1 Networks and Communication Studies NETCOM, vol. 17, n 1-2, 200 p THE TERRITORIAL EFFECTS OF INTELLIGENT TRANSPORT SYSTEMS Joana Maria Seguí Pons 1 Abstract. The present paper intends to show the regional and social consequences of metropolitan and inter-city Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) through an examination of case studies, with special mention as to the implementation of ITS in Trans-European networks. The ITS encompass a combination of transportation information, communication and technologies in vehicles and infrastructures to make them more accessible. The ITS, although not a panacea that can solve all problems generated by transportation, furnish a considerable number of solutions. They increase the efficiency, effectiveness, and security of all modes of transport, contribute to the development of more sustainable transport, and aid to solve the problems of scarcity of new services. Key words. Intelligent Transport Systems - Safety - Cleaner - Efficiency - Infrastructure Resumen. El presente trabajo pretende mostrar las consecuencias territoriales y sociales de los SIT urbanos e interurbanos, a través del estudio de casos, con especial mención a la implementación de los SIT en las redes Transeuropeas. Los SIT comprenden la combinación de información, comunicaciones y tecnologías del transporte en vehículos e infraestructuras para hacerlos más accesibles. Los SIT, sin ser la panacea que solucione los problemas generados por los transportes, aportan soluciones considerables. Incrementan la eficiencia, la eficacia y la seguridad de los mismos en todos los modos, contribuyen en el desarrollo de un transporte más sostenible y ayudan a solucionar los problemas de escasez de nuevos servicios. Palabras clave. Sistemas Inteligentes de Transporte - Seguridad - Sostenibilidad - Eficiencia - Infraestructura 1. METROPOLITAN AND INTER-CITY INTELLIGENT TRANSPORT SYSTEMS The ITS are defined as a combination of transportation information, communication, and technologies in vehicles and infrastructures that can make them more accessible (Stough, 2001). In a strict sense, the concept of ITS is applied to modes of overland transportation, since it is in cities and their access 1. Department of Earth Sciences, University of Balearic Islands, Cta. Valldemossa, km. 7.5, Palma (Balearic Islands, SPAIN).
2 40 NETCOM, vol. 17, n 1-2, 2003 points where there appear the primary symptoms of congestion ; however, more generally, the concept extends to all modes of transportation. Nijkamp, Pepping and Bannister (1996) define as the most important aspects of the ITS : traffic and travel information, management of public transport, management of cargo transport, traffic and road management, demand management, parking management, assistance to drivers, and co-operative driving. These aspects appear lumped together in three large fields : traffic and travel information systems ; information systems in public transports ; and cargo management. The metropolitan and inter-city networks in Europe channel more than 90 % of passengers and more than 70 % of cargo. They likewise constitute the most important modes of transportation in terms of investment and economic activity generated. ITS are also where the highest number of R & D projects in metropolitan and inter-city transport is available. 1.1 OBJECTIVES, CHARACTERISTICS, AND APPLICATIONS OF ITS. a. ITS contribute to the integration of metropolitan and inter-city modes of transport into one sole system of transportation. The European Union s (EU) own documents indicate that ITS are produced many times in a fragmented manner, and the user runs the risk of delays before the services are fully operative (e-europe2002). One example of this integration is the ITS Metropolitan of the DOT (U.S. DOT ITS Metropolitan) (http://www.its.dot.gov/metro-its/brochure.htm). It represents a new paradigm of administration and management of regional intermodal 2 transportation systems. Another system of a global information for the traveller is called Travinfo, for commuters in the San Francisco Bay Area. It is comprised of a regional Advanced Traveler Information System for highway traffic information, implemented under a GIS (Mehndiratta et al., 2000). b. The ITS contribute to metropolitan transportation planning. ITS give rise to new challenges and opportunities for the planning of metropolitan transportation that function with feedback in real time (Kanafani, Khattak, Dahlgren, 1994 ; Khattak, Kanafani, 1996). The PLANiTS (Planning 2. In metropolitan areas, the application of the following elements are combined : systems of traffic signal control which automatically adjust and optimize flow ; systems of arterial ordering that inform drivers, detect problems when traffic flow increases and minimize congestion derived from accidents ; programs of incident management for emergency services that minimize response time ; electronic tolls that allow drivers and transportation agencies to carry out automated operations, increasing the efficiency of the operations ; electronic ticketing systems, with smart cards ; coordination of railroad crossings ; multimodal regional information systems with route and transit information for travelers and the service sector ; Several regions of the US have one or more of these components, as do many European cities, including Spanish cities.
