Sustainable road transportation has become a challenge particularly in the developing countries. Literature suggests that the ability of the transport system to respond to the mobility needs of people and goods is hampered by a continuous increase in traffic demand as a result of higher levels of urbanization, population growth, changes in population density and motorization. These factors result in traffic crashes, traffic congestion and consequent increase in travel times, fuel consumption and carbon emissions, which reduce the efficiency of mobility systems and make it unsustainable. Certain measures such as traffic control and management, congestion warning, road conditions warning, route guidance and use of eco- friendly and green vehicles are being considered to meet the challenges. Arguments have emerged that Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) are important to meet these challenges of achieving virtually traffic crash-free, clean and efficient mobility. This requires the development of an integrated communication architecture that provides a common frame for the road and traffic infrastructure, environment and vehicle systems to work together through Information Communication Technology (ICT) system. Therefore, this investigation explored the various ITS that are relevant to road transportation in the context of developing countries; examined the perception of road users on the use of ITS and its impacts on travel behavior; and developed a conceptual futuristic communication ITS architecture by integrating land use, road, traffic, human and environmental parameters with ICT for sustainable road transportation in developing countries. The study was conducted based on critical review of relevant literature and industrial innovations to examine the ITS system(s) applicable to developing countries. A survey was conducted in two cities of a developing country, India, to observe the perception of people, particularly road users on the use of ITS and its impacts on their travel. This was followed by development of a conceptual ITS architecture by integrating land use, activity, traffic, road infrastructure, vehicle, ICT, road user variable and indicators related to sustainable road transportation. Findings suggest that appropriate ITS with the use of ICT, can provide acceptable effective real time information regarding the road and traffic conditions, which will enable the road users in their journey planning, to avoid unwarranted incidents and moreover enhance safe and efficient mobility in the roads of developing countries.
Paper presented at the 35th Annual Southern African Transport Conference 4-7 July 2016 "Transport ? a catalyst for socio-economic
growth and development opportunities to improve quality of life", CSIR International Convention Centre, Pretoria, South Africa.