In contemporary society, automobiles play an indispensable role in transporting people and goods. However, a variety of problems – traffic accidents, traffic congestion, environmental pollution, and massive consumption of fossil fuels, to name a few – are becoming serious global problems and critical issues for all humankind. These are issues that require fundamental solutions.

To deal with them, across the world research and development is underway into systems that link road infrastructure and telecommunications using computers, electronics, and advanced sensing technologies.

The concept is called the intelligent transport systems (ITS). In the near future, ITS systems will arrive that offer fundamental breakthroughs in safety, congestion reduction, driving comfort, and environmental friendliness, bringing them to levels far higher than those provided by current road transportation systems.

ITS will involve the building of much new system infrastructure and foster demand for many types of terminal equipment, thus it is certain to create a huge market. To take advantage of these promising opportunities, Large investments have been made in national projects in Europe and North America to promote the early realization of ITS.

A flurry of activity is unfolding based on close links among government, industry, and academia : in Europe, ERTICO, and in the United States, ITS America have been established as parent bodies their promote ITS development. These events reflect a global consensus that ITS will be key to the innovative road transportation systems of the future.

The Vehicle, Road and Traffic Intelligence Society (VERTIS(2)) was launched in January 1994 as Japan’s response to these developments in Europe and North America, and it enjoys the full backing of National Police Agency, Ministry of International Trade and Industry, Ministry of Transport, Ministry of Posts & Telecommunications, and Ministry of Construction(1).

The main objectives of VERTIS are to further research and development in the broad range of ITS – related fields and the deployment of ITS, to exchange information with Europe and North America, to promote debate on ITS’ s potential uses, and to organize the ITS World Congress.

The ITS World Congress is a forum for promoting international cooperation and the presentation of the latest research on ITS. It will be held annually, each year in different location, moving between Europe, the Asia-Pacific region, and North America.

Our mission at VERTIS is to promote research and development on and the deployment of ITS. We aspire to facilitate the creation of road transportation systems that are safe, comfortable, and kind to the environment, thereby providing a base for solid economic growth and contributing to a more affluent society.

We will work on a world-wide scale to make road transportation systems that interact ideally with humans so as many people as possible can enjoy the benefits of ITS.We hope that not only people in government, industry, and academia, but also people in the media and the general public well will come to appreciate VERTIS’s objectives and activities, and to lend us their cooperation and support.

Chairman : Shinichi Sasaki
ITS Japan

(1)ITS related five government ministries and agency was reformed to the four government ministries and agency as follows due to the reformation of Japanese governmental body in January 2001. [National Police Agency, Ministry of Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications (former Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications), Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (former Ministry of International Trade and Industry), Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (former Ministry of Transport and Ministry of Construction)

(2)VERTIS renamed to ITS Japan in June 2001.