3 THE TERRITORIAL EFFECT OF INTELLIGENT TRANSPORT SYSTEM Boston Detroit Houston Chicago Washington San Francisco New York Los Angeles Fig. 1. Traffic Delay in Selected American Cities, (1,000 hours/ day) Source : Transport Geography (2001) Analysis Integration for Intelligent Transportation Systems) is comprised of a methodological tool elaborated at the Institute for Transportation Studies in Berkeley (California, USA), professional support, transportation agencies, citizens, and special interest groups in the decision making process, and it can be applied to local, regional, and state-wide planning. Another example of an information service is ROUTES (Rail, Omnibus, Underground Travel Enquiry System), a computerised system for London Transport. It is used for route selection and travel planning. c. ITS contribute to the decrease in congestion by means of Systems of Information. In the United States, it is expected that travel demand will increase by about 30 % in the next decade. Solely to maintain congestion at its present levels in the 50 largest metropolitan areas, it would be necessary to add 7,100 km of highways each year. It is evident that this cannot, and should not, occur. The solutions point to investment in infrastructures of ITS (Intelligent Transportation Systems. Benefits : 1999 Update, 1999). In cites like Tokyo, losses of approximately 50 million Euro s per day are produced due to traffic congestion ; in Germany, 4.4 billion hours are lost each year for the same reason, with an average of three days per year per inhabitant. The principal metropolitan areas of the United States, such as Los Angeles, Washington DC, Seattle, Atlanta, and Boston, are those which suffer the greatest levels of congestion in the country. In these areas, 65 hours per year per driver are lost because of traffic congestion. It seems that the problems will worsen in the next 25 years, with a 22 % increase in the figures. On the other hand, construction costs for new roads are growing, and a new road has the benefit of fluid traffic for a very short time (Intelligent Transportation Systems. Research Products for Public Works Professionals, 2000). With automatic guidance systems for vehicles, which information services convey, traffic can be detoured to less congested routes. The organisation of information services in Europe is carried out at different levels through diverse governmental organisations. The majority of countries have European projects for the insertion of ITS in this area (The Well-Timed Study, Vol. 1, 1998).
4 42 NETCOM, vol. 17, n 1-2, 2003 Austria is a partner in CORVETTE (Co-ordination and Validation of the Deployment of Advanced Transport Telematic Systems in the Alpine Area); Belgium, in WHIST (Walloon Highway Information System for Traffic); Finland, in FIST (Finnish Information Service for Travellers programme). France has the system of VISIONAUTE and COFIROUTE for information for travellers in the city of Paris and in the rest of the country (The Well-Timed Study. Vol. 2, 1998). The information service TEGARON has provided information via GSM since 1997 in German highway incidents, the same as PASSO, since In Spain, the DGT (State Traffic Office) is responsible for the management of road traffic information, except in the Basque Country. The DGT is directly answerable to the Ministry of the Interior. The objective is to spread information services via RDS/TMC throughout Spanish roads of the Trans-European Road Network (TransEuropean Road Network, TERN). The North American and European R & D programs, in the public sector and private business, presently work along the lines of intelligent vehicles in order to reach high efficiency, effectiveness, and economy in transportation. In these endeavours, the large automobile manufacturers are involved. Among them we can cite the project EUCAR Master Plan (Eucar, 1999) (http://www.cordis.lu/ telematics/tap-transportresearch/13.html) As far as the impact of these applications in Europe, 90 % of users valued time saving as the major advantage of automated guidance en route. In 50 % of the cases, time was saved and in 42 %, the computer s choice was better than their own choice ; 80 % of users wanted to have a guidance system (Las innovaciones telemáticas para las empresas de transporte, 1998). In American cities, travel time decreased by 20 % using analogue maps, while it decreased up to 80 % by means of an ITS. The VICS project in Japan, with ITS that cover the 4 areas of the cities of Tokyo, Aichi, Osaka, and Kyoto, presents travel time savings of 15 % (Intelligent Transportation Systems. Benefits : 1999 Update, 1999). In London, according to existing information, 38 % of callers change their route because of the information received through ROUTES. Some 13 % decide to utilise public transport when they normally do not, with the concomitant 13 % increase in income that generates 1.3 million GBP in bus companies, 1.2 million in the metro, and 1 million in railroads. Sources from Seattle, Washington, and Boston, Massachusetts, indicate that when drivers are provided with information, 50 % change their travel route, 45 % change their time to travel, and between 5 and 10 % change their mode of transportation. d. ITS benefit societies in contributing to the decrease of travel time and the levels of accident rates, and by increasing the capacity of roads. Road safety continues to be the primary concern of users, followed by systems of assistance and information. The costs related to transportation safety are estimated to be around 2.5 % of the GNP in Europe, 99 % of which is attributable to road accidents which produce somewhere in the order of 40,000 deaths and
5 THE TERRITORIAL EFFECT OF INTELLIGENT TRANSPORT SYSTEM 43 around 2 million injuries per year on European roads. ITS can be exceedingly helpful in increasing the levels of traffic safety on the road (Background document to Emerging Thematic Priorities for Research in Europe Scoping Document). The first of the five major objectives of the EU in relation to Transportation Systems lies in increasing the levels of security, efficiency, and environmental interaction of such systems (Background document to Emerging Thematic Priorities for Research in Europe Scoping Document). Overall, and according to Taylor (1998) in citing Garrett (1998), research in European cities suggests that by the year 2017, the implementation of ITS in transportation will have as a consequence a 15 % increase in vehicular accident survival rates ; a 50 % reduction in road fatalities; a 25 % reduction in travel time ; a reduction of 40 hours of travel per commuter per year with the use of ITS ; a 50 % reduction in delays through improvements in public transportation ; a 25 % decrease in cargo transport costs through turnover efficiency ; and a 50 % decrease in pollution in city centres through the use of ITS. Extreme Severe Heavy Moderate Uncongested Fig. 2. Traffic Conditions in Major American Cities ( ) Source : Transport Geography (2001) The ITS Metropolitan Program of the American Department of Transportation points up interesting results in this regard. The advanced traffic vigilance and the systems of signal control produce benefits to travel time of between 8 % and 25 %. The systems of arterial ordering have reduced accidents between 24 % and 50 % and have channelled between 8 % and 22 % more traffic. There has been an increase in steady velocity rates of between 13 % and 48 % above those that had previously existed under congested area conditions. The programmes of crisis management have reduced delays associated with congestion caused by incidents by between 10 % and 45 %; electronic toll areas have increased route capacity by between 200 % and 300 % (http://www.its.dot.gov/metro-its/brochure.htm). TravTek constitutes another North American project which has proceeded from simulation to integration in order to estimate the impact of safety in assisted navigation systems. The road network of Orlando is simulated, and analyses estimate the risk of accidents to motorists who use assisted navigation systems compared to those who do not. Users of TravTek notice that their condition is more secure, given that the increase in security in risk situations is located above 10 % (Intelligent Transportation Systems. Benefits : 1999 Update, 1999).
