Come October, the 132 feet road in Ahmedabad will see the pilot Intelligent Transport System (ITS) project for a cost of about $1 million. Zero-Sum ITS, a traffic management firm, has formed a consortium with Nagoya Electric Works Ltd (with funding from Japan International Corporation Agency) (JICA) for implementing the pilot ITS (comprising of four VMS boards and 14 Cameras) in Ahmedabad.
The features of the ITS project include collating of traffic information from various sources such as camera based traffic volume sensors and traffic police, and processing the collected information (which is sent to a cloud based control center) to understand the traffic flow and congested areas in the target area. The ITS solution will display the processed information onto huge (7 x 3 meters) electronic information boards 200 meters before every traffic light. This information will aid motorists in making decisions on which roads to avoid and taking up alternate routes to reach their destination.
Jagdish Asari, Deputy Chief Engineer (Traffic), Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation, said, “A large number of vehicles use the arterial roads to reach their destinations. Information on alternative routes is not provided, leading to concentration of vehicles on the main roads. This system helps in deployment of traffic personnel at a particular intersection based on information gathered through ITS.”
Asari further explained, “The data from the cameras is transmitted to the central server through mobile communication networks. The cameras will record each vehicle passing by and its speed to calculate the average speed of traffic on the stretch. This data will be sent to the server, which in turn will display it on the VMS board. The traffic police will also have access to the server to communicate important information like a diversion on the road or a detour planned in case of an accident.”
The routing of information will be through mobile networks; each sub-zone of the ITS network will have a dual network for reliability that will keep the system from collapsing if one mobile network is down. The business model is also viable and self-sustaining. “The revenue from the advertisements on the boards, which will have dedicated space, will make the project lucrative. Also, if the project involves a public-private partnership, the temptation for ad revenue will ensure the company keeps the VMS functional at all times”, said, B Mallesh, Director, Zero-Sum ITS Solution India Ltd.
Mallesh further added, “We chose Ahmedabad due to the investment friendly business atmosphere in Gujarat. The kind of business model being showcased by our pilot project which incorporates an ad-revenue model built into the solution is being implemented for the first time in an ITS solution in the country and the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) is willing to try this model on a pilot basis to explore the benefits that our ITS solution can bring to the city with no cost or expenses incurred by them. At the moment, Ahmedabad has very little traffic management infrastructure in comparison to larger cities such as Delhi or Mumbai.”
Zero-Sum has pitched its technology to other cities too, including Surat, Rajkot and Vadodara.