December 16, 2008 By News Staff
The European Commission today took a step toward the deployment and use of intelligent transport systems (ITS) in road transport. ITS can significantly contribute to a cleaner, safer and more efficient transport system. The action plan adopted today suggests a set of concrete measures and a directive laying down the framework for their implementation.
"Making transport greener, reducing congestion and saving lifes on Europe's roads are high priorities for the Commission," said Antonio Tajani, Commission vice-president responsible for transport.. "Intelligent transport systems will help us make progress towards achieving these goals. Today's initiative will therefore foster a more efficient, safer and more sustainable mobility in Europe."
"The Intelligent Transport System Action Plan proposed by the Commission today will provide much needed policy instruments to complement the work that the Intelligent Car initiative and the eSafety forum have been doing to make cars safer, cleaner and smarter," said Viviane Reding, EU commissioner for information society and media. "We are determined to drive Europe towards cleaner, safer and less congested road transport, and the early roll-out of life saving breakthroughs like ESC and eCall."
ITS apply information and communication technologies to various modes of transport, which can make European road users safer and less likely to get stuck in traffic, which in the long run can reduce their carbon footprint. The action plan, launched today as part of the Greening Transport Initiative, aims to accelerate the deployment of these systems in road transport, and their interfaces with other modes of transport.
From commuters to hauliers, everybody needs reliable, real-time traffic information for better routing planning and to avoid delays caused by traffic jams. Multi-modal travel planners will allow seamless travel in and between cities and towns and across borders. Relatively small investments in ITS can allow better use of existing infrastructure, said the EC in a release. The action plan proposes strong European coordination of ITS and services in various member states to accelerate the deployment of these systems across Europe.
Intelligent transport systems can substantially reduce road sector CO2 emissions. The costs of traffic congestion -- estimated at 1 percent of the European GDP -- could be reduced by up to 10 percent through the deployment of ITS, and could prevent more than 5,000 deaths in road accidents.
All over the country, community leaders are looking to boost economic development through various initiatives. One key element in many of those initiatives is the use of information technology. When local governments build IT infrastructure, create e-government applications, assist high-tech startups or otherwise focus on technology, they create conditions that draw businesses to their communities and help retain skilled workers. This paper discusses and provides examples of these various ways local government can use technology to ultimately make a community more attractive to businesses, visitors and residents.