Data Transfer in UTMC
CHEESE J and CARTWRIGHT M, Smith System Engineering, UK
In traffic control, just as in every other area, we are witnessing the transition from analogue to digital data communications based on open international standards. Enabling the use of mainstream wireline and wireless data communications solutions in urb
In traffic control, just as in every other area, we are witnessing the transition from analogue to digital data communications based on open international standards. Enabling the use of mainstream wireline and wireless data communications solutions in urban traffic management and control (UTMC) systems, and in Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) more generally, is the key to a whole range of benefits. This, indeed, was Smith's main aim in developing the specification of data transfer standards for UTMC systems. It is this specification that is the primary focus of this paper. But before describing the detail, just what are the main benefits of an open systems approach?
Standards open the way to larger markets and more competitive supply. The user should benefit from the lower costs engendered by competition and manufacturing economies of scale as well as greater innovation and choice in the equipment and services on offer.
* Likewise manufacturers should gain from easier access to international markets, being able to provide a consistent architecture across their whole range of traffic products and eliminating unnecessary development costs where standard components can be bought-in.
* Basing data transfer on open standards can reduce communications costs. It allows new network configurations to be used (with many devices sharing the same physical communications link). It opens the way to new sourcing arrangements such as using third party managed data network services, or joint venture arrangements with local communications network providers (eg the cable tv provider).
* Compliance with the UTMC specification will help ensure inter-operability between different modules and equipment in the system. This should enable greatly improved information capture and sharing, leading to better traffic management and control strategies and improved supply of travel and traffic information. The latter could prove saleable and may provide a new revenue stream for UTMC system operators.
Moving towards the open systems approach and towards digital data commtmieations will change existing procurement strategies and practices in urban traffic control and bring new organisations (such as managed network providers) into the frame. Users will face a wider range of options and choices but will gain from the flexibility and control this brings with it. These issues are a subject in their own right. They are also part of the institutional and commercial context for the main subject of this paper, data transfer in UTMC systems.
Association for European Transport