Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS): A Step Toward Civilization
Prof. Dr. Nasir Sulman
University of Karachi
A major change in urban form has taken place in the last half of the 20th Century. The decentralization of cities has meant that not only do people move further away from the urban center but also that many jobs have followed into less dense areas which are under-served by transit. This has left the urban poor, minorities, and other people who do not drive a car at a clear disadvantage. Those that work find that they must make long and arduous reverse commutes using transit, often having to make several transfers or mode changes. Information about these transfers can be hard to find in an easy manner, and, for the blind and vision-impaired, it is often difficult to incorporate this information and integrate it into an acceptable travel plan.
Funding and support for public transit lags far behind the resources committed to the automobile and its infrastructure. Less attention has been paid to making it more attractive, easier to use, or safer. In many areas, transit riders are treated as “second-class” citizens, and their continued patronage is assumed because they have no alternative and are “transit dependent.” Making transit more user-friendly may help increase ridership, which in turn helps make cities more accessible. One view that has been expressed is that “public transportation is all about anxiety, uncertainty, and waiting – usually in uncomfortable and often unsafe areas” (Hepworth & Ducatel, 1992).
What can be done to make transit more attractive? “The goal of Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) technology applied to public transportation is to generate and utilize information to mitigate these negative aspects as well as to increase productivity of public transportation systems, so that ridership will increase, thereby reducing automobile travel and congestion while supporting desired urban forms” (Hodge & Morrill, 1996). However, this information is not readily accessible to some people and that is the main research problem.
With the conception of smart city transmuting cities into digital societies, making the life of its citizens easy in every facet, Intelligent Transport System becomes the indispensable component among all. In any city mobility is a key concern; be it going to school, college and office or for any other purpose citizens use transport system to travel within the city. Leveraging citizens with an Intelligent Transport System can save their time and make the city even smarter. Intelligent Transport System (ITS) aims to achieve traffic efficiency by minimizing traffic problems. It enriches users with prior information about traffic, local convenience real-time running information, seat availability etc. which reduces travel time of commuters as well as enhances their safety and comfort.
The application of ITS is widely accepted and used in many countries today. The use is not just limited to traffic congestion control and information, but also for road safety and efficient infrastructure usage. Because of its endless possibilities, ITS has now become a multidisciplinary conjunctive field of work and thus many organizations around the world have developed solutions for providing ITS applications to meet the need.
The TELematic Standards and Coordination of Advanced Transport Telematics systems in relation to elderly and disabled travelers (TELSCAN) project in the Transport Sector of the Telematics Applications Programme of the European Union has developed a Handbook of Design Guidelines (Nicolle & Burnett, 1999) to support designers of Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) to include the needs of people who are elderly or disabled. The development of such guidelines should help us come closer to achieving usability of ITS not only for elderly and disabled people, but for everybody as we enter the 3rd millennium.
Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) have changed transport, both private and open. This pattern is set to proceed with an European Directive 2010/40/EU cherishing organization of ITS in the field of street transport and for interfaces with different modes all through the landmass (European Commission, 2010b).In its broadest sense ITS is the utilization of modernized frameworks, including data interchanges innovation (ICT), to transport. They go from the agreeable level, for instance helping drivers, armada directors and movement administrators through frameworks like activity signals, armada administration frameworks, and correspondences amongst vehicles and roadside foundation, to frameworks and administrations, for example, the arrangement of online data, electronic ticketing, and cell phone applications that are intended to improve people educated, empowering speedier, less demanding go by open transport.
Transport Needs and Problems of Disabled People Physically disabled peoples mainly face problems in mobility with their limitations .so they are mainly depend wheel chairs for movement. Now days they are travel across society with some ones help. So researchers are developing sensors embedded wheel chairs for physically disabled people. Wheel chairs that connect with sensors, that made capable of challenged peoples to do their activities and travelling individually. Wheelchairs that developed should include sensors, that provide shortest path if they want to go anywhere, if any unwanted situations occurs like any accident or such an emergency situations the wheelchair automatically should inform the doctor. FM are kind of sensor that help physically disabled people, are Wireless, injectable micro devices that are versatile, robust and relatively inexpensive to implant in a variety of sites and applications. They also stimulate the functioning muscles of the body by providing electric signal; which will of course improve the performance of the body of physically challenged people .Many researches are going on in this area.
ITS technologies are being used to improve the efficiency, productivity, reliability and in-vehicle safety of bus services. These include Advanced Traffic Management Systems (ATMS), Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL), Automatic Vehicle Identification (AVI) and communication between buses and a control centre (Schweiger et al., 1994). ITS technologies can help all passengers, by providing information or in other ways, and in many cases will be particularly helpful for elderly and less able passengers (see Table 1).
