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Wednesday , 12 June 2024

Implementation of Multi-dimensional ITS in India

Road safety experts and the Government have been stressing on the need for speedy and uniform implementation of Intelligent Transport System (ITS) in India. It covers all modes of transport and holds together dynamically various elements of the transportation systems and the users. Satheesh G, Scientist G & Group Head – Intelligent Transportation & Networking Group, CDAC gives an update of the present ITMS implementation across the various cities and highways in India.

ITMS implementations driven by the traffic Police, city authorities and also by the smart city projects are done in two domains, one is traffic regulation & management and the second is traffic enforcement and prosecution.

ITMS – Integrated Traffic Management System has various type of sensors. It basically uses camera based sensors for traffic regulations & management and combination of camera and radar based sensors for enforcement activities.

Adaptive Traffic Control Systems have been put in place along with Integrated Command and Control Center (ICCC). The communication infrastructure by and large uses fiber as the backbone; which may be a Managed Leased Line Network (MLLN) or Dedicated Dark Fiber which is being leased out by various service providers. Automated Incident Detection, route diversions, road work information and other real time traveller information dissemination using Variable Message Sign boards or mobile apps/ social media feeds are being considered as ITMS components of high priority to ease congestion.

Today, city authorities are giving more importance for traffic simulation platforms to improve the performance of Adaptive Traffic Control System (ATCS). Traffic simulation enables to create models to replicate the behavior of vehicles, pedestrians, and other elements of transportation systems. These simulations help urban planners, engineers, and policymakers to understand traffic flow dynamics, predict congestion patterns, evaluate the impact of infrastructure changes or new developments, and test various traffic management strategies without real-world implementation. Combining traffic simulation with ATCS can provide comprehensive insights into urban traffic behavior and facilitate the development and implementation of effective traffic management strategies. By simulating various scenarios and testing different control algorithms within a simulated environment, transportation authorities can make informed decisions to improve the performance of their traffic control systems and enhance the overall mobility experience for commuters.

Setting up of a Common Mobility platform and a mobile app for citizens to access all modes of transport with personal route guidance system having option for route choice, less travel time & cost, real time transit and trip planner information, is another initiative which each city authority needs to look at to improve the transportation network in India.

On the road safety side, Red Light Violation Detection System and the Speed Violation Detection System are the two main components that are being deployed currently. Apart from that based on the camera footprints, various offences like not wearing seat belt or helmets, triple bicycle riding, mobile phone usage while driving and other similar offences are also brought under enforcements.

Smart Mobility is another vertical of ITS, where we are trying to address the public transit issues starting from Passenger Information System, Bus Information System, Automatic Fare Collection, Ticketing and others that address the mobility part. The effort currently is to integrate transit agencies, MaaS providers, public transport modes and end users on a common mobility platform.

The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, India has created UMTAs, the urban mobility transit agencies which is a kind of Special Purpose Vehicle for Metro cities so that they can bring in all the stakeholders of mobility together and act as a nodal agency in creating unified platforms. Initiative is also taken by MoHUA to create a national mobility platform.

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), through its R&D organization, CDAC has developed various ITS solutions like the Vehicle Priority System for Emergency vehicles, VVIP & public transport buses, Data driven & decision tools for Personal transit route guidance and operational strategies for maintaining headway reliability for public transport. These solutions are very relevant to commuters and public transit agencies.

Traffic signal priority for the public transport buses, real time transit & trip planner information and connecting all modes of public & private transport can bring a drastic change in ridership from private vehicles to public transport.

 For this to happen, Vehicle tracking systems, e-ticketing, use of National Common Mobility Card (NCMC), computerization of bus schedules, etc. play a vital role in each and every city and also at state level for long distance intercity buses. Presently, transit signal priorities are available only for the BRTS buses which go in a dedicated lane.

