Intelligent Transport Systems Today: a European Perspective
I Spyropoulou, M Karlaftis, J Golias, G Yannis, National Technical University of Athens, GR; M Penttinen, VTT, FN
The paper presents ITS through classifications that enable efficient presentation and comparison of the systems, their impact mainly on road safety and the design of a questionnaire from which future research and application of ITS is described.
The Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) field is a relatively new field in science demonstrating rapid development. Intelligent transport systems are being developed by various parties including system developers, car manufacturers and scientists worldwide. Their level of development, implementation and evaluation ranges from being just an idea to having provided satisfactory results while applied on real traffic. There are innumerous different IT systems available. The first part of this paper deals and presents an efficient way of classifying the available systems. The benefit of classifying the IT systems instead of just listing them is that through the classification the properties and capabilities of the systems become more apparent. Additionally, such classification allows for a more efficient comparison of the IT systems.
The importance of the IT systems development lies mainly on the fact that their contribution in many of today's problems is anticipated to be substantial. This contribution mainly involves improving road safety, network performance and environmental conditions. Along with these, integration of specific driver categories in an efficient way in today?s road system and enhancing driver comfort are only a couple examples of capabilities that such systems may provide. Hence, the second part of the paper examines and presents the possible and anticipated impact of intelligent transport systems, mainly in terms of road safety, as estimated from several relevant studies in Europe and internationally.
Several projects and studies are taking place worldwide, and significant sums of money are attributed on Intelligent Transport Systems research. The outcome of such research may indicate that Intelligent Transport Systems can have an effect in road transport ranging from a negative one to a positive one, hence resulting from a null implementation to a 100% application of ITS in our everyday lives. The cost of the implementation of such systems is defined and is quite high, whereas their benefits are abstract. Hence, the procedure of systems evaluation and application seems to be a rather slow one. After all this research the question remains: ?Are intelligent transport systems a promising means to the future??. The next part of the paper deals with the design of a questionnaire sent to ITS experts worldwide in order to define what the present and future of ITS is. Emphasis is given to the structure of the questionnaire and to the parameters that had to be considered. The preliminary answers of the respondents are analysed and described.
In conclusion, this paper presents the capabilities and anticipated impact of intelligent transport systems through the research undertaken and the opinion of ?experts in the field?. Additionally, it provides an indication of the ?next questions? and hence the issues that have to be considered and be dealt with. Through this an effort is being made in order to define the future, needs and anticipations, of intelligent transport systems in our society in a more concrete way.
Association for European Transport