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Friday , 24 May 2024

Need for Standards and Uniformity

Balraj Bhanot, Management Consultant, Chairman TEDC (BIS), Former Director ARAI and Chairman CMVR-TSC writes on the need for standardization in ITS technology

Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) is a wide field, and today, there is no single ownership to the subject in the country. The subject of ITS cuts across various ministries of the government like Transportation, Communication, Railways, Civil Aviation, Home and Urban Development. The problem arises if one starts implementing the project without proper guide lines or standards applicable nationwide. Users are normally ignorant about full potential of its usage and are dictated by vendors.

At BIS (Bureau of Indian Standards), we have created a separate panel to look into the subject of ITS to create standards in major areas of its usage.

Today, we have a separate sectional committee called TED (28) comprising of 35-40 members from various disciplines. In the absence of proper standards, there is no uniformity in specifications floated by different users departments/organisations. Customer is therefore denied of the full benefits this technology offers. Not only that, nation can leap frog in this technology because of its software strengths. Standards & Uniformity will facilitate process of tender making with lesser disputes.


We have noticed that there are many difficulties in enforcing laws like wearing helmets or seat belts in India. It is understood that China has managed to do it successfully with the help of CCTV cameras.

Standards for Tolling and ITS

There was a need to create standard architecture for tolling. Accordingly, a standard is being developed for the tolling system which is under print. Subsequently, RFID systems were taken up under the Chairmanship of the Representative of I-CAT (International Centre for Automotive Technology), Manesar. Similarly, another subject was taken up, namely Display Devices used in buses or Transportation. The standards work has also been completed.

Now the bus specifications by Ministry of Urban Development have ITS as an essential element and the Ministry has also introduced CCTV system in buses besides GPS. The details on management and processing system seem to be missing because different states are working on it. It is now proposed to take up this area so as to bring some uniformity for organised growth of this usage.

Parallely, another panel is set up in VTS system which is also catching up fast. This panel is functioning under Dr. Madhusudan Joshi from ICAT and has 20 members. There are sub-groups that are looking after various aspects.

The panel was set up at a time when the Uber cabs incident took place in Delhi. This panel will closely look into the matter and also ensure all the loopholes are plugged. Whichever new area is coming forward for the ITS usage, we are trying to prepare standards so that each vendor and user takes advantage of the same. There are about 250 ISO standards. These are further sub-divided into eight or nine groups at international level. Parallely, we have also created nine groups in our country. Each of this group has been asked to find out which of those standards are relevant to India. As and when the relevance is found, a particular standard with minimal modification is finalized. There are around 14 standards like system architecture or vehicle related tolling; guideline for security protection profiles; application interface definition and automation system; road, transport, traffic, telematics; electronic fee collection (EFC) interface for clearing between the operators; requirement for guidance for use of adoption of road safety; RTS Management System; and evaluation of on-board and road-side equipment for conformity. Likewise, there are other standards too in the pipeline.

Remote Monitoring of I& C

Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has given orders to Rosemerta Technologies to set up and operate ten inspection and certification centers. In another few years the subject of privatization will also catch up in different states as one has to cover the entire population of vehicles so as to clean environment and enhance safety in vehicles running on road. There is a tremendous use of CCTV cameras for remote monitors/audits centrally.

CCTV for normal operations on the road

We have noticed that there are many difficulties in enforcing laws like wearing helmets or seat belts in India. It is understood that China has managed to do it successfully with the help of CCTV cameras, and it has privatized the system. The country has distributed the highways, say in 200-300kms, where CCTV cameras have been placed in every lane. When the camera captures a person without his seat belt, the picture is produced to police who levy fine on the offender. This fine collected from the offender is distributed between authorities and private operators. It is a self-sustaining system with a win-win situation for all.

Similarly, somebody has to take a call at the national level to get it done. If we compare this with the number and the length of highways in our country, we can visualize the scope it has to offer for privatization.

Other usage of the technology could be in areas like Traffic aids for blind and invalid persons, ITS for the expressways, automatic speed control mechanisms that are available in the highways for multi-lane/ multi-modal traffic conditions and automated toll plazas. Experiments in RFID are going on at Delhi and Mumbai routes.

GPS based taxis and auto fare meter are going in a big way. GPS based traffic navigation and real-time ride sharing mechanism are possible. These are used extensively in the US. In the parking management guidance system application in China, each slot for parking is always available in green light and one can park vehicles without any trouble.

In ITS area, it is the software which is India’s basic strength. We can do wonders and also lead in these areas. Japan and South Korea are the leading countries worldover, even the US and Europe are catching up.

Road map for safety

In the early 1990s, when the government announced its globalization, there was a big challenge before the nation. What sort of road map should be there for the automotive industry? The question often raised was whether we are following the US or European system? Like any other industries, there were no proper standards or control in the automotive industry. After due deliberation, it was decided to follow the route of ‘type approval system’ like in the European countries. This is how the entire safety roadmap went around the ECE regulations which are made by WP 29 committee, a UN body based at Geneva. Today, we have managed to harmonize 75-80% with the global ECE regulations. The remaining 20-25% standards are related to crash related test for which the facility will be ready in a year’s time. And then, nation will be going for the crash related test in a year or two. Our vehicle will soon be globally competitive in full compliance to safety regulations. Following a route of global standardization has given our auto industry a respectable place in the world. We wish to have similar situation for the ITS system in India and become the leaders in the world.

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