ITS needs mobile networks for success

White paper from HERE examines the high profile failures of past ITS projects and argues in favour of using high data handling capabilities of mobile networks.

Accoring to Nokia HERE and research company SBD, governments should be collaborating with the private sector in order to use existing mobile network infrastructure and be prepared to embrace data liberalisation in an effort to reduce traffic congestion and improve safety with intelligent transportation systems (ITS).

SBD and HERE have laid this out in a new joint white paper in which they 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, this means effective methods are attainable which are affordable, scalable and interoperable.”

The authors believe that if ITS project participants fail to enter into a new spirit of collaboration, especially around data, there will be less likelihood of success. 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 analysed – no single car manufacturer or road transit authority can create a data ecosystem alone.

According to SBD and HERE, some 89 billion US dollars have 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.

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