Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) provide innovative solutions to allow for more coordinated and efficient use of transport infrastructure. They use advanced information and communications technologies (ICT) to collect information on road conditions, which can then help traffic system managers and road users to make informed decisions. Outcomes include reduced congestion, improved safety and greater environmental sustainability.
ITS are widely accepted and used in many countries today. They have been used in Australia for decades, including for technologies such as dynamic speed zones, active lane management, ramp metering and e-tolling. Australian companies are considered at the forefront of ITS developments, and Australian governments have partnered with the private sector to continually develop these technologies. The Sydney Cooperative Adaptive Traffic System (SCATS), used to manage traffic in 187 cities worldwide through adaptive traffic signal changes at intersections, is an example of how ITS can deliver better outcomes for road users and improve transport productivity.
Smart ICT applications for infrastructure and transport are rapidly evolving. The Australian Government is working collaboratively with states, territories, research bodies and the private sector to integrate smart infrastructure into Australia’s transport network. Initiatives include:
- Smart Motorway technology used on Bruce Highway – Pine River to Caloundra Road, QLD
- Smart Freeway infrastructure on the Kwinana Freeway in Perth, WA
- Smart Freeway infrastructure on the Mitchell Freeway, WA
- ITS infrastructure easing congestion on the South Eastern Freeway, SA
Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems (C-ITS) allow connected vehicles to communicate with each other, roadside infrastructure and other wireless services. The increased connectivity that C-ITS provide can help improve road safety and efficiency in many ways. For example, C-ITS vehicles and infrastructure could work together to warn a driver of upcoming risks, or traffic over a crest of a hill or around a bend. C-ITS has been trialled in Australia through initiatives such as: