Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) are defined as “an agglomeration of diverse technologies that enhance the sustainability of transport systems in a safer, smarter and greener way”. ITS contributes to increased transport safety, seamlessness and convenience while reducing their environmental impact, thereby supporting core elements of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Some countries in the Asia-Pacific region have emerged as world leaders in testing and deploying advanced transport technologies, but many countries are still in the early stages of adopting ITS while others have yet to initiate the transition towards ITS. A major challenge to adoption of ITS in the region is the lack of adequate regulatory frameworks. This report assesses the state of ITS development and operation in Asia and the Pacific and offers policy recommendations for establishing ITS regulatory frameworks at the national and regional levels. Importance of ITS regulatory frameworks ITS regulatory frameworks are important for three categories of stakeholders in the development and operation of ITS, namely the public, private and academic sectors. ITS regulatory frameworks define the roles and responsibility of each class of stakeholder, setting standards and the direction for future research and development. Regulatory frameworks also help bridge the gap between developing and least developed countries in the region that are in the early stages of ITS deployment and those that are at an advanced stage of ITS operation. This is especially important in the region where some relatively less developed countries are attempting to leapfrog the ITS technology gap. Regulatory frameworks can provide the support during the technical transition period of interoperability and compatibility, and may help to determine the direction of these changes. ITS regulatory frameworks facilitate integration of current and future technologies for efficient ITS development and operation. ITS development and operation in the Asia-Pacific region This study reveals four milestones in ITS development in the region – the initiation stage, the take-off stage, the acceleration stage and the maturation stage. The timeline of ITS development in the Asia-Pacific region shows two different groups of countries – one where ITS development has proceeded in sequence from stage 1 to stage 4, and another where this is not the case. A SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis for ITS development and operation in the region shows that the strengths and opportunities outweigh the many challenges to effective development, operation and integration of ITS technologies in Asia and the Pacific. In addition, this report analyses the operation of three specific ITS applications in eight countries in the region – Azerbaijan, China, the Republic of Korea, the Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Thailand, Turkey and Viet Nam. The ITS applications reviewed are Advanced Traffic Management Systems (ATMS), Advanced Traveller Information Systems (ATIS) and Advanced Public Transport Systems (APTS). The study identifies ITS development opportunities in the Asia-Pacific region, including traffic management centres, smart mobility, cooperative-ITS and connected vehicles, and autonomous vehicles. The working of these applications is reviewed in the region together with practical examples from North America and Europe in order to help in formulating policy recommendations for ITS regulatory frameworks in the region. Goals of ITS development It is desirable that each country in the Asia-Pacific region develops ITS solutions tailored to its transport priorities in the four main areas of improving safety and mobility, and reducing congestions and environmental risks. The short-term goal of ITS development should be to address urgent transport problems and improve ITS infrastructure in countries that are in the early stages of deploying ITS applications. The long-term goal is to reduce ITS development gaps among countries in the region for providing seamless ITS services across Asia and the Pacific. Given that the regulations should cover ITS services currently in use in the region, prioritizing ITS applications would help to identify feasible ITS regulatory frameworks. The Asia-Pacific countries can be categorized into three groups according to the level of ITS development, which determines their ITS priorities in the areas of safety, mobility, congestion and environment. Policy recommendations This study outlines the following policy recommendations for establishing ITS regulatory frameworks and promoting ITS deployment in the Asia-Pacific region:
- Assess the current status of ITS deployment at the national level;
- Prepare a checklist of existing regulations;
- Identify transport priorities for the country as the basis for prioritizing ITS applications;
- Strengthen cooperation and collaboration with neighbouring countries that have deployed ITS effectively;
- Develop a coordinated and harmonized approach through regional strategies and policy plans to ITS deployment across the Asia-Pacific region.