Browsing this web site you accept techinical and statistical cookies. close [ more info ]

ICT-based innovation of transport: the links with spatial development

by Raffael Argiolu | Rob van der Heijden | Vincent Marchau | Daan Drenth

The development of Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) has taken a leap in the past decade.
Under strong influence of new Information and Communication Technology (ICT), industries and scientific institutes have put much effort on developing a range of intelligent applications for vehicles to drive safer, more comfortable, to make more efficient use of current and future infrastructure and to manage fleets more accurately.
Although a large part of this intelligent transportation innovation process is the result of a ‘technology push’ (Marchau, 2000), policymakers show increasing interest in ITS as a tool for solving traffic and transport problems facing society (e.g. congestion, efficient use of infrastructure, traffic safety). This interest of policymakers is backed by findings of preliminary scientific research, which show that although many uncertainties exist, promising perspectives seem within reach (Marchau & Van der Heijden, 2003).
The fact that ITS has great potential raises new questions on the implementation effects of ITS, which are foreseen in different fields, and are still unclear. These issues are addressed in the new research program BAMADAS (Behavioural Analysis and Modelling for the Design and Implementation of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems - see This program consists of six PhD projects from Delft University of Technology and Nijmegen University and started in September 2003. One of the PhD-projects, called SPACE (see, focuses at the long term effect of ITS on spatial development. The focus of this project, although still under construction, will be described in this paper.
The main hypothesis in project SPACE is that ITS-packages will in the long term have significant spatial effects on the location pattern of, in particular, firms. Business activities are assumed to be more sensible to transportation systems than for example family households.
The hypothesis is based on two assumptions. First it is assumed that certain ITS applications can contribute to (differences in) accessibility. ITS (in particular traffic control) has proven to be able to improve throughput in transportation networks and consequently to improve access to nearby locations. Secondly, it is assumed that actors, both suppliers and demanders of business locations, regard the differences in quality of transportation systems and their contribution to accessibility of different zones, as important for decisions on the (re)development of these zones as business locations. Demanders of locations are business companies. Suppliers of locations are for instance municipalities and real estate developers.To study this hypothesis, the study is structured in three parts. The first part aims at specifying a theoretical framework. Some of the underlying thoughts will be described in sections two and three of this paper. The second part of the project consists of a backcasting study, to find out the path of development to be followed regarding the combinations of ITS applications, to improve accessibility. We will call the development of certain combinations of applications‘ITS packages’. Section three and four briefly describe this second part. The final stage consists of a survey study that still has to be elaborated. The current idea is to interview‘suppliers’ (municipalities and real estate developers) and ‘demanders’ (business firms) of locations in a certain area ‘what’ their spatial behaviour would be ‘if’ for instance ITS package ‘X’ would be implemented in this particular urban environment. Evidently, this would require a plausible translation of the ITS packages into imaginable long term changes in the transport system in this region. This stated behaviour measurement is a basis for analysing possible effect of ITS on spatial development.