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GSMA study indicates Bangkok could gain US$1B per year in benefits through ITS; reduced travel time, CO2 emissions and accidents

A new case-based research report produced by the GSMABuilding Digital Societies in Asia: Making Transportation Smarterindicates that the successful implementation of Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) in the capital city of Thailand could reduce travel times between two to four days per commuter per year. In addition, CO2 emissions contributed by road traffic could be reduced by 10-20%, or 3 to 5 million metric tonnes per year.

Further, ITS solutions could reduce the number of road accidents by up to 8,000 per year, possibly saving up to 100 lives or nearly a quarter of the annual road traffic deaths reported in Bangkok in 2013. GSMA estimates that reductions in travel time, CO2 emissions and road accidents through ITS could result in economic benefits worth up to $1 billion per year for Bangkok alone.

In addition, the case study on Bangkok’s transportation indicated that ITS can also potentially result in long-term positive changes in commuter habits and encourage citizens to use safe and environmentally friendly ways of commuting.

Among the key emerging markets in Asia, Thailand—and specifically the city of Bangkok—faces many transportation challenges around congestion and safety. On average, commuters in Thailand spend nearly 1.5 hours travelling to work per day. The country features in the bottom 10 countries in Asia in terms of per-capita CO2 emissions from transportation and has the highest road accident death rate in the region. These problems are more acute in Bangkok, which is infamous for particularly high levels of road congestion and poor traffic rule adherence.

… Although there are numerous benefits from implementing ITS solutions, challenges need to be overcome for it to reach its full potential. These include technical and operational challenges, the digital literacy and awareness of end users, project costs, and concerns about privacy and security. In successful deployments of ITS, governments have taken the lead in clearly articulating the vision, setting a national agenda and convening the relevant stakeholders. A successful environment requires collaboration between different stakeholders in the value chain, particularly automotive manufacturers, connectivity providers and governments and their agencies.

—“Building Digital Societies in Asia: Making Transportation Smarter”

ITS solutions integrate communication and information technology applications into the management and operation of transportation systems across all modes of transport. ITS applications range from traveller information and traffic management solutions to transport pricing and payment systems, as well as pedestrian and vehicle safety applications.


In a typical ITS solution, data collected from vehicles, infrastructure or users is aggregated, analysed and then delivered back to them, allowing for better informed and more timely commute decisions.

Increasing urbanisation around the world is putting more stress on city planners to make transportation infrastructure more efficient and safer. As the world becomes increasingly connected, advanced applications such as ITS provide innovative solutions to better manage traffic and enable users to be better informed and make safer, more coordinated, and ‘smarter’ use of transport networks.

ITS solutions can be delivered over a broad range of wireless and wire-line communications-based information and electronics technologies. Given the broad range of public and private interests, an ideal ITS environment involves collaboration between the different stakeholders in the value chain, in particular automotive manufacturers, connectivity providers as well as governments and their agencies, the report suggests.

The GSMA represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide, uniting nearly 800 operators with more than 250 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, including handset and device makers, software companies, equipment providers and internet companies, as well as organisations in adjacent industry sectors.

This report is the second in a series; the first report—Building digital societies in Asia—published in June 2015, analyzes key enablers to realizing the socioeconomic benefits of digitization, focusing on the proposed plans of six key countries: Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan and Thailand.


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