Benefits of Intelligent Transport Systems
Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) have the potential to provide three key benefits for Australian road users businesses and society.
Safety—Road crashes cause suffering and loss of life as well as costing the nation in the order of $27 billion a year. Many collisions occur due to the stop-start nature of traffic in congested areas. ITS technologies can be used to smooth traffic flows, reduce congestion and hence reduce certain types of accidents. In the future, Cooperative-ITS, which involves communications between vehicles and road-side infrastructure, could be used to improve safety by providing warnings on heavy braking or potential collisions at intersections. Information provided through ITS can also be used to direct traffic away from accidents and alert emergency services as soon as an incident occurs.
Productivity—Congestion lowers productivity, causes flow-on delays in supply chains and increases the cost of business. ITS can increase productivity by finding innovative ways to increase the capacity of our current infrastructure.
Environmental performance—ITS that reduce congestion and stop-start driving can also reduce fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions compared with normal driving conditions.
Governments, private companies and academic researchers are all active in the development of ITS in Australia. ITS Australia is an incorporated, not-for-profit organisation representing members of the ITS industry and also includes government and research organisations. ITS Australia has held several summits, most recently in May 2015, seeking to facilitate the development and deployment of ITS.
Australia will also be hosting the 23rd ITS World Congress in Melbourne in October 2016, with the theme ‘ITS—Enhancing Liveable Cities and Communities’.