Sitting in traffic causes problems for commuters and cities alike. Congested roads lead to an increase in traffic accidents, emissions, delays in commutes, and even parking needs. Intelligent Transportation Solutions (ITS) can help cities overcome these challenges and more. ITS are technologies that advance transportation safety and mobility while enhancing productivity.
As populations grow, so do the demands on traffic infrastructure. ITS keeps improving on existing solutions and creating new ones to combat this growing problem. ITS devices and technologies have been improving our ability to address transportation challenges.
While there are many ways to approach congestion, one thing that has been proven over recent decades is that you cannot build your way out of congestion. Adding additional lanes and new roads has only further complicated the issue of traffic congestion. The only way to effectively manage this problem is to investigate strategic and proactive ways to manage our roadways.
Most traffic management plans are, on average, updated every 3-5 years. Although this strategy may solve an immediate problem, it often doesn’t consider future congestion issues like new schools, businesses, and communities that are impacting traffic flow year after year. When we focus on these issues, we find that ITS can help in many ways.
Intersections play an important role in how traffic works and have come a long way since the days of unmanaged intersections with lights simply turning green, yellow, and red. Today, Adaptive technologies can be implemented, optimizing intersections and creating better traffic flow throughout the transportation network, making for safer and more efficient roadways.
Another way to approach congestion with ITS is to look at unnecessary driving and ways to reduce it. In downtown areas a lot of traffic is caused by cars driving around looking for available parking spots – drivers drive on average 3 miles before finding a parking spot. According to studies this number can be reduced by as much as 30% with proactive approaches such as Parking Guidance Systems (PGS) and Wayfinding solutions that guide drivers to available parking spaces quickly and efficiently.
Planned events, such as concerts and sporting events, can cause congestion just as much as unplanned incidents, like accidents and emergencies. With the help of ITS, cities can proactively put plans in place for such occasions. These solutions can automatically identify the source, predict the duration, and suggest improvements in real-time utilizing advanced technologies communicating to variable message and variable speed limit signs.
ITS devices and technologies have been improving our ability to address the challenges we face in the transportation industry. The biggest challenge isn’t the procurement and deployment, but getting the solutions to work together synergistically in a smart and efficient manner. McCain and SWARCO are solving this problem with a smart Traffic Management Platform allowing traffic management applications to work harmoniously to improve the safety, mobility, and efficiency of our roads
McCain and our global team have developed a new technology platform for Intelligent Transportation Solutions (ITS) called, SWARCO MyCity. This modular ITS management platform is designed to deliver solutions to the most pressing challenges in multimodal mobility by tightly integrating common transportation services (Traffic Management, Performance Analytics, Parking, Public Transportation, Air Quality Monitoring, Variable Message Sign (VMS) Control, and more) via an ultra-modern cloud computing infrastructure.