Cleantech market research firm Pike Research has predicted that global investment in smart (intelligent) transportation systems will total $13.1bn between 2011 and 2017. This is a broad industry sector, though, including various areas of transport, such as passenger vehicles, roads, vehicle chargers, and transit fleets, controlled by various agencies or private entities and designed to achieve a range of policy and operational goals.
In fact most of this investment will be in intelligent traffic management systems, the sector with the broadest range of potential applications and relevant to virtually all cities. Increased interest from developing countries is expected in the latter part of the forecast period.
Smart transportation technologies bring a lot of benefits, including enhance mobility, reduced fuel consumption, lower emissions and improved safety. So it’s no surprise that cities, public transport operators and fleet managers are looking to invest - smart transport is seen as a way to maximise existing transportation systems without major new investment.
As the Smart Transportation Systems report points out, the common enabling factor is embedded intelligence, which allows the vehicles and infrastructure to communicate and to respond to outside management and external conditions. That’s where the Green ICT factor comes in.
The Smart 2020 report detailed the savings in carbon emissions that could be made from the use of ICT in logistics and transport. Optimising logistics using ICT could result in a 16% reduction in transport emissions and a 27% reduction in
storage emissions globally. But what drives this market is the fact that smart transport brings other benefits. As well as making savings in fuel costs, transport moves more quickly and safely. For many transport operators, particularly public transport, it’s a good place to put your money when there’s not much of it around.