The world of ITS (Intelligent Transportation Systems) is in for a change. Increasing congestion, new safety regulations and more emphasis on the environment will lead to a fast introduction of existing and new intelligent applications on a broad scale. Automatic electronic payment is the hype in Europe, LPR (License Plate Recognition) systems are becoming common practice and the AHS (Automated Highway System) for driverless cars is just around the corner. In order to cope with all this, a communications highway is needed.
Although some of the applications will use radio communication as a carrier, a fiber optic infrastructure is already in place, or is expected to be put in place soon. In an ITS environment it's fairly easy to install fiber and copper cable as the authorities or the concessionaire own the right of way. The increase of ITS applications and the extensive use of CCTV will undoubtedly lead to a fiber based backbone.As for the network, special attention needs to be paid to the environmental conditions as the equipment often needs to go into unconditioned shelters along the highway. It should be easy to include spur nodes for picking up remote end-devices.
Initial experience in the ITS sector was gained with the OTN product line in North and South America. The first system was installed back in 1996 and is still in operation.
Some important ITS projects around the world implemented by OTN Systems are: