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Demonstration of a V2X System for the prioritization of Public Transportation Vehicles (Buses) on Bus Rapid Transport System corridor in Ahmedabad, INDIA.

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In January 2022, Zero-Sum ITS Solutions India Private Limited, with approval from Ahmedabad Janmarg Ltd, a special purpose vehicle of the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation in INDIA, conducted a demonstration experiment showcasing a public transportation vehicle priority system. The project was supported by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, JAPAN and ZERO-SUM, LTD., JAPAN. The system functions over 600MHz band running on Japanese-originated, internationally standardized V2X communication technology.

This experiment demonstrated the use of a public transportation vehicle priority system in which a public transport vehicle such as a bus running on the Bus Rapid Transport System (BRTS) corridor communicates with traffic signals at the intersections through 600MHz band using V2X communication technology based on international standards that allows the bus to have priority passage at the intersections. This is the first demonstration of its kind in INDIA for a public vehicle on a public road such as BRTS corridor. The BRTS corridor in Ahmedabad by Ahmedabad Janmarg Ltd with a route length of over 103 Kms is one of the largest in India. It has a fleet of 378 buses that cover 178 stations, completing over 3656 trips daily. It is rated as one of the best Mass Rapid Transport System in India and served as an ideal ground for the conduction of such an experiment.

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Goal of the experiment

This demonstration experiment that uses the application of 600MHz band V2X communication technology, aims at enabling the higher adoption of public transport by reducing the stop time of the buses at signal intersections and improving their travel time and on-time performance. This will encourage the general public to adopt BRTS transportation, thereby reducing emissions and helping decongest the roads from traffic.

This technology prompts traffic signals installed enroute the path of buses on the BRTS corridor to identify the approach of the buses. Upon the detection of an approaching bus, the traffic signal will identify the speed and distance of the approaching bus and thereafter map the traffic signal cycle to turn green by the time the bus reaches the intersection, thereby enabling the bus to get signal free passage at the intersections safely and reduce the travel time to its destination. The demonstration used 600MHz band frequency for the communication of information, as 600MHz band allows for real time communication that has high penetrability through buildings and natural obstructions and has less interference from other devices.

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Outline of experiment

Several V2X communication devices that function on 600 MHz band were installed on buses that run on the BRTS corridor and at a busy traffic intersection on the BRTS corridor in Ahmedabad. When a bus that is equipped with a V2X communication device approaches the traffic intersection at which a V2X communication device is installed, the devices identify each other at over 400 meters. The V2X devices communicate with each other and the information that the bus is approaching the intersection along with parameters such as speed and position is immediately transmitted to the signaling system, enabling the system to modify and optimize the running signal cycle to turn green by the time the bus approaches within 100 to 150 meters of the intersection. This allows the priority passage of the bus over other modes of transportation at the intersection, enabling a reduction in travel time of the bus. Upon the bus, crossing the signal intersection, the system identifies the same and thereafter turns switches off the green corridor system for the BRTS lane, thereby ensuring a return to normal signal cycle for the non BRTS lanes. This system has helped demonstrate that a priority system for public transportation vehicles on public roads can be implemented.

Location of experiment

The experiment was conducted at the Panjrapool Traffic intersection on the BRTS corridor in the city of Ahmedabad which is the largest city in the western state of Gujarat in INDIA. This location was chosen as it is an important intersection on the BRTS corridor.

Results of the experiment

Upon completion of the demonstration, it was found that the emergency vehicle priority system that uses V2X communication technology running on 598-608 MHz that follow international standards set forth by ITU-R M.2084-1 and Japanese standard message set of ITS Connect TD-001, are very stable, as the communication between the V2X devices was confirmed. Furthermore, it was also observed that through the integration of the V2X system with the signaling system, the traffic signal in the direction of the approaching bus were successfully able to identify the bus and turn the traffic signal to green for the BRTS corridor, to provide priority passage to the bus at the intersection. Post the system implementation, it resulted in a reduction of 86.2% from the average waiting time of 33.1 seconds of the bus at the intersection without the system to the average 4.5 seconds with the system. And the bus travel time also reduced average 40%. The signal cycle was successfully optimized to allow a safe change of signal that not only provides priority passage to the BRTS corridor but also optimized the non BRTS lanes when there was no bus approaching the intersection. This allowed non-BRTS lanes to receive additional green cycle time which would have otherwise been wasted through allocation to the BRTS lane even when there was no bus passing through the intersection. The experiment helped demonstrate that the system does not have any adverse effect on non BRTS lanes or other vehicles on the road and in fact when implemented over a wider area, will help in reducing the waiting time for non BRTS lanes as well. The 598-608 MHz band used in the demonstration experiment was acquired under an experimental license from the Wireless Planning and Coordination (WPC) Wing of the Department of Telecommunications, Ministry of Communications, INDIA.

Future steps

Upon completion of the trial period of the experiment, Zero-Sum will have a public demonstration of the system to Ahmedabad Janmarg Ltd and Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation. From the initial results gathered from the experiment, Mr. Vishal Khanama, (General Manager, Ahmedabad Janmarg Ltd) said, “The initial results seen from the experiment seems very promising and we are proud to be associated with Zero-Sum to conduct such a trial for the first time in the country. Ahmedabad Janmarg Ltd is looking for improving the on-time performance and time-frequency of its buses so that we aim at creating customer delight and this is one such initiative that we believe can make the travel experience of the commuters better and refine the overall quality of life for the citizens of Ahmedabad. We are impressed that the system allows for both priority of BRTS buses and at the same time does not cause any interruption for general traffic. We will study the results in detail and review the feasibility of expanding the V2X system across a wider area of the BRTS corridor in Ahmedabad.”   

Mr. Chikara KIKUCHI (Managing Director, Zero-Sum ITS Solutions India Private Limited) informed, “Last year, we had successfully demonstrated the effectiveness of the V2X system in creating automated green corridors for emergency vehicles. The results of the experiment conducted this year on the BRTS corridor in Ahmedabad also seem very encouraging. We will shortly look at creating a standardized solution that can be implemented by bus corporations across the country on their BRTS corridors and by municipalities for providing priority passage for their emergency vehicles.”

Explanation of terms

Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation, Ahmedabad city, Gujarat State, INDIA

The Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation is responsible for the civic infrastructure and administration of the city of Ahmedabad which is the largest city in the state of Gujarat, INDIA. Ahmedabad city has a population of 5.6 million people and is the seventh largest city in INDIA. Several Japanese automotive companies in recent years have setup their manufacturing facilities around Ahmedabad City. Ahmedabad city is also one of the first cities selected under the Smart City program implemented by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and has been at the forefront in the implementation of smart technologies for the betterment of its citizens.

Ahmedabad Janmarg Ltd

 Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation has incorporated “Special Purpose Vehicle” called Ahmedabad Janmarg Ltd in order to run and to operate BRTS buses. Ahmedabad Janmarg Ltd is registered under the Companies Act, 1956 and is 100% subsidiary of Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation. In order to provide faster, reliable, eco-friendly and advanced Public Transportation Ahmedabad Janmarg Ltd is committed to operating and run BRTS services for the citizen of Ahmedabad. Ahmedabad Janmarg Ltd is responsible to operate buses, deciding fare, to maintain bus lanes and to maintain bus shelters.

V2X – Vehicle to Everything(X).

V2X is the collective term for technologies and systems for exchanging information between automobiles and other automobiles, automobiles and roadside equipment & automobiles and pedestrians using wireless communication system.

Intelligent Transportation Systems Standard (ITU-R M.2084-1)

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is the United Nations specialized agency for information and communication technologies. ITU-R (Radio) aims at creating the conditions for harmonized development and efficient operation of existing and new radiocommunication systems, taking due account of all parties concerned. ITU-R M.2084-1 are recommendations that identifies specific radio interface standards of vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communications for Intelligent Transport System applications.

WPC     

The WIRELESS PLANNING & COORDINATION (WPC) Wing of the Department of Telecommunications, Ministry of Communications INDIA is the National Radio Regulatory Authority responsible for Frequency Spectrum Management, including licensing and caters for the needs of all wireless users (Government and Private) in the country. It exercises the statutory functions of the Central Government and issues licenses to establish, maintain and operate wireless stations.

“Research for the overseas expansion of ITS technologies in JAPAN”

“Research for the overseas expansion of ITS technologies in JAPAN”, is a research project funded by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Telecommunications, JAPAN. This project aims to undertake a study of the traffic accident information from several Asian countries and regions & thereafter implement demonstrations of the world standard-based Japanese originated V2X technology to achieve improvements in the traffic safety conditions. This research will cover South Asia and South East Asia, including INDIA for the implementation of V2X experiments.

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