|Making driving safer, more efficient, and more comfortable
Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) are a new type of transport system designed to solve transportation problems such as traffic accidents and congestion by connecting people, roads, and vehicles in a network through the use of cutting-edge data communications technology.
Research and development of ITS is being performed around the world. In Japan, the National Police Agency, the Ministry of International Trade and Industry, the Ministry of Transport, the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications, and the Ministry of Construction are working together to make ITS a reality.
The objective is to construct a system that enables users to reach their destinations safely, efficiently, and comfortably.
Enabling drivers to travel efficiently will eliminate unnecessary acceleration and deceleration, which will reduce fuel consumption. The resulting savings in fuel costs will bring distribution costs down. At the same time, in step with the reduction in fuel consumption, there will be a reduction in exhaust gases which will alleviate the burden on the environment. In Japan, there are plans to complete the entire basic infrastructure by 2010.
Technology is being developed in nine areas, including Vehicle Information and Communication Systems (VICS), in order to make the ITS concept into a reality. One that will immediately proceed actual deployment is Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) technology.
In an ETC system, when a car passes through a toll gate on a toll road, wireless communication is automatically performed between a roadside antenna and on-board equipment. The system records the toll and other information on both an IC card in the on-board equipment and the toll road's computer system.
This makes it possible for cars to pass through toll gates more efficiently, without stopping to pay the toll and without getting stuck in toll-gate congestion.
Plans call for ETC service to begin at major toll gates in the greater Tokyo area in fiscal 1999.
Photo: ETC Test Program, Kisarazu Tool Booth of Tokyo Bay Aqualine (Japan Highway Public Corporation)
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