Traffic technology experts say industry needs bigger public profile

April 30 2018

Nearly nine out of ten traffic technology experts believe that more needs to be done to explain the benefits of Intelligent Transport Systems to the general public.

In a survey of ITS (UK) members 87 per cent of those who answered said they thought raising awareness would help sell the case to decision makers to fund technology rather than infrastructure solutions, because, as one respondent put it, “the public will push the politicians”.

Others pointed out the value of understanding in regard to journey planning and also in recruitment of future generations of the industry’s professionals.

Respondents were less united when it came to their views on the understanding of, and support for, ITS from national and local government. 56 per cent agreed or strongly agreed that government is supporting transport technology, while nearly 40 per cent either disagreed or were undecided, and many thought that the main government focus was on future autonomous technologies and not solutions available today.

When asked about the biggest change to ITS over the next 12 months, among the suggestions were more mobility-as-a-service solutions including fare data in journey planning, benefits of connected vehicles and Internet of Things and a focus on the environmental benefits derived from transport technology.

ITS (UK) Secretary General Jennie Martin commented, “The industry has always been very committed to collaborating with each other and sharing best practice but this survey suggests there is an expectation for us to provide information about ITS and their benefits to the wider public. We have started to deliver relevant messages to the travelling public about how ITS make a daily difference to their lives but know that much more needs to be done and we will work with our members to formulate our plan.”

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