ITS America concerned over use of 5GHz spectrum band
First publishedin ITS International
USDOT'S CV Safety Pilot in progress
has raised concerns with the US Federal Communications Commission
(FCC) over the potential use of the 5GHz band spectrum by unlicensed national information infrastructure devices. It wants to protect the 5.9GHz band for dedicated short-range communications (DSRC)-based systems. These crucially underpin the development of connected vehicle (CV) technologies which could help slash the US’ annual tally of six million road traffic accidents and over 30,000 deaths.
Within the US Department of Transport (USDOT)’s CV Safety Pilot, launched in August 2012, nearly 3000 cars, trucks and transit buses have been equipped with DSRC radio devices to collect vehicle-tovehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) traffic performance data. The pilot is thus testing CV applications in real life scenarios.
The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
(NHTSA) plans to use the data to decide, in late 2013, whether to progress proposed legislation requiring – or encouraging – installation of DSRC-enabled safety systems, initially on light vehicles and later on heavy ones.
That decision, says ITS America president and CEO Scott Belcher, will be “a major milestone in the national and international implementation of V2V and V2I systems for crash avoidance”.
His concern follows the release of an initial study by the US National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) on use by unlicensed devices.
Working with other industry stakeholders, ITS America has asked the FCC to allow for due diligence on this “critical issue” by ensuring that any timelines contained in a proposed rulemaking are consistent with NTIA and NHTSA evaluation schedules, and the lead up to a USDOT decision on whether and how to proceed with the implementation of a future CV network.
Vicinity Systems founder Con Costello (far right) with his ESA award
Spotlight on start-ups
Irish ITS start-ups enjoyed the limelight at an innovative seminar staged in Dublin during February. The stars of the day were:
- Vicinity Systems (regional winner of the European Space Agency (ESA)’s Galileo Masters 2012 award for technology innovation) – talking about integration with in-car satnav to increase the driving range of electric vehicles.
- Hit The Road (winner of the ITS Ireland 2012 Award for innovation in industry) – describing point-to-point travel across Dublin using smart public transport combinations.
- National University of Ireland Maynooth spin-off iGeotec – who presented on the Ubipix system enabling road network operations and management teams to make optimal use of new mobile, sensor and cloud platform geospatial technologies.
Network of National ITS Associations
Wider access to iMobility initiative
Through the Network, national ITS associations in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the UK have formally gained associate status with the EU-funded, Ertico
-ITS Europe-coordinated iMobility Support project.
They will enjoy first-hand access to relevant documentation; and participate in, or present at, selected meetings at the invitation of the project coordinator with travel and subsistence costs reimbursed.
Launched in January 2013, the three-year project supports the iMobility Forum of ITS stakeholders committed to developing and deploying resource-efficient and safe transport. It will provide the Forum secretariat, monitor deployment of priority systems, support ITS standardisation, enable international collaboration and disseminate Forum results.
Other national ITS associations are not excluded from meetings, but will have to fund their own costs.
Dawn of smart mobility era
Italy’s smart mobility era has begun – that was the message from the Nuovo Mondo 2 event co-organised by TTS Italia
in Bologna in December.
The event included a presentation of the country’s ITS Action Plan, developed by TTS Italia in collaboration with sibling transport industry associations and currently being examined by the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport.
TTS Italia president Rossella Panero told the national ITS showcase that “the ITS Action Plan is not an option, but an obligation”.
Recognising that ITS progress in Italy has been characterised by “a certain liveliness in development and implementation”, TTS Italia points out that “there are still problems that hinder a full take-off”.
Among these are fragmentation in interventions and a lack of integration between systems, which can add to the lack of adequate funding.
The action plan seeks to deal with these via a national programme that will:
- Support research
- Enable creation of a comprehensive database of ITS benefits, drawing on US models
- Encourage large-scale deployment beyond purely experimental or pilot phases
- Rethink road classifications to reflect their instrumentation
- Support the spread of smart payment for public transport
- Update the national ARTIST ITS architecture to allow scope for open and interoperable systems
- Develop computerised and harmonised logistics platforms.
The Ministry confirmed that it is working on the better coordination of current ITS initiatives and has allocated public funds to help get projects off the ground.
eCall under trial in Europe
ERTICO-ITS Europe/ITS Japan
Japan joins Europe’s eCall programme
Japan has launched its first eCall testing centre in a collaboration between ERTICO-ITS Europe, the Yokosuka Telecom Research Park (YTRP), Japanese automotive electronics manufacturer Fujitsu TEN and Netherlands-based digital security specialist Gemalto.
The first facility outside Europe for testing the EU’s eCall automated in-vehicle road traffic incident alert initiative, it will enable Japanese automakers to carry out local tests for cars destined for EU markets.
The Fujitsu Ten and YTRP test bed features in-vehicle system units that leverage eCall-compliant Gemalto technology already proven with European test cases. The Research Park is equipped with Japan’s only exclusive eCall 2G cellular network, which simulates European wireless networks. ITS Japan
is playing a central role in the initiative. Meanwhile, in Europe, six more countries have joined the Harmonised eCall European pilot (HeERO) project, coordinated by ERTICO-ITS Europe, which is running national pilot test sites on practical communications issues to prepare for planned deployment in 2015.
Three countries – Belgium, Bulgaria and Spain – are directly involving their national associations, with ITS Belgium and ITS Bulgaria as pilot site leaders.
A further two – ITS Denmark and the emerging ITS Turkey – have observer status; while an additional four associated partner countries are taking part at their own expense, so bringing in ITS Israel.
“The next steps will see the engagement of 19 pilot sites working together,” comments ERTICO-ITS Europe project coordinator, Andy Rooke.
Timely information on roadworks has won ITS Australia's 2012 national award for VicRoads
Focus on ITS test Bed
Building on contacts made at the 2012 ITS World Congress in Vienna with counterparts including ITS America and ERTICOITS Europe, ITS Australia
is working to develop international partnerships with state agency Transport for New South Wales’ Cooperative Intelligent Transport Initiative (CITI) and planned ITS test bed in Sydney.
In the association’s 2012 ITS awards, the national prize has gone to VicRoads
, the highways agency for Victoria, the country’s most densely populated state.
The award recognises the value of its newly-developed application for tracking information about road closures on its website, showing traffic alerts, road closures and detours across the 22,000km of roads and 3133 bridges that VicRoads manages.