TN-ITS GOes to Hamburg!

On October 15, ITS World Congress ended; the event represented a great opportunity to gain insights, takeaways, lessons learned and fruitful discussions. As TN-ITS community, we would like to wrap-up some of the key activities of the week. 

On Monday 11 October 2021, the very opening day of the ITS World Congress, TN-ITS organised the event “TN-ITS GOes Urban”. Aiming to highlight what TN-ITS can do for public authorities – including cities – and its role in the data space, as well as support improvements in city navigation and traffic management, TN-ITS GOes urban brought together several keynote speakers: Bert Boterbergh, TN-ITS Vice President; Frank Daems, ERTICO; Rene Bruijne, SIMACAN; George Cambanis, MOBITO; Jean-Charles Pandazis, ERTICO, representing the SENSORIS platform; Theo Thuis, EPA; and Dr. Michael Fischer, Hamburg Urban Data Platform.

The event started by defining the mission of the TN-ITS association and of the TN-ITS GO project, which is to facilitate and foster the exchange of ITS-related spatial road data between road authorities as trusted data providers, and data users as map makers and other parties.  

Once the basis were defined, Bert Boterbergh, TN-ITS Vice President, highlighted key aspects of concrete uses cases and applications of the system ( such as TN-ITS implementation in Flanders encompassing daily updates on several warning and limitations signs) and benefits TN-ITS can bring to road authorities and cities: cost-effective way to support ISA; provision of valuable and fresh information to road users; increased use of existing (open) data; increased traffic safety (ISA); and increased traffic liveability. 

But, of course, the availability of open (and reliable!) data creates opportunities to improve mobility from a broad array of point of views; to offer an exhaustive overview, TN-ITS GOes Urban integrated its offer by presenting other stakeholders, such as the SENSORIS platform, the European Parking Association (EPA), Urban Data Platform Hamburg, or the two start-ups MOBITO (mobility data exchange platform) and SIMACAN (open transport and logistics platform)

More concretely, SENSORIS specifies the interface for exchanging information between in-vehicle sensors and dedicated cloud as well as between clouds to enable broad access, delivery & processing of vehicle sensor data; enable easy exchange of vehicle sensor data between all players; and enable enriched location based services and automated driving. Conversely, EPA is working, amongst other things, to enable smart parking landscape, for example through integration of parking management and urban mobility systems, while Urban Data Platform Hamburg focuses on ensuring the use of technical standards in urban IT systems, for example by supporting the city of Hamburg with its Digital Strategy for Hamburg. 

Did you miss our live “TN-ITS GOes urban” session? Click here for the recordings!

Our journey in the TN-ITS world continued on Tuesday 12 October with the Special Interest Session 104 “Intelligent Infrastructure & Mobility: automation and road infrastructure categorisation impacting the mobility data space”. Organised by ERTICO’s Specification and Standardisation expert Stephen T’Siobbel, the sessions brought together TN-ITS representatives, map makers and associations to discuss the road ahead when it comes to mobility data space and automated driving. Focussing on TN-ITS and the Digital Infrastructure for Automated Driving, the session addressed the data chain reflecting the path along which digital authoritative road data finds its way to the vehicle – or any other mobility service – in need of reliable map data. With an impressive line-up of expert speakers representing the various stakeholders in this data chain, it came as no surprise that the room was fully packed. Moderated by Frank Daems – ERTICO, the session hosted interesting presentations that generated a lively discussion.

First up was Bert Boterbergh from the Agency for Roads and Traffic (AWV) in Flanders. As TN-ITS Vice President he introduced the audience to the platform and its technical interface and zoomed-in on the Flemish service, as a clear illustration of the extension by AWV from a physical towards a digital road authority.

Mr. Boterbergh was then followed by Steve Phillips, the Secretary General of the Conference of European Directors of Roads (CEDR) the organisation of the national public road authorities and agencies across Europe. Mr. Phillips stressed the importance of ongoing digitalisation efforts, e.g. to build accurate and detailed maps for asset management which can be reused to support vision zero in mobility, carried out by the organisations he represents. He also plead for breaking down silos between stakeholders and enhance collaboration.

Representing HERE Technologies as a leading map & location service provider was Martin Svec, their Data Sourcing & Business Development Manager and expert in the Urban Mobility sector. Martin presented the complex industrial process how digital maps are maintained from a wide variety of sources. He referred to TN-ITS as a proven standard interface to changes of authoritative road data in Europe. Coming from a trusted source, this data enables process automation and therefore delivers higher quality (up-to-date/correct) map products supporting various mobility services.

Last, but not least, Joost Vantomme as the Smart Mobility Director of the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) representing the 15 major Europe-based car, van, truck and bus manufacturers, spoke about the importance of digital road data for OEMs. He also stressed the need for consistency between the physical world and its digital twin, with a specific focus on urban mobility. Mr. Vantomme pointed out the many enabling frameworks, but also raised relevant questions related to matters of interoperability, reuse of data, standardisation, regulation and liability.

While innovations and further technological and standardisation advancements are sought, cooperation between all relevant stakeholders becomes more and more important. By the closing of the event, the call for working together – agreeing with the mission of TN-ITS – was echoed by all!

Oct 26, 2021