In the effort to reduce traffic congestion and improve safety with intelligent transportation systems (ITS), government and the private sector should look to existing mobile network infrastructure and be prepared to embrace data liberalization, according to automotive research firm SBD and HERE.
In their joint whitepaper, SBD and HERE argue that ITS managers can avoid the pitfalls that have plagued many ITS projects during the last decade by taking advantage of recent technological advances.
"Spending on ITS has so far tended to end up in costly hardware-heavy projects, the vast majority of which have not been commercially sustainable," said the co-authors of the study Andrew Hart of SBD and Bernd Fastenrath of HERE. "Fortunately, the growth of powerful mobile networks, the proliferation of sensors and the increasing maturity of connected data analytics are paving the way for software-richer ITS designs. For ITS managers, it means effective solutions are attainable which are affordable, scalable and interoperable."
The authors argue that any design lacks utility, however, if ITS participants fail to enter into a new spirit of collaboration, especially around data. A city in motion generates a tremendous volume of data yet, for the most part, that data is untapped and its potential value is not fully captured. To do so means connecting vehicles, individuals, city and road infrastructure, and traffic authorities to enable a meaningful volume of quality data to be pooled and analyzed - no single car manufacturer or road transit authority can create a data ecosystem alone.
According to SBD and HERE, some USD 89 billion has been spent in the last decade on large-scale ITS schemes which have either failed to meet their stated objectives or suffered lengthy delays. Additionally, despite a large volume of government-funded research projects and trials, a disproportionately small number have translated into commercial deployments. In many cases, the critical enabling technologies have lacked maturity, have been too costly, or have not been sufficiently user-friendly.