6 44 NETCOM, vol. 17, n 1-2, 2003 Injuries Fatalities Accidents Air Maritime Rail Road Fig. 3. Accidents and Fatalities in Canada (1996) Source : Transport Geography (2001) e. ITS constitute a growing economic market. According to EU estimates, applied telematics in transportation encompass approximately 40 % of the total telematic market (Kargin, 1999). Reports of the European Commission relevant to the market situation of ITS count on an estimated value of 167 billion ECU s, up to the saturation level of the market, and on 30 billion ECU s annually to maintain that level. Information systems and systems of advanced vehicular control comprise 45 % and 29 % of these expectations, respectively. A periodical in the field of transportation innovations in the United States, Innovation Briefs (Vol. 11, nº 4, July/August 2000), identified the rapid growth of telematics in transportation as the greatest trend in the sector in the last year. The predictions point out that in two years time, telematics in transportation will be the largest technology in the automobile sector. At the same time, paradoxically, the new derivational possibilities promote the convenience of the use of the private vehicle 3. The commercial exploitation of this emerging capacity becomes a key challenge for vehicle manufacturers and for the incipient ITS industry (Innovation Briefs, Intelligent Transportation Systems, Brief Abstracts, November/December 1999). Other trends in transportation are equally related to the ITS (application of GPS, remote payment and smart cards; payment for use of services, such as roads, and the commercialisation of the same). A recent study in the US demonstrated that companies that use tested ITS increase their productivity between 0 % and 25 %. Systems of electronic payment on the road have increased income between 3 % and 30 %. In general, the direct or indirect benefits of the ITS Metropolitan Program of the American Department of Transportation show that for every dollar of investment there is a return of eight more. These are measured through the reduction of traffic congestion, the reduction of accident rates, and better relations among service providers, the strengthening of 3. Several examples from different automobile industries make this trend explicit. General Motors foresees one million subscribers to the telematic service OnStar for the end of the year 2000 (half a year before, 300,000) and 2-3 million subscribers for radio-satellites for the year The trend according to Allied Business Intelligence is for 5 million telematic users in The Strategis Group predicts that telematic services will be offered as an option or as standard equipment in 25 % of new car models in CNW Marketing Research affirms that 3.5 million new vehicles will have access to the Internet in 5 years.
7 THE TERRITORIAL EFFECT OF INTELLIGENT TRANSPORT SYSTEM Canada United States Australia France Germany Italy Sweden United Kingdom SOx Particulates NOx CO HC Fig. 4. Contribution of Transportation in the Emission of Major Air Pollutants in Selected Countries, 1980 (%) Source : Transport Geography (2001) the national economy through increase in mobility, and new markets for goods and services (http://www.its.dot.gov/metro-its/brochure.htm). f. Another objective of ITS lies in contributing to more sustainable transportation. It is calculated that pollution in urban areas, and its impact on citizens health is valued at 0.3 % of European GNP. Transportation is responsible for more than 60 % of carbon monoxide emissions, 50 % of nitrous oxide emissions and 33 % of hydrocarbon emissions. Transportation contributes to pollution on a regional scale and to the greenhouse effect, whose costs are estimated at 0.5 % of the GNP. As far as noise is concerned, about 20 % of European citizens suffer unacceptable levels of noise due to traffic. The cost of noise pollution is estimated to be about 0.3 % of the GNP. Other effects are the consumption of renewable resources and the generation of waste products (Background document to Emerging Thematic Priorities for Research in Europe Scoping Document). It is interesting in this sense to examine the results of the European project POSSUM, whose aim is centred on the construction of scenarios for sustainable mobility in Europe in 2020 and in aiding the Commission in its decisions on Common Transport policy and the development of Trans-European networks. There are three fundamental objectives of the project: environmental protection, regional development, and economic efficiency (Banister, 1997; Banister, Stead, 2000) 4. To attain these objectives, POSSUM proposes two categories of changes for the target date of 2020: On the one hand, the reduction of energy used per passenger per kilometre travelled and tonnage per kilometre, by way of factors of technological progress, which do not involve changes in mobility (Banister, 1997), and on the other hand, that the increase in the volume of transportation remains lower than global economic growth. Some of the proposed measures for the decrease in pollution and of travel are of a general nature, while others are more concrete. 4. The environmental goals are: a 25 % reduction in CO2 emissions from 1995 to 2020 and a 80 % reduction of NOx, measures that are more effective if they are complemented by other transportation policies consistent with the non-worsening of protected areas or with growth of surface infrastructure below 2 %.
