In the past several decades, intelligent transportation systems have garnered popularity, due to considerable advancements in information technology, the development of cost-effective smart devices, and improvement in sensing technologies.

While initially the realm of urban planners, intelligent transportation systems and their required improvements to the existing infrastructure will quickly spread to rural and exurban areas. Environmental benefits, such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions, can aid every location and community.

The technology industry is increasingly seeking opportunities in the intelligent transportation system market by collaborating with government agencies and other players. Data analytics, big data, AI (artificial intelligence), machine learning, 5G networks, and the IoT (Internet of Things) are all factors that will play a role in the development of the intelligent transportation system.

Trends to Watch

There are a number of converging trends that are leading to increased use of smart transportation systems. For example, analysts at Transparency Market Research determined the need for developing a smart transport infrastructure to control the rising traffic congestion across various metropolitan cities, which may bring considerable growth for the intelligent-transportation system market. The global intelligent transportation system market is extrapolated to expand at a compound annual growth rate close to 10% between 2020 and 2030. The market is estimated to reach a global valuation of $60 billion by 2030.

Beyond a rise in traffic congestion, urbanization is another trend to watch. The growth in global population, particularly in urban regions, has compelled government bodies, local municipalities, and urban planners to innovate and introduce new and innovative intelligent transportation systems. The increasing demand for efficient traffic management, parking management, automotive telematics, freight management, and efficiency in public transport is expected to spearhead the growth in the next decade.

Another trend worth noting is lack of funding for infrastructure. The ASCE (American Society of Civil Engineers) Infrastructure Report card in the U.S. estimates there’s a $90 billion backlog of transit maintenance projects, and that’s expected to reach $122 billion by 2032.

The good news is advances in technology will also propel the intelligent transportation forward. Big Data has enabled economical and efficient analysis, storage, and use of data necessary for flexible and innovative intelligent-transportation systems. The onset of 5G communication, dwindling prices of smart devices, and consistent advancements in information and communication technology are likely to drive the market in the coming years. The analysts also mention the growing penetration of machine learning, the IoT, and AI as prime growth accelerators for the market.

Impact of COVID-19

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has placed several barriers across the intelligent-transportation system market. Restrictions on cross-border trade, stringent lockdowns, and growing emphasis on containing the transmission of the novel coronavirus are expected to disrupt the supply chain of raw materials and other components required to develop intelligent- transportation systems.

We see this is the case in many transit agencies across the country. Peggy Smedley recently covered three—the Chicago Transit Authority, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, and JTA (Jacksonville Transportation Authority)—looking at the biggest changes and challenges following the pandemic, how the IoT, AI, big data, and more factor in, and what’s next.

Local authorities can make the most of this situation to test and install different intelligent-transportation systems components.

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