IRF: How has the introduction of “ITS Spot Service” helped Japan’s traffic congestion problem?
Shoichi Suzuki: There are two aspects. Drivers who enjoy the ITS Spot Service can avoid traffic congestion with provided real time road traffic information via ITS Spot. It has confirmed by satisfaction surveys that the most of users highly evaluate mobility applications of ITS Spot Service as described in the paper. Furthermore, increasing probe data collected by ITS Spots allows road operators to analyze and to take right counter measures against traffic congestion problem. Penetration rate of ITS Spot Service among drivers is not enough yet but it seems very promising tool for road operators to implement scientific PDCA approach against traffic congestion problem.
IRF: Discuss the co-benefits of this technology, such as enabling new services to road users and operators
Shoichi Suzuki: The point is that this technology is based on Electronic Toll Collection system. Many Asian countries and regions adopt Toll road system contrary to Western countries. There are rooms for such countries to expand their ETC system in order to reduce congestion, accidents, environmental load and even the operation and maintenance cost of road infrastructure. With this technology users can enjoy not only ETC service but also new various value-added-services with a unified onboard unit. The more drivers use the service, the more probe data will be collected, which make road management advanced. It may a kind of win-win situation between toll road users and operators.
IRF: As a researcher, what is the chief value of presenting your work at an IRF conference?
Shoichi Suzuki: There are so many challenges on roads. Not only physical counter measures but also soft means employing information and communication technologies will contribute to solve them. I believe our work serves as an informative example for IRF colleagues because many countries and regions introduce ETC systems and simultaneously suffering heavy traffic congestion problem, high number of accident fatalities, air pollution, raising O&M cost caused by heavy vehicles and etc., those will be eased by the advanced road management realized by our multi-application approach based on ETC technology.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]