General Knowledge
IRF Geneva
International Road Federation
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Caroline Visser
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Unleashing the Potential of Intelligent Transport Systems

From March till end of May 2011, the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) held a stakeholder consultation on the future deployment of ITS. The consultation was based on a strategic note of the UNECE’s Transport Division, outlining the potential of ITS as the future to enhance mobility and to bring about a new culture for doing business, based on system performance and customer satisfaction. It acknowledged the potential role of ITS, especially in combating and reducing road accidents and fatalities, congestion and emissions, as well as an integrator between different transport modes. It also identified the need to reflect technological developments in legal frameworks, such as the 1968 Vienna convention, and the need to educate the public, governments and other decision making bodies about the benefits ITS can bring to society.  

The IRF has responded to the consultation with a strategic paper entitled “Unleashing the Potential of Intelligent Transport Systems”. The paper addresses IRF’s vision on the need for ITS, on what ITS ís and what the required policy, organisational and legal frameworks are to enable accelerated and coordinated deployment of ITS. Furthermore, the paper highlights three priority areas to be addressed to overcome barriers to ITS deployment: 1) to create a better understanding of the benefits of ITS, 2) the importance of sound and solid ITS strategies and 3) the need for stakeholder cooperation.