Advanced traffic management systems (ATMS) are receiving considerable attention across Western Europe, particularly given surging traffic congestion and pollution levels. While the UK, France and Germany together account for around 63 per cent of total market share at present, future revenues will come primarily from Scandinavia, Greece, Portugal, Italy and Spain. This is because these markets are growing rapidly, as the focus ever more intensely on improving traffic management activities.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, Strategic Analysis of Advanced Traffic Management Systems in Western Europe, reveals that revenues in this market totalled US$884.79 million in 2006, and are likely to reach $1,216.32 million in 2015 due to significant advances in processing technologies for video detection and rising congestion in urban and interurban areas.

“Rising congestion levels on road networks are creating plenty of scope for advanced traffic management systems in Western Europe,” notes Frost & Sullivan research analyst Sraavani Dodletti. “Traffic volumes have been on the rise despite the implementation of congestion charging schemes, forcing government authorities to implement traffic management systems as a means of reducing journey times and cutting costs.”

In addition, increased investment by the Trans European network (TEN) in the traffic sector is leading to growth and development in the ATMS market. The total investment made by TEN ranges from US$1 billion to $2 billion and six European projects have been selected to drive forward this growth and development. These projects span 14 member states in Europe and involve major national and regional traffic authorities and operators.

As regards market trends, there is an increasing shift from loop detectors to overhead detection systems. Overhead detectors have proven themselves to be effective alternatives to inductive loop detectors, since traffic flow patterns measured with these non-intrusive sensors meet the accuracy requirements of a large number of trunk-road applications. Aside from this, the video detection market is an emerging market, which is steadily gaining pace, and is witnessing significant advances in technology related to improving the processing power and flexibility of applications.

However, despite all these positive aspects, budgetary constraints remain a major impediment to the further uptake of advanced traffic management systems. Given their limited budgets, local authorities are less likely to experiment with new measures that have not yet been tried and tested in the field.

“Given the enormous scope for revenue generation in the traffic sector, it is essential that the government and public authorities recognise the importance of increasing budgetary allocations for the traffic industry,” says Sraavani. “This will in turn encourage more companies to create new technologies through research and development.”

Government and public authorities can increase their budget allocation through revenues from congestion charging and toll collection schemes. This will increase budgets for the traffic management industry. Increased budgets are also available through strategic partnerships with private companies.

Strategic Analysis of Advanced Traffic Management Systems in Western Europe is part of the Automotive and Transportation Growth Partnership Service programme.