The 18th World Congress on Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) is being held in Orlando from October 16th – 20th, 2011. This is the leading event for intelligent transportation solutions, and attracts a large audience of government, technology and industry professionals. The event seeks to demonstrate advances in the application of new technology and smart transportation. Major areas of focus include the reduction of traffic congestion and improvement in  personal mobility.

With 800 million vehicles on the world’s roads today, a number forecast to grow to between 2 and 4 billion by 2050, it is clear that transportation management  systems will need to analyze real-time sensor and GPS data dynamically on a massive scale to reduce congestion and optimize personal mobility. The objective is to achieve a fluid and reliable transportation network, that can respond dynamically to changing loads and conditions, and provide consistent and acceptable travel times.

The performance of a transportation network can be measured based on road usage (number of vehicles), and the travel speed and time from origin to destination.  Today’s traffic management systems rely on historical analysis of data from fixed sensors.  However, roadside and in-road sensor projects are very expensive to install and maintain. As a consequence, only a very limited view of the overall road network is available,  with sensor deployments focusing on primary routes and major intersections only. Also, fixed sensors tend to report traffic flow – at best a secondary measure of the real requirement –  congestion.

Most important however is the lack of real-time, dynamic behaviour from existing traffic management systems.  Flow control, for example at intersections and on freeways, is activated at specific times based on the historical analysis of the fixed sensor data – this helps, but is unable to react to changing patterns of traffic flow and congestion.

One approach to the problem is to introduce the latest wireless GPS sensor technology.  Wireless GPS sensors have two significant advantages:

  1. Immediate and real-time information on vehicle speed and location.
  2. Low cost solutions that can be deployed quickly, with little or no maintenance.
  3. Provides a direct measure of vehicle speed and the ability for real-time and accurate measure of congestion.
  4. Complete network insight – highways and arterial routes – at the granularity of a few meters.

SQLstream ITS Insight

For example, when one national road agency was re-evaluating its approach to intelligent transportation systems, it identified wireless GPS technology as both a significantly cheaper and potentially much superior solution to congestion detection and Travel Time. SQLstream was selected as the real-time traffic analytics and congestion detection platform based on processing in-vehicle GPS sensor data. The SQLstream solution enabled the agency to cancel a $20million fixed sensor program,  and to build a real-time traffic management platform based on SQLstream’s ITS Insight.

We will be demonstrating our real-time traffic management capabilities on our stand at ITS World Congress in Orlando.  In addition, our CEO, Damian Black will be participating in a number of related panel sessions on arterial travel time solutions and real-time data management for intelligent transportation.  For those attending ITS World Congress, please visit us for a demo at Booth #1366, or visit our website for more information on SQLstream and real-time transportation management systems.  We look forward to seeing some of you at least some at the show.