ITS in Police
Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) are systems that utilize cutting-age information and communication technologies to connect people, roads, and vehicles.
The police, as the authority in charge of road traffic, actively promote the use of ITS to achieve safe and smooth road traffic and to prevent traffic pollution.
UTMS [police's ITS]
Universal Traffic Management Systems (UTMS) are systems that utilize the function of infrared beacons and other devices toward achieving a "safe, comfortable and environmentally friendly traffic society," mainly through Vehicle to Infrastructure (V2I) communication. The National Police Agency promotes the installation of various subsystems, centering on the Integrated Traffic Control Systems (ITCS), and it aims to realize optimal traffic control by linking these subsystems to each other.
Initiatives toward realizing automated driving [research and development]
We consider automated driving technologies to be essential to reduce traffic accidents and to ease traffic congestion, among other issues.
Hence, the police have conducted various initiatives to achieve the early practical use of automated driving suitable for the road environment of Japan, from the viewpoint of supporting its development.
Under the leadership of the Council for Science, Technology and Innovation*, the Cross-ministerial Strategic Innovation Promotion Program (SIP) was established in May 2014 as a government-wide program to promote the development of key technologies toward solving social issues. In this program, a variety of initiatives have been launched under the banner of "automated driving systems" as an issue included in the scope of research and development.
In the SIP 2nd Phase, which started in FY2018, while the concept and the scheme of the existing SIP were maintained, new challenges and targets were also identified, and SIP's Automated Driving for Universal Services (SIP-adus) was launched for the research and development of automated driving.
While taking into account the linkage to the existing UTMS and the efficient installation of the systems, the NPA is considering the issues to realize the provision of traffic siganal information for Automated driving and the sharing of information on vehicles and pedestrians when these vehicles turn right or left by increasing the sophistication of the UTMS subsystems.
*: The SIP is a council that conducts the planning, drafting, and overall coordination relating to comprehensive and fundamental policies of science, technology, and innovation under the leadership of the Prime Minister and the Minister of State for Science and Technology Policy.
Promotion of ITS-related international cooperation
ITS-related research and development, and the technologies for its practical use, are being progressing on a daily basis around the globe. Therefore, in Japan, the government, industry and academia are cooperating in the collection and sharing of technological information, as well as in research and development, with ITS-Japan at its center.
The NPA participates in conferences such as the ITS World Congress, an annual conference held in collaboration between ITS-related bodies representing Europe, Unites States and Asia-Pacific, and the SIP-adus Workshop, to promote widely how innovative and effective UTMS are and to share ITS information with overseas counterparts toward deepening cooperative relations.
In addition, the NPA's Traffic Bureau and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration of the US Department of Transportation concluded a technical-cooperation agreement in September 1999, and both authorities have given presentations and held discussions, mainly on traffic control technologies and ITS policies in the two countries.