Information technology makes intelligent transportation systems (ITS) appear to operate with insight and judgment. Connecting ITS to the internet can help keep traffic moving, reduce impacts to the environment and assist in the reduction of vehicle collisions. The UK Department of Transport presented its British Road Safety Statement to Parliament in 2015 outlining its “vision, values and priorities in relation to British road safety” by incorporating information technology.
Using ITS to Control Traffic
Adaptive street signal control relies on the communication between signals at successive intersections to help eliminate traffic jams. Sensors send data to a traffic controller that uses a report of traffic density at one intersection to inform the traffic signals at the next. The system can provide an expedited route for emergency vehicles without affecting the normal flow of traffic.
Some advantages that ITS brings to the control of traffic include the reduction of stops and delays. Congestion jeopardizes safety by increasing the frequency of accidents. While degrading air quality, idling vehicles diminish the quality of life for passengers, drivers and the general public. Further consequences degrade air quality and impede energy conservation. Coordinated traffic signals provide a progressive approach to improving traffic flow.
Protecting Infrastructure with a Weight in Motion System
National economies often depend on trucking for the movement of goods, but the shipping method has a financial impact. Fully loaded five-axle trucks can weigh more than 40 tons, and experts estimate that one truck can cause as much road damage as 10,000 cars. Overloading can decrease an expected 20-year lifespan of road pavement by half or more.
Employing a weigh in motion system can identify improper loads by trapping information as trucks pass by an observation point. Sensors help ensure compliance with weight regulations and reduce unfair competition between carriers. The system alerts weigh station managers to trucks that are in violation of load limits.
Tracking Journey Time
Keeping track of the use of a road provides a basis for anticipating repairs or the need to change the controls of an intersection. Sensing devices create records that can identify levels of traffic that may alert governmental decision makers. Widening a street may relieve traffic jams caused by travel to popular destinations. Determining traffic density allows ITS to control traffic signals according to demand.
Focusing on Road Weather Monitoring
Drivers facing hazardous road weather conditions in the winter can access intelligent systems that allow navigation with knowledge of potential harm. Road weather monitoring software creates a visual image of factors that inhibit safe driving. Road sensors detect water and salt that can change the surface of road pavement, helping form a visual image of weather conditions. Freeze warnings that are based on atmospheric measurements alert road crews to the need for maintenance and inform drivers of potentially hazardous conditions.
ITS software can consolidate actual road weather conditions into visual images and maps based on data from overhead cameras and road sensors. Helping drivers assess weather conditions and evaluate the safest way to proceed enhances safe driving. Transportation agencies can use intelligent systems to proactively address adverse conditions and to maximize public safety.
Benefiting from Intelligent Parking Systems
Convenience and efficiency combine in parking systems that reliably accept payment for space in a parking garage. Customers can use a variety of payment methods, and owners receive remuneration for the services that they provide. A customized, secure method of collecting revenues removes the need for parking attendants while providing hundreds of transactions per hour. Barriers and pay stations provide security and reliability for garage owners while making payment processing easy for customers.
Tracking Parking Violations
Detecting illegal parking in protected spaces enhances the use of garages and serves the public by keeping through ways unimpeded. Spaces adjacent to crosswalks, loading zones, fire hydrants, restricted areas and bus pickups typically prohibit parking, but motorists often ignore posted signs. An intelligent system that can scan areas where violations frequently occur can identify vehicles that park in unauthorized spaces. ITS equipment can verify a parking violation through photography and provide a report of previous parking violations. Detecting vehicles that have stalled on major roads can alert authorities to potential danger.