On 15 and 16 October a Member States Expert meeting was held in Brussels, organised by DG MOVE of the European Commission, on priority actions (b) and (c) of the ITS Directive. Action (b) concerns “the provision of EU-wide real-time traffic information services” (RTTI) and action (c) “data and procedures for the provision, where possible, of road safety related minimum universal traffic information free of charge to users”. While action (b) concentrates, at least in its naming, on the provision of dynamic information, it also addresses the actions 1.2 and 1.3 of the ITS Action Plan, which concern information of a more static nature that is incorporated in the digital ITS map database.
These actions are as follows: (1.2) “Optimisation of the collection and provision of road data and traffic circulation plans, traffic regulations and recommended routes (in particular for heavy goods vehicles)”; (1.3) “Definition of procedures for ensuring the availability of accurate public data for digital maps and their timely updating through cooperation between the relevant public bodies and digital map providers, taking into account the results and recommendations of the eSafety Digital Maps Working Group.”
Both ITS Action plan actions are explicitly reflected in the ITS Directive specification (b) that is being drafted and discussed. Availability and access to a wide range of high-quality data (both static and dynamic) is a prerequisite for rich RTTI services with high-quality content. This in turn can benefit service providers and digital map providers, who have the responsibility to use these data to enhance their services and products. In this sense, the work on specification (b) is particularly relevant for the work and mission of TN-ITS, i.e. to enable the data chain for updates in static road data.
The last part of the (closed) meeting on priority action (b) on 15 October included invited presentations by three external experts on related topics: (1) INSPIRE Geoportal (Paul Smits, JRC); (2) TN-ITS (Kees Wevers); and (3) Traffic Management 2.0 Platform (Johanna Tzanidaki, TomTom). TN-ITS President Kees Wevers emphasised in his presentation the mission of TN-ITS, the high level of alignment of TN-ITS with INSPIRE, the close relation to the purport of specification (b) with respect to static road data, and the need for involvement of a larger number of European national road authorities. Also the Transportation Pilot, a joint collaborative effort with the JRC (through its EULF project) and with the ELF project was briefly presented. The Pilot can become a major driver for TN-ITS implementation.
The discussions with Member State representatives following the presentation, continued for a while after the meeting, were constructive and beneficial.
Link to the TN-ITS presentation