Road Network Operations
& Intelligent Transport Systems
A guide for practitioners!

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Remote Disabling Systems

Remote disabling systems can prevent access by unauthorised drivers or vehicles to particular roads or areas (such as an airport or a busway) - and they can also prevent access by unauthorised persons to vehicles or movement of vehicles.

Preventing access by unauthorised drivers can help ensure that only bus drivers with specific security clearance are able to access restricted roads - which can be important in sensitive locations. The same remote disabling features can also prevent vehicles from accessing ‘off-limit’ roads. Physical response restrictions can be triggered by ITS applications – and include raising bollards and lowering barriers.

The ability to disable vehicles at the time of driver access is also valuable for applications such as car clubs - where only registered members are able to access or start the vehicle using remote control of vehicle capability.

The key technologies:

  • to prevent access to roads include roadside CCTV, roadside cameras, image-processing software, number-plate recognition software, image storage media, and virtual GPS control points using ‘geo-fencing’
  • for recognition of particular drivers can be effected thorough personalised key fobs or swipe cards. Biometric recognition can also be used to give access to the key device itself
  • for communication between the vehicle and a control centre typically takes place via wireless


Reliability of systems is extremely important - and those that deploy and implement the systems need to look into this thoroughly before purchasing an application.


Geo-fencing is a relatively new technology and is an increasingly common feature of location-based management solutions. It is expected to play an important role in the development of new types of applications.

Reference sources

The US government’s Research and Innovative Technology Administration’s (RITA) website on Intelligent Transportation Systems (at has a good section on Remote Disabling Systems under ‘Transit Management – Safety and Security’