The term Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) was coined over two decades ago to designate applications of information and communication technologies to the operational management of transportation networks. The main promise of ITS has been very consistent over that period: network capacity can be freed up by optimizing traffic controls and empowering users with accurate travel information.
It can be debated how much faith practitioners and policy makers have placed in technology by investing their resources, as well as the extent to which Intelligent Transportation Systems have delivered on their promise. However, there is no question that steady and sometimes spectacular advances in computing technologies and usage trickle down to transportation applications in important ways. As a result, new products and services emerge continuously. They include systems that address the direct needs of networks managers, as well as others that are developed in tangential markets (e.g. automotive) or even through non-market mechanisms (e.g. many mobile web applications).
This talk presentation reviews major trends in information and communication technologies and demonstrate how each of them is driving innovative transportation services. We attempt to envision how those trends might develop in the future, so that we can finally examine some of their implications for travel demand and network management. There lie both challenges and opportunities for transportation engineers and planners, but either way, profound changes appear inevitable.