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European Commission attempts to bridge the gap for ITS deployment

On Monday, 2nd of December, the European Commission organized a conference which FEMA attended on “Triggering ITS deployment”. It was the 4th Conference dedicated to Intelligent Transport System. This occasion gathered about 400 stakeholders interested in Transport and ITS.

Siim Kallas, Commissioner for Transport, opened the Conference by highlighting the fact that technology was not the biggest challenge for the deployment of ITS. As usual in a Union composed by 28 countries, finding a common position and organising cooperation was the most difficult thing to face about ITS development.

The conference was split in 3 parts. The first panel “Major ITS Developments” presented the recent achievements since the adoption of the ITS Directive in 2010. For example, the Amsterdam Group showed us how Intelligent Transport System can be implemented at a smaller scale before being extended to the whole European Union. Another example of recent achievements, is the EasyWay project, which provided guidelines and best practices on ITS, to facilitate the future deployment of such technologies around the EU.

The second panel “Seamless Travel” outlined the future of journey planning. All the speakers highlighted the fact that real-time information on traffic and multi-modal journey planning will be more and more developed and used in the near future. The final objective is to provide a unique platform for all this information, easily available for consumers.

And finally, the third panel was dedicated to the “Deployment of cooperative systems”. It was the occasion to come back more precisely on the technology and cooperation needs for the final step of ITS development; above all on the exchange of data between the different actors. Moreover, some questions remain without answer for now, like the problem of responsibility in case of accidents involving cars which drive or park themselves.

3 steps to deployment

The 3 panels came to the same conclusion: we are close to ITS deployment in Europe. If the EU did not yet achieve this deployment of Intelligent Transport System, it is because of some issues which still need to find common and efficient solutions:

The first issue is the need for greater cooperation between industries and public authorities involved in the construction and deployment of ITS in Europe in order to have the most efficient system possible.

The second issue raised by the speakers is about data and privacy protection. Intelligent Transport Systems expect to collect a certain amount of data, including private and individual data. Before the final deployment of ITS, discussions and negotiations remain necessary between actors to guarantee the protection of privacy.

Linked to this question, the third issue concerned the property of these data. Exchange of data will be necessary between the different actors of ITS development, but the shape and conditions of it still need to be negotiated.

The conclusion offered by Matthias Ruete (Director General of the Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport of the European Commission) was clear: we are at the door of a radical change for transport. The Evolution we can perceived today with ITS will be a real Revolution for Transport.

For more information visit the page of the conference on the European Commission website.

Or view the full conference’s video in streaming simultaneously translated in multiple languages.