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What some Asia cities are doing with ITS

What some Asia cities are doing with ITS
More and more, municipal administrators across the globe are eyeing intelligent transport systems (ITS) to optimize road usage and tackle congestion. This trend is seen in Asia as well.
More and more, municipal administrators across the globe are eyeing intelligent transport systems (ITS) to optimize road usage and tackle congestion. This trend is seen in Asia as well.
Needless to say, smart transportation has become an increasingly popular and widespread concept across the world, Europe included. “Urbanization is bringing people from rural to urban areas, particularly in developing countries, thereby burdening transportation systems,” said a recent blog post by Equinix. “With traffic jams plaguing numerous cities throughout the world, we need to think ‘smart’ to minimize the impact of the swells in populations and car ownership, and the resulting infrastructure bottlenecks.”
ITS could be especially beneficial in the Asia Pacific where certain countries are rapidly developing, causing traffic-related problems. An earlier article cited Indonesia as an example. “There are cities (in Indonesia) that installed adaptive traffic management systems. It’s adaptive, so when there’s a lot of cars, the system will increase the time of greenlight at that particular section,” the report cited Emir Riza, Executive Director of ITS Indonesia, as saying. “We’re also considering an electronic road pricing system to adjust the amount of traffic entering the road.”
The Equinix blog, meanwhile, cited other APAC cities that have deployed ITS to make transportation smarter. These are summarized as follows:
Hong Kong: The special administrative region has four key strategies for smart transportation as part of its Smart City Blueprint — Intelligent transport system and traffic management, public transport interchanges/bus stops and parking, environmental friendly transport, and smart airport initiatives.
The Ministry of Transport and the Land Transport Authority of Singapore announced that autonomous scheduled buses and autonomous on-demand shuttles will serve commuters in Punggol, Tengah and the Jurong Innovation District (JID) in Singapore from 2022.
In Australia, Newcastle City Council in New South Wales was funded to the tune of AU$4.9m alongside its co-contribution of AU$10m for Smart Move Newcastle to deliver intelligent mobility, energy, and data networks. Part of this project will include a smart transportation strategy which is focused on exploring future modes of transport, as well as improving walking/cycling experiences in the city.
Japan’s JR East and NTT DoCoMo has built an extensive ecosystem of transportation operators, retailers and service providers, delivering interoperability across most of the country’s transportation systems.

An interconnected approach

According to the post, being “smart” does not mean building more infrastructure, but rather optimizing the usage of existing roads and infrastructure. To achieve this, data generated by sensors and delivered to multiple, interconnected stakeholders are key.
“When it comes to transportation, instant response and accuracy are of the utmost importance. All data movements require connectivity to support seamless, real time data transfer and responses. Massive quantities of data, generated from many endpoints, needs to be aggregated, processed and stored at the edge, where it’s collected or created,” it said. “To respond immediately, respective parties need to be interconnected — for example, transportation departments need direct access to IP camera and app service providers to deliver latest traffic updates to mobile apps.”
The post concluded by saying this interconnected approach is the way to achieve smarter transportation. “We don’t know how long it will take us to reach our ‘Utopia’, where all systems involving transportation are interconnected with each other; that car drivers, transport passengers and walking or cycling citizens are all communicating with, data-sharing with, and benefitting from the amalgam of analyses which can be derived from this sort of interconnected approach. That’s the near-future destination. And interconnection at the edge is how we will get there.” 

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