Beijing is planning to adopt a series of intelligent transportation systems (ITS) to alleviate the city's traffic congestion, officials said.
The use of high-tech devices in buses, taxis, public car parks and bus stations will greatly improve the transportation efficiency, said Liu Xiaoming, deputy director of Beijing Municipal Committee of Communication.
Liu told a news conference yesterday about the plan and officially announced the 14th World Congress on ITS was to be held in Beijing Exhibition Centre in October 2007.
"Road construction and expansion will be affected badly without using ITS," Liu said.
ITS can be used in many traffic-related areas.
Bus stops can be equipped with electronic boards, showing when different buses will arrive. It allows passengers to know how long they need to wait for their buses.
Electronic parking map guidance systems in cars can also pinpoint available spaces to drivers.
And electronic bus tickets can serve as a kind of indicator for bus companies to know when and where the bus service is needed most.
"The core of ITS is to improve the efficiency, convenience and security of transportation and reduce pollution," said Wang Xiaojing, director of the National Intelligent Transportation System Centre.
The traffic development plan in the next five years in Beijing includes guiding systems for parking, signal and controlling systems for traffic police, global positioning systems (GPS) for vehicles, and non-stop tolling systems for drivers.
"Combining information technology with the conventional transportation system marks a new traffic era, which will supply safe and efficient transport to both drivers and passengers," Wang said.
China started research on ITS in the mid-1990s.
Beijing won the right to host the 14th world ITS session in November 2003.
China is believed to be the first developing country to host the conference, following the United States, the UK, Japan and other developed nations.
Source: China Daily