Why congested highways need advanced traffic management systems

Why congested highways need advanced traffic management systems
Rapid urbanization and the growing number of vehicles on the road have caused highway congestion to worsen. Deploying advanced traffic management systems (ATMS), a system that continuously monitors highways, is helping road managers mitigate traffic.

“Increasing congestion and citizen pressure for better quality of life; consciousness and realization that integration between systems and agencies is needed and they cannot operate in silos; and the new enabling technologies and availability of data that are allowing to do things that were not possible in the past, are forcing agencies to transform and invest into new ways of managing traffic that have immediate return of the public investments,” said Jose Carlos Riveira, Strategy and Portfolio Management at Kapsch TrafficCom.

Paola Clerici, GM and CMO of Sprinx Technologies explained that traffic management systems provide traffic estimation, destination support and incident detection, as well as collects a set of statistical data aimed at improving mobility.
Paola Clerici,
GM and CMO,
Sprinx Technologies


“The progression of network connectivity solutions, cloud services, self-optimizing software and improved operator interfaces in traffic management systems provide better information and rapid service, resulting in reduced congestion and traffic,” she added.

In 2018, drivers in the world’s most congested cities lost up to 272 hours in road congestion. This translates to billions of dollars being wasted. Additionally, increased traffic congestion has also contributed to emergency management concerns (e.g., accidents) and an increase in pollution.

“The growth of urbanization has focused the attention of the transportation agencies on improving traffic fluidity so as not only to improve travel times and quality, but also to reduce the risk of accidents and therefore the intervention times in case of an accident, and, last but not least, to decrease CO2 emission,” Clerici said.

By investing in traffic management technologies, both hardware and software, capable of producing data both in real time and in post-processing, transport agencies are able to respond faster to emergencies and engage in more optimal planning of road mobility, she added.

In terms of regions, both regional and national governments around the world are initiating projects to mitigate highway congestion and improve road safety. However, due to high investment costs and the lack of private sector participation in some regions, investment capacity varies.

Market researchers expect the ATMS market in APAC will see significant growth in the coming years.Pradeep Kushwaha, Head of Public Safety Business Unit at NEC Technologies India confirmed that his company is seeing an increased demand for traffic management systems in APAC, especially India.

“The existing infrastructure in India is built to accommodate a fraction of the current traffic load,” Kushwaha explained. “Traffic congestion not only lead to economic and time losses, but contribute to air pollution and global climate change. Additionally, the ambitious Smart Cities Mission of the Indian government covering 100 cities would need smart traffic management system.”

Some of the steps being taken by the Indian government to ease traffic congestion include: increasing funding for network enhancement and improved road maintenance; creation of dedicated corridors; technology integration for traffic movement monitoring and management; stricter regulation for improved lane and traffic behavior; and introduction of automatic fare collection systems to ease traffic movement, according to Kushwaha.

The future evolution of traffic and mobility, though, will depend on various factors, both demographic and development, although not in the same way, said José Luis Añonuevo, GM of Traffic Management Systems Operations at Indra. This will depend on the characteristics and degree of evolution that each zone and region has experienced.

“For example, according to a study carried out by the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations, by the year 2030 there will be a total of 2.2 billion more inhabitants in large urban centers,” Añonuevo explained. “This growth will occur especially in developing countries (especially India and Nigeria), which will also be the countries with the highest percentage of young inhabitants. Logically, these areas will require a degree of evolution in transport.”


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