The Future of Traffic Management is ‘Intelligent’

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The Future of Traffic Management is ‘Intelligent’
The Future of Traffic Management is ‘Intelligent’

Technology has gradually permeated across domains over the years, however, inventions have been comparatively less visible in the field of traffic management and control. Recent years have seen intelligent transport systems (ITS) become popular in light of their endless possibilities, which range beyond traffic congestion information & control to efficient infrastructure usage and road safety.

Advances in ITS technologies conceived the concept of intelligent traffic management systems (ITMS), which are currently perceived as a conjunctive multidisciplinary field of work, prompting several organizations worldwide develop advanced solutions to ease traffic congestion and control. ITMS are becoming indispensable components of traffic management, saving time of commuters while ensuring smooth vehicle flow along with safety and comfort.

Software Innovation is the Key to ITMS Advancements

The concept of “smart city,” continues to transmute cities into digital societies. Emphasis laid on controlling traffic flow is becoming stronger, at a time when cities are brainstorming innovative technologies and ideas to evolve into “smart” ones. This has rubbed off on the developments in intelligent traffic management systems, which emphasize the integration of vehicle-to-roadside wireless communication, and short-range, dedicated vehicle-to-vehicle communication.

Software innovations are the key to optimizing the existing antiquated systems, and while there are myriad complexities involved in digitalizing road networks, numerous technologies exist that leverage existing assets to morph and upgrade traffic management. Powered by distributed acoustic sensor (DAS) – a state-of-the-art technology, fiber-enabled solutions have offered smarter way to manage and improve efficiency of traffic management. Integrating edge computing systems and advanced artificial intelligence with DAS has facilitated detection, classification, and reporting on traffic infrastructure activities in real-time.

Volkswagen Group (VW), a leading automotive giant, recently developed an intelligent traffic management system leveraging a quantum computer, which are capable of replacing the forecasting for transport demand, travel times, and urban traffic volumes. This breakthrough in quantum algorithm is claimed by VW to enable transport service providers, taxi companies, and public transport organizations, to deploy their fleets with utter efficiency, meanwhile minimizing waiting times of commuters. This collaborative effort of VW with D-Wave is a paradigm of the real-world influence that quantum computing can have on business operations and consumer regimes alike.

Intelligent traffic management systems are not only holding their ground firm, but also taking off into the skies, with the introduction of TopSky-SimDebrief by Thale. This intelligent air traffic management training solution of Thale monitors the use of air traffic controls, while tracking the physiological reactions of the controller. As the air traffic continues to show a tremendous increase, solutions such as the TopSky-SimDebrief are the key to cope up with rising air traffic control requirements and maintaining safety.

Challenges Remain in Maintaining Existing Infrastructure While Deploying New Ones

The rapid internationalization of economies and changing landscape of infrastructure have meant that demand patterns for the infrastructure services continue to change across as well as within geographies. Financing the existing traffic control infrastructure, while working on new deployments through holistic management has emerged as a key challenge in the ITMS landscape. Accomplishing the user requirements involves numerous functions called service requirements, and addition of new functions entails the need for defining new requirements for traffic management and control.

Multiple technology layers are involved in the implementation of intelligent traffic management systems, and there is a lack of expertise regarding identification and selection of technologies vis-à-vis application. Apart from these technological challenges, inherent issues barricade the efforts to change traffic management infrastructure in cities. Safety critical nature of traffic management systems, reliability testing and regulatory policy requirements impede deployments of technologies, such as ITMS. Although challenges prevail in ITMS deployments, several real-life examples have proved that advancements and implementation of these technologies is not intangible.

The Road Ahead

IoT proliferation has played a pivotal role in the realization of smart cities, and eventually on relevant technologies, traffic management systems being no exception. IoT-based intelligent traffic management systems are expected to soon pick up steam to meet demand from an increasing number of smart city projects, coordinate with ambulance drivers, and track traffic violators.

Ubiquitous nature of IoT-based ITMS, and their unmatched performance in detecting usual occurrences in a traffic flow, allude significant advancements and deployments of these systems worldwide. Next-generation intelligent traffic management systems point at integration of advanced sensors that bridge data gaps apropos of traffic flow.

It is highly likely that real-time traffic management supported by artificial intelligence, and integrated with features of artificial intelligence, soon come to the fore. Intelligent traffic management systems are the only tangible aspect of efficient transits systems, with route planning and smart parking management being other advances that collectively mold a more effective traffic management and control system. As interaction between city infrastructures becomes more complex, intelligent traffic management systems will undergo multi-faceted advancements in the foreseeable future.

The information presented in this article is based on a report by Fact.MR on Intelligent Traffic Management System Market.

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