ITS technologies are reported in the 2023 report of the Government and Audit Office, which discusses the state of American smart cities.
When we hear the term “environmentally friendly transport”, we can rightly feel that these two words are not compatible in all cases, in fact, they often contradict each other. Of course, there are degrees and transitions between cycling and cruising with a diesel engine. If we consider only car transport, many factors influence the impact of the process on the environment.
Urban traffic, especially when it is interspersed with many traffic lights, is a rather complex, multifactorial system. The period before the start of working hours and the start of school, as well as the afternoon dumping, always cause increased traffic near educational institutions and workplaces that employ many people.
Different dynamics characterize the traffic in the intermittent periods, which are characterized by different needs. In order to manage them in place, a high degree of progressiveness and flexibility is required. An American, governmental one was published at the end of last year report now provides help on where this question is currently at.
Transportation systems have been used in the United States since the 1960s to deal with situations of this kind, which have undergone significant development in recent decades. The development of technology has made it possible to increasingly automate and rationalize previously manually controlled systems. Today, a multitude of sensors and timers help them to best meet changing needs.
The latest intelligent systems already give priority to emergency vehicles, and based on the information from the sensors, they are able to adjust the system to the changed needs at any time. This reduces traffic jams and thus the number of hours spent in traffic. Statistics also prove that this type of smart system visibly reduces the number of accidents. The report cites a study that found a 5 percent reduction in crashes between 2011 and 2018 in five road corridors that use adaptive traffic light control.
The peculiarity of such systems is that they can be adapted to the characteristics and guidelines preferred in the given area. The ITS (Intelligent transportation system), if it is stated as b,e, can consider the safety of cyclists as a priority, or can benefit pedestrians as well.
However, the report also reports on negative experiences. In Washington, some ITS-controlled transportation systems, because they are set up to give priority to passing traffic, are ineffective in maintaining bus schedules, and pedestrian crossing coordination is subordinated to this system.
Some transport officials have noted that the rapid development of ITS must compete with the modernization of physical systems for stable and reliable operation. It may happen, for example, that newer ITS software is difficult to integrate into certain older devices, which may result in unreliable operation in the long term.
Cyber security was also discussed, i.e. the vulnerability of ITS systems, which presents their operators and maintainers with new tasks. Overall, ITS-controlled systems provide serious advantages in terms of supporting and optimizing traffic, but they also impose many additional tasks on those who use them.
In Hungary, the use of ITS systems is still in its infancy, but there are signs of progress in this regard initiativeswhich, according to the decision-makers’ intention, will be followed by further steps in the future.