ITS Applications

Intelligent transport applications

Emergency vehicle notification systems

The in-vehicle eCall is an emergency call generated either manually by the vehicle occupants or automatically via activation of in-vehicle sensors after an accident. When activated, the in-vehicle eCall device will establish an emergency call carrying both voice and data directly to the nearest emergency point (normally the nearest E1-1-2 Public-safety answering point, PSAP). The voice call enables the vehicle occupant to communicate with the trained eCall operator. At the same time, a minimum set of data will be sent to the eCall operator receiving the voice call.

The minimum set of data contains information about the incident, including time, precise location, the direction the vehicle was traveling, and vehicle identification. The pan-European eCall aims to be operative for all new type-approved vehicles as a standard option. Depending on the manufacturer of the eCall system, it could be mobile phone based (Bluetooth connection to an in-vehicle interface), an integrated eCall device, or a functionality of a broader system like navigation, Telematics device, or tolling device. eCall is expected to be offered, at earliest, by the end of 2010, pending standardization by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute and commitment from large EU member states such as France and the United Kingdom.


Congestion pricing gantry at North Bridge Road, Singapore.

The EC funded project SafeTRIP[citation needed] is developing an open ITS system that will improve road safety and provide a resilient communication through the use of S-band satellite communication. Such platform will allow for greater coverage of the Emergency Call Service within the EU.

Automatic road enforcement

Main article: Traffic enforcement camera
Lombada eletrônica (Automatic speed enforcement)

Automatic speed enforcementgantry or “Lombada Eletrônica” with ground sensors at Brasilia, D.F.

A traffic enforcement camera system, consisting of a camera and a vehicle-monitoring device, is used to detect and identify vehicles disobeying a speed limit or some other road legal requirement and automatically ticket offenders based on the license plate number. Traffic tickets are sent by mail. Applications include:

  • Speed cameras that identify vehicles traveling over the legal speed limit. Many such devices use radar to detect a vehicle’s speed or electromagnetic loops buried in each lane of the road.
  • Red light cameras that detect vehicles that cross a stop line or designated stopping place while a red traffic light is showing.
  • Bus lane cameras that identify vehicles traveling in lanes reserved for buses. In some jurisdictions, bus lanes can also be used by taxis or vehicles engaged in car pooling.
  • Level crossing cameras that identify vehicles crossing railways at grade illegally.
  • Double white line cameras that identify vehicles crossing these lines.
  • High-occupancy vehicle lane cameras that identify vehicles violating HOV requirements.
  • Turn cameras at intersections where specific turns are prohibited on red. This type of camera is mostly used in cities or heavy populated areas.

Variable speed limits

Further information: Speed limit § Variable speed limits

Example variable speed limit sign in the United States.

Recently some jurisdictions have begun experimenting with variable speed limits that change with road congestion and other factors. Typically such speed limits only change to decline during poor conditions, rather than being improved in good ones. One example is on Britain’s M25 motorway, which circumnavigates London. On the most heavily traveled 14-mile (23 km) section (junction 10 to 16) of the M25 variable speed limits combined with automated enforcement have been in force since 1995. Initial results indicated savings in journey times, smoother-flowing traffic, and a fall in the number of accidents, so the implementation was made permanent in 1997. Further trials on the M25 have been thus far proven inconclusive.[4]

Collision avoidance systems

Japan has installed sensors on its highways to notify motorists that a car is stalled ahead.[5]

Dynamic traffic light sequence

A 2008 paper was written about using RFID for dynamic traffic light sequences. It circumvents or avoids problems that usually arise with systems that use image processing and beam interruption techniques. RFID technology with appropriate algorithm and database were applied to a multi-vehicle, multi-lane and multi-road junction area to provide an efficient time management scheme. A dynamic time schedule was worked out for the passage of each column. The simulation showed the dynamic sequence algorithm could adjust itself even with the presence of some extreme cases. The paper said the system could emulate the judgment of a traffic police officer on duty, by considering the number of vehicles in each column and the routing proprieties.

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