8 46 NETCOM, vol. 17, n 1-2, 2003 Generally, they are centred on the introduction of TIC and the de-materialising of the economy. g. Finally, ITS present difficulties in management because of the intervening of public and private actors and agents. ITS are an attribute of traffic infrastructure and of the pertinent public organisations of management and control of traffic ; but they are also applicable to vehicles of a private nature with the problems of co-ordination that this involves. However, there exist examples like the Houston TranStar, which is responsible for the planning, operational design and crisis management in the Houston, Texas 5, area. Other programs with similar objectives and results are those of the San Antonio TransGuide system ; or The Information for Motorists, in Long Island, New York (Intelligent Transportation Systems. Benefits : 1999 Update, 1999). 2. ITS AND THE TRANS-EUROPEAN TRANSPORTATION NETWORKS The Trans-European road network encompasses 70,000 km of roads and highways and constitutes one of the focal points of ITS development. The Trans- European networks not only encompass the physical infrastructure of the route, but they also include the cross functioning of services and accessibility by way of positioning and navigation systems. Comparatively speaking, the investment in systems of traffic planing is less than that required by the infrastructure itself. Funding for the multi-annual programme of is 340 million Euro s for the promotion of research support (which has a 50 % co-funding) and implementation (with a 10 % cofunding). Similar mechanisms have been foreseen for the period In 1994, the major lines of planning for infrastructures on a European scale were adopted, and then in 1997 came the application of these to ITS through the Trans-European Networks for Transport Programme, TEN-T, of the General Office of Energy and Transport, the DGVII. Europe relies on three classes of TEN-T projects involving ITS : Projects of a European scope, for the provision of Europeanwide services ; projects of Euro-regional scope, for the cross functioning of services in border areas ; and other projects of national or regional scope, which include other initiatives of each individual country. The directional lines of TEN-T are centred on the continuity of services based on active co-operation among systems of traffic planning on different scales and on the cross functioning of the telematic infrastructure. The objectives are 5. Through other programs, TranStar comprises a system of management of non-toll roads, incidents on them and on arterial roads, a system of control of traffic signals, and crisis management, all with a set of techniques such as ramp counters, closed circuit TV, and variable message signs. For major incidents, up to 30 minutes is saved per action taken, and they have stopped losing 572,095 vehicular hours and $8.4 million per year (Intelligent Transportation Systems. Benefits : 1999 Update, 1999).
9 THE TERRITORIAL EFFECT OF INTELLIGENT TRANSPORT SYSTEM 47 based on the development of traffic databases, the monitoring of weather and traffic conditions, and traffic planning through Control Centres and Traffic Information Centres (TIC), with the policy in management of highway traffic being the responsibility of national, regional and local public authorities and transportation operators. The European Commission has put into action the Programme of Research and Development for telematic or intelligent highway transportation (Road Transport Telematics) whose strong points are: Variable Message Signs (VMS) for managing traffic, as instruments that increase the driving capability of drivers. They are also used to provide information and to warn about dangers. Then there are the services of the Radio Data System Traffic Message Channel (RDS-TMC) with permanent messages on the air that are recoverable at any moment, independent of the language, along with electronic payments and pre-travel information. The European-Wide projects are those where a consensus exists for the use of funds to provide services. They involve of set of countries in the European Union. The following can be cited as being highlighted : a. ITS City Pioneer, which is related to the deployment of intelligent infrastructures and services in metropolitan and surrounding areas. b. Ecortis, which is centred on the promotion and co-ordination of traffic information service by way of RDS/TMC. Between 1995 and 1998, eleven of the 15 countries of the EU had this service, along some stretches of road. c. EDEN, which is related to the network of Traffic Information Centres as the nerve centre for the exchange of information in border areas of Europe. All member nations participated, and it ended in March, 1998 (The Well-Timed Study. Vol. 1, 1998). d. MARTA, a project of co-ordination and harmonisation of the systems that