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ITS (UK) highlights industry’s environmental contribution

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Important contributions that intelligent transport systems have made to improving air quality are being highlighted today by ITS (UK) to mark National Clean Air day.

The Association recognises that the transport sector is one of the major sources of air pollution, which leads to both ill health and premature deaths.

Experts from its Smart Environment Interest Group have explained in a short report how ITS technologies play a significant role in reducing the negative impacts of transport.

Key contributions, the group says, include supporting a reduction in the number of car journeys that are being made, a shift in travel behaviour towards to less polluting modes and the improvement of vehicles themselves to lower emission levels.

ITS technologies support the implementation of measures such as congestion charging and road user charging which influence traveller behaviour and reduce the use of polluting transport modes, the report says.

It adds that the monitoring, informing and controlling functionalities of ITS technologies support the delivery of interventions that aim to influence travel behaviour towards more environmentally sustainable transport options and driving styles.

These include initiatives such as low emission zones, bus priority signalling, multi modal journey planners and real time traveller information and eco-driving navigation systems.

Meanwhile in-vehicle ITS technologies such as eco-driving assistance, adaptive cruise control and anti-idling improve driving efficiency and reduce air pollution, the report says. For example eco-driving techniques can lead to significant fuel (and emissions) savings ranging from 2% to over 40% in some reported trials, it highlights.

Furthermore network level ITS technologies like adaptive speed management, traffic signal coordination, fleet management and smart motorways minimise the impact of congestion to improve air quality.