Digital technologies have developed rapidly over the past years and they are increasingly being introduced in transport. While Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) focus on digital technologies providing intelligence placed at the roadside or in vehicles, C-ITS focuses on the communication between those systems – whether it is a vehicle communicating with another vehicle, with the infrastructure, or with other C-ITS systems.
Cooperative Intelligent Transportation Systems (C-ITS) have shown potential of improving safety by allowing communication between vehicles and the tunnel infrastructure and enhance communication with other road users as well as with the traffic management centres. This is the conclusions from the report ITS Solutions for Safe Tunnels, that was published in 2014.
The Swedish road authorities explored the topic as part of the planning of the Stockholm Bypass tunnel.
The report was initiated by Swedish Road Administration and co-financed by Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T), and is a result of the ongoing work with autonomous and cooperative car technologies. The report is made by the Swedish research institute RISE Viktoria. The authors are Azra Habibovic, Mahdere Amanuel, Lei Chen and Cristofer Englund.
The aim of this study was to explore the role of C-ITS for safety improvements in long road tunnels such as the Stockholm Bypass tunnel, and to identify viable strategies and concepts. The focus was on the application of C-ITS in emergency management, handling standstill vehicles and dangerous goods.
An extensive literature review and discussions with various stakeholders was performed.
It is stated that it was important to start evaluating C-ITS in the operational environment and there was a need for a generic and holistic approach to the technology. Further on a C-ITS solution for tunnels had to provide a clear commercial advantage or some other type of return, especially for vehicle manufacturers, and/or be required by authorities. Future studies should explore how voluntary data sharing can be facilitated and incorporated into such solutions. C-ITS should also be seen as a complementary way of improving safety in road tunnels rather than a stand-alone solution and C-ITS for road tunnels cannot be considered as isolated solutions. They have to co-exits with the rest of the traffic and transportation system.