An Overview of the Intelligent Transportation Systems Coming
to a Smart City Near You
Smart city is already one of the most buzzed about topics in 2018, and likely means different things to different people. Many of us have no doubt heard of smart buildings and smart TVs, but the ideas for a smart city go far beyond smart buildings and TVs. One of the critical components of any well managed urban environment is an intelligent transportation system (ITS), and smart city concepts are already taking place to reshape the city landscape as we know it. The build out of ITS around the world will require a massive installation of the latest cameras, car counters, people counters, traffic control monitoring, dynamic digital road signs, and much more. This will result in the need for smart networks to connect them all.
ITS could likely offer operational efficiencies and financial sustainability benefits as well. As an example, using PoE+ switches with built in management features offer a cost effective way to operate IP cameras, wireless access points, VoIP phones, and other devices. They provide automatic remote configuration, auto power reset and other features that save both time and money.
The need for ITS is being driven by anticipated population growth in urban areas. Today, nearly 54.5% of the world’s population lives in cities, and it’s expected to grow to 70% by 2050 as reported by UN DESA, 2015 and UN World Urbanization Prospects, The 2014 Revision. More vehicles, people, congestion, and limited space all point to a need for ITS. Also coming into play are, regulations, heightened safety, security, pollution, and energy control requirements followed by the need for ITS to better support tourism and entertainment.
There are a number of applications enabled by ITS and already in use today, such as using cameras and sensors for traffic flow measurement, automatic license plate recognition, traffic violation monitoring and more. Not only do these applications keep smart city roads safer and improve traffic flow, the data gathered can help smart city planners determine traffic volumes for future transportation design and planning.
The Technology Impact of ITS
ITS is heavily dependent on information and communication technologies such as the cloud, sensors, cameras, data and analytics and more.
For applications such as automatic license plate recognition and traffic violation monitoring, higher-quality cameras with higher resolution and uptime are needed, which puts a strain on the network for more bandwidth and power.
New requirements mean building hybrid networks enabling smart cities to use existing cabling and equipment while integrating new technology to meet today’s ITS needs. Smart network requirements also include rapid, scalable connectivity, fast telecommunications provisioning, and a network infrastructure with built in security and safety. Building networks to support IoT and the ability to provide data and power simultaneously to edge devices in commercial and hardened environments must also be considered to address the growing number of remote edge devices.
Transition Network’s role in ITS
Transition Networks Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) switches can be used for powering traffic control, cameras, vehicle counters and more. Transition Networks fiber repeaters can be used on highways or interstates that require signal repeaters for application such as emergency call boxes where the signal may be degraded. Other Transition Networks solutions that can aid in ITS power and connectivity include media converters that convert copper to fiber, small form-factor pluggables, switches and more.