TN-ITS presented itself today at the Transport Research Arena conference in Paris, in an Invited Special Session with the title “TN-ITS: Establishing the data chain for ITS spatial data”. The idea was to have presentations and some debate between the presentations. In the session four speakers addressed the following topics:

(1) The status of storage and maintenance at road authorities. This topic was dis-cussed from the Irish perspective, by John McCarthy and Paul Fox of TN-ITS member Ireland (Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport). This interesting presentation gave an idea of the substantial effort done in Ireland to set up a spatial road data infrastructure. Such infrastructure is a prerequisite for implementing the TN-ITS framework,. A clear link of their work with TN-ITS was presented.

(2) The exchange framework, including standardisation and location referencing is-sues. Trond Hovland of ITS Norway, but also representing TN-ITS member NPRA (Norwegian Public Road Administration) he gave a general overview of the back-gorund, history and status of the TN-ITS framework, and of the issues of attention. Especially the topics standardisation, the need for additional work on location refer-encing, the TN-ITS working groups as core of the activities, and the structure and membership of the platform were addressed.

(3) Data integration at map providers, the status of the second part of the chain, into the user device. This topic was highlighted by Stephen T’Siobbel of TN-ITS member TomTom. He pointed to the various data sources that are used by ITS map providers, of which the TN-ITS is just one. But it can be an important one, as it represents, if things are organised well, a highly trusted source.

(4) The relevance of TN-ITS, beyond ADAS, for cooperative systems and automated driving. This topic was discussed by Hans Nobbe or prospective TN-ITS member Rijkswaterstaat, The Netherlands. With the gradual progress of in-vehicle ITS technology over time, also the requirements for ITS maps data will increase, in terms of attribute coverage and accuracy. In addition certain infrastructure elements may be replaced by in-vehicle technology. He posed a challenging question if governments would still need to maintain digital databases, in view of the availability of probe data, but the conclusion of the discussion was that this may become more important.

As two of the speaker were last-minute unable to be present in person, they were present by a live video link. This was an interesting experiment, which actually worked quite well. The session was moderated by TN-ITS President Kees Wevers, who gave a short introductory presentation. Unfortunately the size of the audience was rather limited, as was the case for many of these early-evening sessions.

The presentations will be made available at the TN-ITS web site.