Road Network Operations is a strategic approach to maximising efficiency on existing and future road infrastructure. At the tactical level this strategy translates into improving operations with the objective of reducing traffic delays and operating day-by-day in a more efficient way. At the strategic level, it means integrating the operations concept early on in the development of all road infrastructure projects, beginning with the planning and design process and ensuring adequate resources, both fiscal and personnel.
The road network operator has to consider the methods, organisational structures and resources needed to support strategies for road network operations, maintenance and incident response.
Objectives of the network operator include:
Congestion: Relieving congestion is achieved by optimizing the management of traffic signals; detecting and managing incidents on the highway network, access control systems; High-Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes; journey time information; speed management. (See Network Control)
Safety: Improving safety requires measures such as adaptive speed control, collision detection and avoidance; enhanced vehicle safety systems; weather and road condition information. (See Road Safety)
Security: Maintaining security is done through evacuation route signing and priority; homeland security initiatives such as deployed in the USA, hazardous load monitoring and assistance for vulnerable road users. (See Network Security and Emergency Response)
Environmental protection: Ensuring environmental monitoring and protection requires a reduction in traffic congestion, creation of low-emission zones and promotion of public transport alternatives. (See Transport Demand Management)
Support for business & commerce: Increasing productivity and operational efficiencies can be achieved by fleet management; computer aided dispatch; automatic vehicle location; automatic cargo tracking; electronic pre-clearance; vehicle compliance checking and driver monitoring. (See Freight and Commercial Services)
Road user services: Providing comfort to users of transportation system who need to feel confident and secure is the motivation for applications such as route confirmation, journey time estimates and clear advice on approaching interchanges and connections. Relevant ITS services include real-time traffic and public transport information; dynamic route guidance; automotive vehicle location (AVL); smart card payment systems for toll highway and public transport use. (See Traveller Services).