Project Description: According to the US Department of Transportation, “Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) apply a variety of technologies to monitor, evaluate, and manage transportation systems to enhance efficiency and safety.” Putting visions of science fiction style transportation aside for the moment, this definition can be simplified into the following concepts for what makes up smart transportation: management, efficiency, and safety. In other words, smart transportation uses new and emerging technologies to make moving around a city more convenient, more cost effective (for both the city and the individual), and safer.
What emerging technologies are facilitating these new opportunities? Primarily the proliferation of IoT devices and 5G communication technology. The former provides for inexpensive sensors and controllers that can be imbedded into nearly any physical machine to be controlled and managed remotely. The latter provides the high speed communications needed for managing and controlling transportation systems in real time with minimal latency.
Smart transportation is not just a theory for the future; it is being implemented today in several cities with their successes and failures being used to improve systems in new locations. Some of the cities that are implementing new transportation technologies may surprise you at first. Of course, global hubs like New York City have embraced smart transportation for their ever increasingly intelligent city. However, the rural state of Wyoming is also a leading test .for connected vehicles. This is because the cowboy state is a major freight corridor — autonomous transportation of goods across the country can drastically improve supply chain efficiency and reduce the need for long-haul drivers forced to balance tight timelines with their human need for rest.