, but the costs to operate and maintainthem are of interest to transportation agencies. In 2000 alone, traffic congestioncost motorists a staggering $67.5 billion in wasted time in 75 large urban areas of USA. This situation has resulted in innovative shift of infrastructure managementthrough advanced technologies, to ensure efficient and environment friendlyuser services. Development of vehicle detection and information technologies ontop of communication technologies has offered ways to collect the real time trafficdata for processing at a central facility. Processed information is used for variousmanagement purposes such as control, traveller information, incident detectionand response. ITS have thus addressed the need for working towards regionally

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