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ITS (Intelligent Transport System) Spot Services


ITS Spot services consist of three basic services that are made available as an all-in-one system by high speed, high volume road-to-vehicle communications. The first is Wide-Range Road Traffic Information. By transmitting road traffic information in real-time, car navigation systems can search wide-area expressways that cross prefectural borders, urban expressways and other roads, and select the fastest route based on the latest information. The second is safe Driving Support. ITS spots provide wide-area road traffic information on a regular basis including traffic safety issues for specific roads. In emergencies, they provide information that supports safe driving. The third is ETC. ITS spot services utilize the same technologies as ETC, therefore existing ETC services can be enjoyed with a compatible car navigation system. And other services are that information on tourist sites and updated maps are provided over the internet with some car navigation systems.


Traffic accidents have increased, resulting in a death toll of about 5,000 persons per year. Additionally, traffic congestion in urban areas has caused economic losses amounting to 12 trillion yen, and time losses amounting to 5.6 billion person-hours. Major problems have surfaced with respect to transport safety and efficiency. Also, issues such as environmental deterioration along roads, disharmony with the global environment, and increased energy consumption are growing in severity and importance. Especially,
= In expressways in urban area, it is essential to guide the routes considered traffic information because of complex network of the roads.
= In the metropolitan expressway, 50,000 accidents of falling object per year have occurred.


At the end of December 2011, there were about 34.24 million ETC-equipped vehicles. ETC users now account for 86.2% of all vehicles on expressways in Japan.
ITS spot services are available in about 1,600 places centering on expressways in Japan as of August 2011. With intercity expressways, an ITS spot is installed about every 10 to 15 km including about 90 locations before each junction, while with urban expressways, a spot is installed about every 4 km.
The number of accidents in the Sangubasi Curve, which is one of the highest numbers of traffic accident spots in the metropolitan expressway, has dropped by about 60% by providing congestion information ahead of the curve.

Key words

ITS, ETC, ITS Spot Services, expressways, congestion, environment, Information, Telecommunication, Toll booth

Inquiry point

Road Bureau, MLIT Japan