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What role does data play in ITS?

What role does data play in ITS?
More and more, municipalities are striving to make cities safer and better for residents. To address transportation-related issues, administrators turn to intelligent transport systems (ITS) whose accuracy and effectiveness rely on data.
More and more, municipalities are striving to make life easier for residents. To address transportation-related issues, various countries and regions including Europe are turning to intelligent transport systems (ITS), whose accuracy and effectiveness rely on data.
According to a blog post by Geospatial World, ITS is an important component in smart city initiatives and aims to achieve traffic efficiency by minimizing traffic problems.
“It enriches users with prior information about traffic, local convenience real-time running information, seat availability etc. which reduces travel time of commuters as well as enhances their safety and comfort,” the post said. “The application of ITS is widely accepted and used in many countries today. The use is not just limited to traffic congestion control and information, but also for road safety and efficient infrastructure usage. Because of its endless possibilities, ITS has now become a multidisciplinary conjunctive field of work and thus many organizations around the world have developed solutions for providing ITS applications to meet the need.”
According to the post, ITS includes various elements and applications. “Sensors, information processors, communication systems, roadside messages, GPS updates and automated traffic prioritization signals play an imperative role in the application of advanced traffic management system, advanced traveler information system, advanced vehicle control system, advanced public transportation system, advanced rural transportation systems and advanced commercial vehicles operations system,” it said.

Importance of data

Central to ITS is data that provides insights. Usually the data is fed to a traffic management center which then turns the data into actionable intelligence for administrators and drivers. According to the post, how the data is collected and processed are detailed as follows.

Data collection

Data is collected via varied hardware devices that lay the base of further ITS functions, the post said. “These devices include automatic vehicle identifiers, GPS-based automatic vehicle locators, sensors and camera. The hardware mainly records the data like traffic count, surveillance, travel speed and travel time, location, vehicle weight and delays. They are connected to the servers generally located at a data collection center which stores large amounts of data for further analysis,” it said.

Data transmission

How data is transmitted to the system and transmitted back to the driver is also critical. “Traffic-related announcements are communicated to the travelers through Internet, SMS or onboard units of vehicle. Other methods of communications are dedicated short-range communications (DSRC) using radio and continuous air interface long and medium range (CAILM) using cellular connectivity and infra-red links,” it said.

Data analysis

The data that has been collected and received at TMC is processed further in various steps, which include error rectification, data cleaning, data synthesis and adaptive logical analysis, the post said. “Inconsistencies in data are identified with specialized software and rectified. After that data is further altered and pooled for analysis. This mended collective data is analyzed further to predict traffic scenario which is available to deliver appropriate information to users,” it said.

Traveler information

According to the post, travel advisory systems are is used to inform transportation updates to the traveling user, delivering real-time information such as travel time, travel speed, delay and accidents on roads.
“With urbanization expanding with speedy stride, number of vehicles on road is also increasing. Combination of both in return puts enormous pressure on cities to maintain a better traffic system so that the city keeps on moving without any hassle,” the post concludes. “For the purpose, application of Intelligent Transport System is the only solution. ITS is a win-win situation for both citizens and city administrators where it provides safety and comfort to citizens and easy maintenance and surveillance to city administrators.”

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