Other Technologies

Table of Contents:

For the optimal utilization of road network capacity and efficient traffic management during incidents, several countries have adopted a new technology named VMS. These messages appear on electronic displays in the form of text and graphics to notify drivers about any kind of disruption in traffic, such as accidents, obstacles, roadworks, etc. Moreover, the signs can display the warning and advisories about taking alternative routes or limiting travel speed, and disseminate the information about the duration and location of the incidents [59].

Variable speed limits form part of VMS technology, where it indicates a flexible speed limit of the vehicles on the roads [5]. As opposed to the conventional speed limit signs, which are fixed-valued, the variable speed limits are adjusted in accordance with the present environmental and traffic conditions. Therefore, during traffic incidents, bad weather, or roadworks, the maximum speed limits are reduced compared to that of the optimal condition, and commuters are advised to adhere to the limit accordingly.

It has been proven in several studies that VMS can potentially reduce the number of secondary crashes [12] [60]. Moreover, Dos et al. [6] reported that the combination of VMS and variable speed limit techniques can be a potential solution to reduce rear-end collisions. Therefore, apart from predictive solutions, these technologies can also assist drivers in the occurrence of a traffic incident. However, these technologies are still in the nascent stage. The awareness of drivers, which is significantly less than optimal in many cities, compromises the effectiveness of these messages as traffic guidance tools [61]. Therefore, with growing recognition for the efficacy of VMS technology, we hope to see a significant increase in the impact of VMS on overall traffic conditions in the coming years.

Conclusion

For efficient traffic incident management, it is important to adopt new technologies in urban areas. The prediction of parameters, such as incident duration or congestion length, has proved to be highly effective in this regard. However, the incident management authorities need to ensure that commuters and drivers install those applications in their systems and follow the guidance provided. Moreover, the prediction models should be robust, accurate, and adaptive to the varying ground conditions. Apart from that, of late, the VMS system has been an integral part of the dynamic routing guidance system. Therefore, several smart cities across the world are investing a significant amount of resources in installing VMS displays in different locations.

Last but not the least, prevention is better than cure. Hence, road users need to be careful and responsible enough while driving or walking along roads and, thus, play their part in minimizing the risk of incidents on the roads. Moreover, advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) are being employed to assist drivers while driving or parking. The safety features of ADAS are designed to alert drivers or take control of vehicles in the occurrence of an incident [62]. Therefore, ADAS have proved to be efficient in reducing road accidents significantly. There are other technologies associated with ADAS as well, such as lane departure warning systems, automatic lane centering, automated lighting, and incorporating traffic warnings, which can aid in minimizing human errors [63].

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