Operational strategies & guidelines to implement Emergency Service Vehicle & VVIP vehicle priority signaling at signalized traffic junctions are other components of ITMS which requires serious effort in deploying good systems to avoid congestion during peak time. As the road capacity utilization is maximum today, it is very difficult to implement vehicle priority solution and roads cannot be blocked for longer duration for movement of these vehicles as is done normally today.

 An Artificial Intelligence based Automated Incident Detection & Management System is also a matter of high priority for cities to mitigate congestion in the shortest possible time. Since, traffic surveillance cameras are deployed across the cities, the video footprint can be used to analyse the flow of traffic to indicate an incident or an accident prompting us to investigate and take action.

Last Mile Connectivity

The Government is sanctioning a large number of vehicles for last mile and first mile connectivity. Most of the cities as part of the smart city initiatives are rolling out 25-seater or 30-seater electric buses. Actually these buses go to every nook and corner of the various cities and not on the main roads. The capital investment and operational cost will be recovered on a per kilometer basis from the state. The entire maintenance support for the vehicle will be done by the OEMs for a 10-year period. Here, the requirement of ITS is from the OEMs for monitoring the health of the vehicle remotely to provide preventive maintenance.

The vehicle health & trip data goes to OEM’s Cloud infrastructure directly. The in-vehicle monitoring using different sensors and the ECU (Electronic Control Unit) will provide the required various information that flows into the cloud. The OEM is able to remotely monitor the health of the vehicle and provide preventive maintenance, thereby reducing the maintenance cost for the state. ITS plays a major role in getting the vehicle data and then disseminating the data.

Today, Logistics as a Service (LaaS) is used by people. Mobility as a Service (MaaS) should also get rolled out at least at the state & city level helping people move seamlessly. Like Unified Payment Interface, a unified mobility interface should also be rolled out as part of the digital public infrastructure with different ITS vendors on board. Each city authority can avail the services of different vendors based on their product positioning (features & merits). Thus, vendor lock can be avoided and city authorities can avail the benefit of providing the best services to its citizens. This unified mobility interface will be a market place for the city authorities. They can pick and choose the best available application on that platform, subscribe and use it. The regulatory work policies are being planned by the government as part of the NUDM – National Urban Digital Mission.

C-V2X

Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything, is a technology that enables vehicles to communicate with each other and with various elements of their environment and is seen as a crucial component of autonomous driving systems to navigate safely and efficiently. By allowing vehicles to communicate with each other, as well as with infrastructure such as traffic lights and road signs, C-V2X can help prevent accidents by providing real-time information about road conditions, hazards, and potential collisions, and also improve traffic flow & efficiency leading to smoother traffic patterns, reduced congestion, and shorter travel times and can help autonomous vehicles make better decisions and avoid collisions. C-V2X technology can facilitate faster response times for emergency services by providing them with real-time information about accidents, road closures, and other incidents.

C-V2X implementation in India faces several challenges, primarily stemming from infrastructural, regulatory, and technological aspects. The successful deployment of C-V2X technology requires robust cost-effective infrastructure, including roadside units (RSUs) and reliable communication networks. Adequate spectrum allocation is essential for C-V2X communication using 5G and beyond ensuring sufficient spectrum availability for ITS application amidst competing demands from other sectors.

India’s densely populated urban areas present challenges related to interference and network congestion. Managing communication reliability and latency in such environments is critical for the effective functioning of C-V2X systems. Establishing a regulatory framework governing C-V2X implementation is crucial as India needs to develop specific standards, protocols, and guidelines to ensure interoperability, security, and privacy in C-V2X communication, which can be complex and time-consuming.

Ensuring the cybersecurity of C-V2X systems by developing robust security measures and protocols to safeguard communication channels and connected vehicles to protect against potential cyber threats and attacks are essential and is of prime importance. Addressing these challenges requires collaboration among government agencies, industry stakeholders, and technology providers. Overcoming these hurdles can pave the way for the successful implementation of C-V2X technology in India, offering significant benefits in terms of improved road safety, traffic efficiency, and overall transportation ecosystem.

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