A significant milestone was achieved in October when the European Union formally adopted the revised Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) Directive, offering an updated framework of the 2010 version. The ITS Directive is the backbone of the Intelligent Transport Services (ITS) across the European Union. It refers to those technologies that use digital information and communication systems to maximise efficiency and safety on our roads while making the transport industry more sustainable.

The Directive encourages the implementation of Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) to create interoperable and smooth services while allowing Member States the flexibility to choose the systems they wish to invest in. ITS is seen as a means to enhance transport efficiency by mitigating congestion, optimizing traffic flow, and facilitating effective route planning. Moreover, ITS plays a crucial role in enhancing transport safety by providing real-time information to drivers and developing safety technologies like collision avoidance systems, contributing to the advancement and security of transportation infrastructure.

The revised Directive seeks to adapt to technological advancements, including connected and automated mobility, on-demand applications, and multimodal transport, with a focus on expediting digital data availability and improving interoperability for enhanced communication between vehicles and infrastructure, enabling timely warnings about unforeseen events like traffic jams. It also focuses on improving the availability and interoperability of digital data used in services like journey planners and navigation. This enables communication between vehicles and road infrastructure, facilitating warnings about unforeseen events like traffic jams. The new directive also outlines targets for digitizing crucial information, including speed limits, roadworks, and multimodal access points, along with delivering essential services like road safety information. This initiative aims to benefit transport users by expanding the availability of real-time information and improving the accuracy of intelligent speed assistance systems.

The ITS Directive is closely linked to TN-ITS. It acts as a catalyst for innovation and collaboration in the transportation sector, it directly impacts map makers by providing access to valuable data, promoting interoperability standards, providing policy guidance, expanding market opportunities, and fostering partnerships with key stakeholders. As ITS technologies continue to evolve, map makers will play an increasingly important role in shaping the future of transportation by providing accurate, real-time, and intelligent maps that support efficient, safe, and sustainable mobility solutions. TN-ITS’s mission to foster the exchange of authoritative data to provide fresh and accurate information enhances the role of HD maps and boosts collaboration between road authorities, map makers and service providers.

An important part within the umbrella of the Directive is the RTTI Delegated Regulation, which sets out the requirements for the provision of real-time traffic information (RTTI) services in the European Union. This Regulation aims to enhance the accessibility, exchange, reuse, and updating of data essential for delivering consistently high-quality Real-Time Traffic Information (RTTI) services to foster road safety, reduce congestion, and improve air quality while ensuring transparent and non-discriminatory provision, supporting connected and autonomous vehicle deployment, and advocating for a unified European approach. The most recent RTTI update incorporates the TN-ITS data exchange standard. The inclusion of the TN-ITS CEN Technical Specification 17268 to the updated Delegated Regulation improves safety, especially in urban areas, by addressing RTTI use cases, like providing accurate information on speed limit changes during maintenance. The recent Declaration of Lisbon, signed with DATEX II, enables TN-ITS to explore new use cases and meet near-term market demands.