Industrial Automation

Intelligent Traffic Systems: Overcoming 4 Common Deployment Challenges

Pradeep Kumar
Because intelligent traffic systems are relatively new, there’s no single way to deploy these concepts and technologies. Here’s how you can still move your ITS systems forward with emerging technologies.




Over the last decade, more cities, municipalities, state authorities and private-sector businesses are deploying intelligent traffic system (ITS) solutions to change the way society moves.


While the benefits of ITS are clear—it can improve traffic efficiency and reduce traffic issues—deployment isn’t easy or straightforward. While many obstacles often stand between ITS dreams and reality, these four stand out. Here, we offer advice on how to overcome them.


1. The lack of a standard ITS framework

Because intelligent traffic systems are relatively new, there’s no single “right” way to deploy these concepts and technologies. This means that the industry also lacks consensus on standards and best practices to follow.


Cities, municipalities, state authorities and private entities are left to figure out how to design, deploy and manage ITS on their own, with little guidance along the way.


But it’s important to realize that you don’t have to make ITS decisions alone—and it’s not your job to understand everything about these emerging technologies and how they can be used.


Instead, find a trusted partner that understands intelligent traffic systems, can align your needs with the right technology, can explain what to expect in terms of ROI and can help you deploy systems effectively to provide maximum benefit.


2. Working with outdated infrastructure

Many emerging technologies on the horizon play well with intelligent traffic systems and will be required so they can achieve their full value:

  • IPv6 will help vehicles communicate with highways and one another.
  • V2X (vehicle-to-everything) uses sensors, cameras and wireless connectivity to connect cars to their drivers and surroundings.
  • Edge computing processes sensor data closer to where information is generated for faster response times.
  • 5G supports services like automated tolling and mobile, high-speed internet in vehicles for improved connectivity so that all kinds of devices can communicate.

But outdated or poor-performing networks can’t support these bandwidth-intensive technologies.


Some cities, municipalities, state authorities and private entities have experienced this first-hand as they attempt to deploy ITS solutions on their existing infrastructure. In one case, a city attempted to stream data from 1,000 cameras using a 100 Mb/s connection. It didn’t take long to discover that this wasn’t possible. Network infrastructure must be updated to support increasing bandwidth requirements and the Ethernet communications required for digitization.


If you plan to invest in intelligent traffic systems, then ensure that your network can support them—along with any other technology you may deploy down the road. A futureproof network is key to helping you achieve a solid ROI and making sure ITS technology functions as expected.


3. Investing despite small budgets

Investing in intelligent traffic systems isn’t inexpensive. It can be financially overwhelming to completely transform your infrastructure all at once.


Instead, create a plan to transition in phases. Work with a trusted network infrastructure partner that can map out what you should do—and when you should do it. By taking the time to assess where you’re at, where you want to go and the technology you currently have, you can identify gaps and pinpoint areas where legacy assets can be preserved. This allows you to make strategic investments based on where they’re needed most.


When deployed correctly, intelligent traffic systems offer fast ROI, which makes the upfront investment more practical. They reduce costs by providing a smarter way to troubleshoot and solve problems, plan and stage roadwork, divert traffic and respond to incidents, and support remote visibility and monitoring to maximize workers’ time.


4. Leadership’s lack of knowledge about ITS

With all the other tasks they’re responsible for—creating policies and procedures, overseeing safety and equipment, and supervising employees, for starters—many transportation leaders don’t have time to understand the value of ITS or what it enables. They’re too bogged down in day-to-day operations. It can be a full-time job to simply keep up with technology in the transportation industry.


That’s where the right partner comes into play. They should not only provide education on the value of intelligent traffic systems and what they can do, but also help you make a financial case so that everyone understands what’s possible and nothing is lost in technology translation.


Helping you get ITS solutions off the ground

Belden’s ITS solutions empower cities and municipalities to accelerate digitization and improve traffic flow and safety.


We act as your partner in creating network architecture that makes smart roads possible and supports huge volumes of data coming from multiple sources at once, such as cameras, detectors, lights, meters, sensors, apps and connected vehicles.


Our Customer Innovation Centers have teams of in-house transportation system experts who have walked in your shoes, understand your challenges and can help you design, configure, deploy and maintain a vendor-agnostic network so that your transportation plans can thrive without constant—and costly—updates, upgrades and product changes.




Related resources: