Network Operations arrow 3 Role of ITS arrow 3.3 Efficiency Gains
3.3 Efficiency gains through ITS Print

There are significant supply-side benefits of ITS in highways management.  Lane management has been one of the outstanding successes of ITS.  This includes HOV lanes, reversible flow lanes, variable speed limits and enforcement systems.  

These systems maximise the use of the infrastructure available, saving or postponing the very large costs of expanding the networks.

  • In Barcelona, Spain, the introduction of two lane management systems successfully increased the capacity of the road network, managing variations in demand at different times of day: a reversible flow lane and a shared lane for deliveries and traffic.
  • In the UK, the enforced Variable Speed Limit and reduction in lane switching on the M25 ‘controlled motorway’ has successfully improved the capacity of the motorway without increasing the number of traffic lanes.

While cost reduction is of interest to all road users, the associated benefits are most tangible to the operators of vehicle fleets and highway infrastructures.  ITS productivity benefits have been assessed from the perspectives of fleet managers, transit authorities, and toll agencies.  

ITS options include automatic vehicle location (AVL) and computer aided dispatch (CAD) using sophisticated logistics software and close communications between the dispatcher and the driver.  Each individual intervention appears marginal, but the overall effect in journey time reliability and time savings can make the difference between hitting a Just-in-Time delivery slot and missing it.

  • In the USA, advanced routeing and decision-making software and organisation for the routeing of time-sensitive deliveries increased deliveries per driver hour by 24%

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Extract from the PIARC Intelligent Transport Systems Handbook “Who Benefits from ITS?”

Annex B of Road Network Operations Handbook "Performance Indicators”