Intelligent Transport System

Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) is one that has the potential to help manage traffic flows, reduce congestion and tailpipe emissions, and improve road transport safety. ITS is based on information and communication technologies applied to road transport infrastructure through dynamic message signage and intelligent vehicles. For example; ITS may feature highway and motorway signage, which can have congestion and accident monitoring, reporting equipment and messaging updated remotely or automatically, as well as electronically managed road toll stations. However, ITS currently poses significant costs to implement; a 2004 study by the Department of Transport estimated set-up costs of at least $16 billion with further operating costs of $3-8 billion for a 6.4 million km road network. The Department of Transportation (USDOT) has also investigated the use of ITS to reduce congestions and wasted fuel. They estimated that up to 2.8 billion gallons of fuel are wasted annually due to motorists stuck in traffic queues and that this figure can be drastically reduced along with associated GHG emissions. The consumption of energy and emissions from road infrastructure operation is dominated by electricity consumption for street and traffic lights (up to 95% in Sweden for illuminated roads). This proportion is likely to be lower in countries with greater daylight hours and will also depend on the proportion of road illumination on different parts of the road network (e.g. close to 100% for urban roads and lower values for highways/motorways). The relative importance of lighting in the overall infrastructure impact in terms of GHG emissions is also highly dependent on the local electricity generation mix. The impact of energy consumption on GHG emissions attributable to maintaining and operating road transport infrastructure has prompted the publication of guidance in the United Kingdom to aid decision making on street lighting and road maintenance. This guidance encourages decision-makers to implement technological advances that require lower power inputs or provide brighter lighting with reduced energy consumption and introduce consideration of carbon emissions in any decision making the process. Various studies have been carried out to investigate lighting schemes along different routes and the patterns of use. The study finds that significant capital and emissions savings can be achieved by adjusting the hours in which lighting is used.


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