As Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) make headway in various transport applications in India, their benefits and obstacles faced in their implementation in India, are the points of discussion at many forums. Efforts are also made by various agencies in creating awareness about the latest ITS technologies being brought in the country by different stakeholders. One such effort was a conference organised by IQPC at Delhi in February. At the two-day conference, many experts made presentations and discussed issues related with ITS.
Nearly all the speakers agreed that given the heterogeneous nature of India’s traffic, and with the concept of dedicated lanes yet to sink in, foreign technology needs to be customised to suit Indian requirements before it is implemented in the country. Lack of expertise in the field was also a point of discussion. A need was felt to begin education in the subject at various levels. On the first day, Sanjay Agarwal, Director, Ministry of Communications and IT, India and Member of ITS, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways spoke on ‘Highlighting Government initiatives to standardise Intelligent Transportation Systems in India’. Dr Laurence R Rilett from University of Nebraska; Siddik Yarman, Advisor with Savronik (Turkey); and Chris Bax, Director – Transport Systems and Solutions Unit with Serco (UK) too spoke on the occasion. V Muralidharan, Additional Director, Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC) spoke on ‘Determining the role of the Department of Information Technology and Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC) In ITS’.
The second day, chaired by Amitabh Bajpai, Chairman, Association of Intelligent Transport Systems India, had a presentation by Dr Praveen Kumar, Professor and Coordinator, Transportation and Engineering Group, on ‘Improving efficiency of transport systems with advanced Traveller Information Systems (ATIS)’ and by Dr S S Jain, Head, Centre for Transportation Systems (CTRANS) on ‘Deploying Variable Message Signs (VMS) for development of ITS on non-urban highways’. Both the speakers were from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Roorkee. Dr Nishi Mittal from the Traffic Engineering and Safety division of Central Road Research Institute (CRRI) made a presentation on ‘Highlighting the role of ITS in accelerating safety and sustainability’ while Anil Chhikara, Motor Licensing Officer with Government of National Capital Territory, tackled the subject of ‘Transforming city transport by absorbing ITS best practices’. Dr Kayitha Ravinder, Scientist – Traffic Engineering and Safety Division, CRRI spoke on ‘Traffic data collection techniques using Intelligent Transport Systems under Indian traffic conditions’ while P K Sikdar, President, Intercontinental Consultants and Technocrats handled the subject ‘Ensuring the safety and efficiency of bus systems via implementation of ITS’. Both the days had panel discussions with interactive sessions with the audience.