provide Traffic and Travel Information services of various countries : France, Wales, Portugal, and The Netherlands. It started in 1998 and ended in December, e. CESARE, which is centred on the development of cross-functional onthe-road electronic payment services in Europe for all types of vehicles. It started in December, The Euro-Regional projects are focussed on co-operation in border areas in order to implement continuous and cross-functioning services. f. CENTRICO, which co-ordinates plans for the management and use of traffic information services in order to locate them in central Europe in Belgium, Luxembourg, parts of France, Germany and The Netherlands. The scope of activities are the following : traffic centres that apply to all levels in the hierarchy with information for end users ; RDS/TMC implementation, with an extension to DAB, the Internet, and others ; on-the-road traffic and driving planning ; interrelation of ITS of the European networks and suburban areas, which was initiated in 1997 with three large telematic networks, the planning for incidents, tactical controls
10 48 NETCOM, vol. 17, n 1-2, 2003 and strategic aspects for suburban areas ; a unified electronic payment scheme through the use of smart cards, used in Italy, France and other European countries, with new systems being developed in Belgium, Germany, and The Netherlands and its cross-functionality being worked on. g. SERTI, which co-ordinates the management of traffic (VMS, RDS-TMC) and the use of information services in the European regions of Germany, France and Italy, and, since 1996, Spain. h. VIKING, which co-ordinates the management of bilateral and national traffic, and the implementation of ITS in the areas of Northern Europe, which include Denmark and parts of Finland, northern Germany, Sweden and Norway. The intermodal aspects, support for personal travel and cargo shipping deserve to be noted, as well as traffic management in metropolitan and surrounding areas. The groundwork was initiated in the autumn of The Transportation and Travel Information Service, developed under the auspices of VIKING, covers Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland and northern Germany (with the confederated states of Niedersachsen, Schleswig-Holstein, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Hamburg and Bremen). The Northern parts of Finland, Sweden and Norway do not participate. Information at the national level or at the Northern Europe regional level exists in each language (VIKING-Area) i. CORVETTE (Co-ordination and Validation of the Deployment of Advanced Transport Telematic Systems in the Alpine Area), which co-ordinates regional, bilateral and multilateral ITS in the Alpine area that covers Austria, part of Germany (Bavaria) and the north of Italy. It was initiated in the autumn of 1996 and is centred on the identification of a set of traffic data and the monitoring of conditions for the exchange of data, traffic management using VMS, RDS-TMS information services, and unified electronic payment. j. ARTS, which co-ordinates the implementation of regional, national, and multilateral ITS in southwestern Europe and includes Portugal, France, and Spain. It was initiated in the autumn of 1997, and its objective is centred on offering continuity and quality in the management of traffic and of information services in the main corridors between countries. The key players in the project are the public traffic administrations. The national and regional projects include a set of initiatives supported by the European Union. Nearly all the countries have projects. Belgium: definition of a business plan for the implementation of ITS in Flanders and creation of a regional traffic information and control centre, in Valonia. Denmark : implementation of traffic management for the Øresund connection between the Copenhagen area and Malmö in Sweden. France : evaluation of the impact of TELTEN2 for the management of traffic in the majority of corridors and implementation of ITS infrastructure in international corridors and in the large arterial passes in the suburban areas of Paris,
11 THE TERRITORIAL EFFECT OF INTELLIGENT TRANSPORT SYSTEM 49 Lyon, Marseilles, Lille, Bordeaux, and Toulouse ; network architecture for intelligent transportation including multimodal approach. Germany : extension of the traffic control centre in Ludwigsburg in Baden- Württemberg and implementation of an on-the-road automated guidance system in border areas using VMS in Bavaria on routes that lead to Austria and the Czech Republic. Greece : analysis of prerequisites for unified electronic payment and monitoring of network traffic. Italy : implementation of RDS-TMC in the major corridors that connect the important northern cities (Milan, Turin, Verona, Trieste, Genoa, and Bologna) with France and Austria, and a Traffic Control System in the Rome