Bus Passenger Impairments, Problems and ITS Equipment
|Cannot stand for long, sensitive to cold||Unable to stand while waiting at bus||Display of waiting time at home, at stops bus stop on hand-held unit|
|Poor vision||Cannot read service number||Service display at bus stop Audio announcement by bus|
|Poor vision||Cannot see community bus in time to||Hand-held device for communication between bus and passenger|
|Lack of manual dexterity, cannot do things quickly||Paying cash fare while boarding. Risk of falling while hurrying||Smart payment card|
|Poor vision, unfamiliar with area||Cannot identify destination stop||Display name of next stop in bus|
|Impaired hearing||Hearing announcements||Induction loop in bus|
|No vision||Finding bus stop, knowing which stop for which bus route||Talking signs, stops that announce route name or number|
In Britain, a survey found that virtually all visually impaired independent travellers reported at least one accident, and over half had sustained injuries (Gallon et al., 1995). Visually impaired people have a higher frequency of walking accidents than sighted people and are more likely to be injured. Visually impaired people. also have more accidents than sighted people when crossing roads, and over a third of respondents had experienced accidents involving steps. Of the respondents who travelled by rail, 35 percent had experienced at least one accident. Twenty-three percent had had an accident during boarding or alighting and 5 percent had fallen off a station platform.
Many ambulant less able people as well as people in wheelchairs are seriously limited in the distance they can walk or travel in a wheelchair. Access can be prevented by distance, slopes and road crossings as well as by the normally recognized curbs, steps and poor surfaces. Pedestrians in general are afraid of being attacked, being hit by a car or falling. ITS has considerable potential to help less able pedestrians, particularly with road crossings and with orientation for visually impaired people, thus minimizing pedestrian-vehicle conflicts (see Table 2).
Pedestrian Safety Problems and ITS Equipment
|Everybody||Crossing roads||Crossing signals that extend crossing time for slow pedestrians and/or warn drivers of pedestrians on crosswalks|
|Visual||Crossing roads||Audible signals at crosswalks Hand-held navigation system|
|Everybody||Falling on uneven pavements||Pavement condition monitoring Hand-held fall detector/Mayday system|
|Visual||Walking into traffic||Hand-held navigation system|
|Visual||Accidents: walking into plate glass, falling off platforms, steps||Hand-held navigation system|
Accessible Transportation Technologies Research Initiative (ATTRI)
The Accessible Transportation Technologies Research Initiative (ATTRI) is a five-year, multi-agency research and development (R&D) program aimed at help United States citizens and visitors with visual, hearing, cognitive and mobility challenges to use technology to improve how they plan and execute their travel. Launched in 2013, the objective of the initiative is to help disabled persons, including injured veterans and older adults, to take advantage of advances in intelligent transportation services — including advances in vehicle and transportation infrastructure technologies, innovations in navigation, data accessibility, artificial intelligence, and object recognition.
ATTRI centers on four applications to help travelers with disabilities:
- Smart wayfinding and navigation systems – includes wearable technologies and software for accessing and navigating specific areas, indoors and outdoors.
- Pre-trip concierge and virtualization – includes technologies that help provide travelers with necessary en-route information, such as the availability of access ramps or virtual caregiver support.
- Robotics and automation – includes transport technologies that help improve mobility.
- Safe intersection crossings – includes technologies that help pedestrians to safely deal with moving vehicles.
These technologies are enhanced by wireless communications, which allow travelers and their mobile devices to connect to vehicles and roadside infrastructure. For example, an intelligent transportation system can help alleviate safety risks at street crossings by communicating to vehicles the presence of a crossing pedestrian.
Although ATTRI is focused on helping travelers with disabilities in the United States, an important goal is to increase awareness for accessibility needs worldwide. The U.S. Department of Transportation’s ATTRI is co-led by the Federal Highway Administration and Federal Transit Administration with support from the Intelligent Transportation Systems Joint Program Office and other federal government agencies.
The program is being implemented in three phases: research; prototype development and testing and demonstration. In the first phase of the ATTRI, researchers found that the most critical user needs were related to reliable, real-time travel information. Key considerations of prototype development and testing include providing universal access to real-time data sources, such as data specific to transportation systems. Other considerations include developing applications travelers with disabilities can use easily, including integrated payment systems that travelers of any ability can use to pay for transportation, parking or other transactions.
ITS has the potential to improve the safety and security of elderly and less able travellers and drivers, as well as to increase their mobility. For car drivers, various ATIS and AVCSS systems provide services or perform tasks that should make driving easier, less stressful and safer. Smart restraint systems could improve occupant protection.
Public transport users will be helped by smart cards and better information while travelling. These will reduce the need for passengers to hurry or to stand while the bus is moving, which reduces the risk of accidental falls. Their security can be improved by using real-time transit information to reduce waiting time at bus stops, particularly in bad weather, and by automatic vehicle location and communications to call for assistance when incidents occur.
Pedestrians can be helped by better road-crossing facilities, making use of existing people detectors. Pedestrians with visual impairments can be helped by hand-held location and guidance equipment, by talking signposts and by information displays that can talk when triggered.