According to the Texas Transportation Institute, traffic jams and road congestion cost the USA over 87 billion dollars every year in wasted fuel and productivity losses. This represents an annual cost of 750 dollars per traveler.
In the USA, as in the rest of the world and in particular in emerging countries, traffic congestion has become a major problem and congestion alleviation a critical challenge at all levels: economic efficiency (minimizing time and productivity losses), public health (reducing CO2 emissions, harmful particles and noise pollution), democracy and freedom (ensuring individual mobility needs are met). It is, however, impossible to infinitely expand the road system or public transport infrastructures. In many major cities, it is very difficult and costly to build new roads due to the lack of available land.
Governments, local and regional authorities and private companies are investing heavily in connected mobility, especially in ITS (Intelligent Transportation Systems). This is a vast collection of technologies, processes and services which put operators, travelers and infrastructures in constant contact to anticipate the risks of slowdown or congestion, improve traffic flow and optimize the use of different modes of transport available to individuals and companies. ITS encompass a number of fields including Advanced Traveler Information Systems, connected cars, Advanced Transportation Management Systems, ITS-Enabled Transportation Pricing Systems and fully integrated intelligent transportation systems.
All these complex technologies and activities require wide-scale deployment, broad-based partnerships, active public policies and massive investment. South Korea, for example, has launched an "ITS Master Plan" requiring a total investment of 3.2 billion dollars between now and 2020. Meanwhile, Japan invests 700 million dollars a year in ITS (source: Information Technology and Innovation Foundation).
Faced with the scale of the requirements, the intelligent transport sector is growing at a rapid rate. According to market research firm MarketsandMarkets, the worldwide ITS market is expected to be worth 19 billion Euros in 2017, with an annual growth rate of 12 %. In Europe, according to an analysis by Berg Insight, this market represented a total of 650 million Euros in 2010. It is expected to increase by 15 % a year to reach 1.3 billion Euros in 2015.
Potential, risks, developments, innovation partnerships and regulations... ITS, mobility and connected cars represent both the future market and a multi-impact problem.