area. Luxembourg: definition and implementation of a system of global management of traffic. The Netherlands : implementation of VMS all along the Trans-European network for dynamic route information and parking in the peripheral areas. Portugal : design of national traffic control systems, taking as priorities the inter-city corridors and the Lisbon area. Spain : realisation of centres for traffic network planning, instalment of dynamic signal systems on Trans-European routes and the ring roads around Madrid, the possibility of the implementation of RDS-TMC. The United Kingdom: implementation of RDS-TMC, implementation of data collection in real time for the construction of a network of third-party service providers, starting first with a traffic control centre in southern Wales for the north of England, management of traffic information in Wales, management of road traffic including the cross exchange of data in border areas between England and Wales, multimodal information and emergency response provision in case of accidents. CONCLUSIONS This paper takes into account the conflict of interests between the need to restrict the growth of mobility and the emergence of a free-flowing and flexible social network that depends on mobility which is free from restrictions. In this dilemma the role to be played by the ITS (Intelligent Transport Systems) is fundamental. The ITS consist of a combination of information, communication and technology for vehicle transport to make infrastructures more accessible. The ITS are not a single technology but instead a set of Information and Communication technologies that are applied to the infrastructures for vehicle transport. The increase in velocity in urban and metropolitan systems has reached its peak and already greater accessibility cannot be obtained through further increasing this velocity or from the construction of new routes. Greater accessibility should be based on improving the efficiency, effectiveness and safety of transport systems.
12 50 NETCOM, vol. 17, n 1-2, 2003 The Traffic Information Centres (TIC) increase the efficiency, effectiveness and safety of transport systems as well as helping to solve problems related to the scarcity of new services. The TIC are applied to the processes of management and distribution of goods and passenger traffic both for infrastructures and the vehicles themselves and to all modes of transport. They do not consist of a specific technology but a generic technology capable of being applied to all production activities and services. The concept of ITS is applied, in the strictest sense, to modes of land transport. As the first symptoms of congestion appeared in cities, it is here where research began to search for solutions. However in the wider sense it is extended to all modes of transport. Some of the technology used by the ITS already existed such as the GPS, or the database used in SIG, to mention those that use the georeference as their basis, however others have been developed from new to be used in vehicles and infrastructures. However, Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) not only cause a positive impact in a region by improving the efficiency of fixed and mobile infrastructures in transport systems, but also increase safety levels and contribute to a more sustainable form of transport. Being a collection of technologies that provide geographical information and radically increase communication, they are closely related to Geographical Information Systems (GIS), which are also ideal for processing information. Although the application of the GIS to transport dates back to the 1980 s, the development of the ITS has enormously increased their potential and the interrelation between both technologies has generated the appearance of new communication networks. These are characterised by the handling of a considerable amount of information ; the use of technology based on georeferencing and finally the management and planning, in the widest sense, of transport systems. For more information dealing with this theme see the article by Seguí, Ruiz : Geographical Information Systems and Intelligent Transport Systems : Technologies used form new communication networks. REFERENCES ABLER Ronald F. (1975), Effect of space-adjusting technologies on thehuman geography of the future, in Abler R.F., Janelle D.G., Philbrick A. & Sommer J. (eds), Human geography in a shrinking world, North Scituate, MA, Duxbury Press, pp Background document to Emerging Thematic Priorities for Research in Europe Scoping Document (http://priorities.jrc.es/). BAKIS Henry (1983), Doctoral dissertation, Paris (1988), Entreprise, espace, télécommunication. Nouvelles technologies de l information et organisation de l espace économique, Paradigme, Collection Transports et communications n 13, Caen, 253 p.
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