The Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) concept is based on the use of advanced computer, electronics and communications technologies to increase the effectiveness of the entire surface transportation system. Many of these technologies have already advanced other modes of transportation, such as aviation, and are now beginning to be used in surface transportation. ITS technologies will be applied to all types of vehicles (trucks, buses and cars), to information devices (computers, kiosks, and hand-held devices), and to all parts of the surface transportation system (freeways, urban arterial roadways, city streets, rural roads and intermodal connections) in order to:
Improve Safety by increasing information to the driver and augmenting driver control of the vehicle, ITS can decrease traffic incidents and fatalities. Features include warning systems that activate when cars get too close to another vehicle or the edge of the road and enhanced traffic control systems that decrease stops and speed variations, reducing the number of accidents.
Reduce Congestion and Improve Accessibility: ITS technologies will reduce congestion through rapid detection and clearing of incidents that cause delays; enhanced public transit systems will reduce highway traffic; and real-time traffic control systems will adapt automatically to changing conditions and will improve the flow of traffic.
Improve Energy Efficiency and Environmental Quality: ITS will provide travelers with information to support decisions that will smooth out highway demand and reduce travel time and vehicle emissions by providing opportunities to use high occupancy vehicles or public transit or to mitigate the need for travel altogether.
Enhance Economic Productivity: ITS will improve transportation system efficiency through better routing of vehicles, automated toll collection, safety enhancements and streamlining commercial vehicle regulatory enforcement and compliance.