December 7, 2011
While the concept of smart transportation systems seems intuitive, the sector is, in fact, quite broad, encompassing many different domains of transportation (e.g., passenger vehicles, roadways, vehicle chargers, and transit fleets) controlled by various agencies or private entities and designed to achieve a range of policy and operational goals. The key enabling factor is embedded intelligence, which allows the vehicle or infrastructure to communicate with other transportation assets and to respond to outside management and external conditions. Cities, transit operators, fleet managers, and other owners of transportation assets see smart transportation technologies as tools to help them enhance mobility, reduce fuel consumption and emissions, improve safety, and strengthen economic competitiveness. According to a new report from Pike Research, smart transportation systems, also sometimes known in the industry as intelligent transportation systems (ITS), will see increased investment in coming years even as government budgets are tightening, because smart transport is seen as a way to maximize existing transportation systems without making major new capital investments.
The cleantech market intelligence firm forecasts that global investment in smart transportation systems will total $13.1 billion between 2011 and 2017.
“Most of this investment will be in intelligent traffic management systems, as this is the sector with the broadest range of potential applications,” says senior analyst Lisa Jerram. “It is also the sector that is applicable for all cities, and cities in the developed world are starting to deploy technology for traffic management, monitoring, and demand management. Cities in emerging markets will incorporate ITS as they build out their transportation infrastructure.”
Cities can implement such systems to enhance basic operations management – ensuring that the traffic systems they have in place are optimized – or they can adopt initiatives to manage demand and increase usage of public transit and other alternatives to private, internal combustion vehicles. Strong political leadership is required for the creation of comprehensive, multimodal transportation management systems, and more sophisticated forms of ITS – such as vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) safety technology and smart electric vehicle chargers that enable charging to be scheduled based on the time of day, grid conditions, or the cost of electricity – are likely to be deployed incrementally toward the end of the forecast period.
Pike Research’s report, “Smart Transportation Systems“, focuses on four key smart transportation sectors: traffic management systems, smart charging for plug-in electric vehicles, public transportation systems, and vehicle-to-vehicle systems. The study provides a comprehensive examination of market drivers for smart transportation infrastructure investment, including an assessment of the various approaches being taken in key countries around the world. Key industry players are profiled and market forecasts for each region are provided through 2017. An Executive Summary of the report is available for free download on the firm’s website.