Representatives from a Japanese consortium that was responsible for the deployment of a comprehensive Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) package for the Vietnam Expressway Corporation (VEC) were present at the opening ceremony of the North-South Expressway’s new operations center.
Officially opened by Truong Quang Nghia, Vietnam’s Minister of Transport, and Tran Quoc Viet, the chairman of VEC, the ceremony marked the start of operations of a new Traffic Control and Operation Management Office serving a major section of Vietnam’s backbone highway the North-South Expressway.
In 2014, a consortium comprising the Toshiba Corporation, Hitachi, and the ITOCHU Corporation, signed a contract to supply the VEC with an ITS package that included electronic toll collection (ETC), traffic control and monitoring systems equipment. With an estimated value of ¥4bn (US$35.5m), the contract was the first for an integrated ITS package that Japanese companies had received from overseas, and the project was supported by Japanese government loan assistance.
The contract scope covers the 34 miles (55km) from Ho Chi Minh to Dau Giay, one of the most travelled sections of the North-South Expressway, which is still under construction and Toshiba is providing equipment and systems for the entire route. Economic growth and modernization are feeding more and more vehicles onto Vietnam’s roads, especially in the south of the country and in and around Ho Chi Minh City. However, traffic congestion is growing rapidly, and is now a serious problem. The Ho Chi Minh to Dau Giay section of the North-South Expressway partially opened in January 2014, and has already been travelled by over 30 million vehicles, with more growth anticipated.
The ceremony celebrated the start of official operation of the traffic control center, which will monitor and manage traffic conditions on this heavily used stretch of the route. Deployment of the ITS package is expected to improve traffic flows and alleviate congestion along the section. The Vietnamese government is supporting future economic growth and development in the country with a highway master plan for the construction of 22 expressways with a total length of approximately 3,728 miles (6,000km).
The centerpiece is the North-South Expressway, which will run almost the length of the country, close to 1,243 miles (2,000km), from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi via Da Nang. Toshiba says that it will continue to contribute to the country’s economic growth and prosperity by proposing future ITS solutions, including advanced traffic monitoring and control and ETC systems.