Smart systems for transport

Intelligent house, washing machine, textile. We endeavour to make more and more everyday used things to be intelligent. What does intelligence mean in that context? What do these things have in common? They are able to recognize different situations by certain variables and respond them in different ways, so they are solving problems.


Whether it’s a house, a washing machine or transportation, the goal is the same of each: to reduce the possibility of human intervention. For what general problems does intelligence provide a solution? Primarily for safety, environmental protection, efficiency and cost reduction. In one word: sustainability.


Sustainability is one the most frequent used keywords in European Union. Recognizing the fact that this fast development of civilization consumes both our environment and society, direction of research and development (R&D) is dedicated to the aim of sustainability.


We are concerned in the field of transportation, thus today’s post is about Directive 2010/40/EU on Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS).


Intelligent Transport Systems use IT and communication systems for road transport which enable to optimize the operation of transport network within its complex processes. Its aim is to facilitate human decision-making, to give faster responses to crises and to reduce the possibility of error occurring during human consideration. ITS is used in different fields, in one hand infrastructure (e. g. operation of road network, traffic control), and on the other hand use of vehicles.


What does that mean in practical life for an average urban habitant? In Hungary traffic lights working in crossroads are only partially harmonized. The turns of traffic lights don’t depend on the intensity of traffic but the time program set before. This way when an unexpected event occurs, traffic lights do not help to eliminate the traffic jam.


In several major city in Western Europe, but also in Bucharest traffic light systems can take into account the intensity of traffic, follow dynamically the changes on roads and turns into green or red in case. In Bucharest due to an EU program traffic jams have been reduced by 20%.


Another example for the futuristic image of ITS systems is the possibility of sending a message to the navigation systems of users about the actual status and changes of traffic, and the navigation system modifies the further route plans. That’s a vision which somewhere is already means reality. However, we endeavour to make is real here too.


This means a paradigm shift not only in everyday use of transport but in the struggle for saving our environment, because due to the optimal route planning unnecessary taken routes can be reduced, and as a result of eliminating traffic jams harmful impacts on environment can be reduced too.