“Where rail and canals revolutionised transport in the past, data and software will be the drivers of change in transport in the 21st century,” Public Transport Minister Alan Kelly told 1,500 delegates from 55 countries. One of the largest conferences to be held in Ireland this year, the European Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) conference opened in Dublin yesterday at the National Convention Centre, Dublin, and runs to 7th June.
Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) involves the application of technology to the transport sector as a means of enabling safer, more sustainable and more efficient movement of goods and people. Over 10,000 people across 300 organisations are employed directly in ITS activity in Ireland and is worth in excess of €500 million to the Irish economy each year.
The industry has grown by approximately 10% each year in Ireland over the last five years and globally it is estimated to be a $100 billion dollar industry. The conference will attract all the major global players in the ITS industry with over 1,500 delegates from 55 countries bringing an estimated buying power of €15 billion to Dublin.
The theme of the conference is ‘Real Solutions for Real Needs’ and is co-ordinated by Ertico – ITS Europe and hosted by ITS Ireland – a collective of public and private Irish organisations engaged in ITS.
Ireland will spend over €17 million on ITS deployment this year between public bodies and local authorities. Some of the better known ITS initiatives in Ireland include:
- Smartphone Apps for the provision of Real Time Passenger Information for the public transport system
- The Leap Card – the first integrated transport ticketing system for the Greater Dublin Area which will have over 300,000 users by year end
- The National Journey Planner – a smartphone application that identifies the best public transport routes between two points
- Electronic/Open Road Tolling as occurs on the M50
- Electric Car Charging Infrastructure – ESB committed to the roll out of nationwide infrastructure
- Parking guidance systems in most of our cities to alleviate traffic by directing people to appropriate parking