Traffic management: New Internet coming to your local roads

Since the mid 1980's there have been proposals to implement traffic management via wireless. Often referred to as Intelligent Transport System, the goal is to enable analysis and traffic flow services on a nation's road system.

Since the mid 1980's, there have been proposals to implement traffic management via wireless. Often referred to as Intelligent Transport System (ITS), the goal is to enable analysis and traffic flow services on a nation's road system.  Study and working groups have been active in the Canada, United States, United Kingdom, Japan, New Zealand, and Australia. Other European countries are in various stages of reviewing similar requirements.

ITS services would be operated via wireless devices attached to any motor vehicle. It could monitor volume, speed and direction of traffic. There would be significant benefits of such a tool for various agencies. The current designs being contemplated are looking for synergies on platform standards along with radio assignment in the 5.9 GHz frequency band.

During initial development the goals became clear and benefits in public safety and traffic management could save billions of dollars. Fast forward to see how we use technology today brings new concerns and other challenges that may cause significant concerns with respect to Law, Privacy and a host of security implications.  It could also prove to be a terrorist's or hacker's dream come true and thus a whole new level of challenges arise.

Australia has just released its analysis and request for comment for ITS solutions and the future of such a project. In it you will find some fascinating ideas, concepts and issues that raise more questions than there are answers. The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) is specifically looking for comments on the radio frequencies recommended for such a deployment. There is no current timetable when this infrastructure would be enabled. Is this the beginning of a new era of how people management maybe becomes the norm? Perhaps...

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