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Reflecting on the EU ITS action plan

First publishedin ITS International
2012 November December
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Jennie Martin
Jennie Martin
How do national policy positions reflect key facets of the European Commission (EC) ITS Action Plan? How useful are memoranda of understanding (MoU) as association tools? How can associations attract more young people to work in ITS?

Finding answers to these questions emerged as key challenges for 2013 at the Network of National ITS Association’s November 2012 meeting in Dublin.

Commenting on its commitment to work with Ertico-ITS Europe in surveying national action plan stances, Network chair Jennie Martin told ITS International: “It will be of great use to individual governments to have available at a glance, high-level information on others’ policy standpoints. On MoUs, the idea is to exchange templates in use to create a really excellent format based on their best bits.”

The end product of a global trawl will be a guide to best practice. The youth initiative will aim to encourage students to look at graduate or technician career opportunities in the ITS industry.

As an aside, considering the Hooley Night dinner and Irish song and dance show at Johnnie Fox’s mountain pub, where networkers unwound, delegates to the 4-7 June 2013 ITS European Congress in Dublin will have some lively entertainment to look forward to.

TTS Italia

Italian automotive expertise showcased

TTS Italia teamed up with the northern Italian Piemonte Agency for Investments, Export & Tourism (PAIET) to host a joint stand and networking event at the October 2012 ITS World Congress in Vienna.

PAIET is a pioneering Italian regional initiative for promoting national expertise and attracting inward investment.

With Turin as its capital, the agency covers the country’s automotive-intensive Alpine north-west and sits at the crossroads of two of Europe’s major continental axes: Pan European Corridor V from Lisbon to Kiev, and the Two Seas Railway Corridor from Genoa to Rotterdam.

TTS Italia has also recently welcomed two Chinese delegations: a 30-strong mission by Beijing-based automotive companies; and high-level representatives from the Chinese Ministry of Science & Technology (MOST), accompanied by ITS China president and chair Wu Zhongze.

Their meeting focused on Italian initiatives in the context of the EC’s ITS Directive.

ITS Australia

Kapsch is Australian first

ITS Australia took advantage of ITS World Congress presence to sign up Kapsch TrafficCom as its inaugural industrial partner. Said association CEO Susan Harris: “This initiative is designed to foster long-term partnerships with industry over the coming years. By working collaboratively, we can better support ITS development and deployment across our transport industry.”


Filling SatNav gaps

Czech Republic and Slovakian grouping ITS&S has taken responsibility for market research in the EC-funded Easy-OBU project. This is developing an inexpensive and portable onboard unit with open interfaces to allow retrospective robust vehicle positioning where signal reception from navigation satellites is unavailable or inadequate.

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Dr Muna Hamdi
Dr Muna Hamdi
ITS Arab

Avoid mistakes – build smart

Every new Arab city should be built ‘smart’, within a unified regional smart mobility strategy, believes ITS Arab research director Dr Muna Hamdi. “As most Arab countries have almost no legacy ITS systems, this enables us to benefit from international experience in avoiding past mistakes.”

Hamdi highlights the importance of logistics and tourism mobility in driving prosperity, mobile data technology and open data frameworks. ITS Arab covers 23 Middle East and North African countries. Its standards committee and architecture working group are currently reviewing existing international progress to help pave the way for interoperable ITS deployment.

Hamdi emphasises the necessity of an ITS framework architecture to address long-term needs and enable larger-scale future implementation. She is also building an Arab smart mobility knowledge base, initially covering Algeria, Palestine, Qatar, Tunisia, and the UAE.

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A collision mocked eCall workshop
A collision mocked up for the eCall workshop
Ertico-ITS Europe & ITS (UK)

eCall to cost less 

Projected costs of implementing the EU’s eCall automated in-vehicle incident alert initiative are falling, industry representatives heard at an October 2012 technical workshop staged by Ertico-ITS Europe and ITS (UK).

The European Parliament has resolved that all new cars in the EU must be equipped with the system by 2015; but the UK, France and Poland have been late starters in engaging with the process.

Prices for the necessary in-vehicle units are now likely to be lower than expected at €150 (US$190) for OEMs; €200 (US$255) for aftermarket.

Costs for implementation of public safety answering points and cellular communications will be modest, said UK consultant TRL research director Dr Alan Stevens. Staged at the UK’s innovITS Advance road-based ITS research centre, the event also highlighted the benefits of extending the system to trucks and powered two-wheelers; and progress within the 2011-2014 Harmonised eCall European pilot (HeERO) project. Coordinated by Ertico, HeERO is running eCall test sites across the EU.

Of the nine participating member states, two – Germany and Romania – have ITS associations as their project leaders, respectively ITS Niedersachsen and ITS Romania. The former is leading on test site administration and dissemination of results.

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ITS Indonesia vice-chair Noni S A Purnomo and ITS Ireland chair David O’Keeffe
ITS Indonesia vice-chair Noni S A Purnomo and ITS Ireland chair David O'Keeffe sign an MoU in the presence of ROI transport minister Alan Kelly TD
ITS Ireland

Asian transport buyers welcomed

Asian visitors in Ireland for a Transport Showcase Week hosted by the country’s export agency Enterprise Ireland were also welcome guests at ITS Ireland’s annual conference in Dublin in October. The two bodies joined forces to lay on technical site visits to key Irish ITS locations for eight buyers from India and Indonesia.

 The focus was on electric vehicle technology, traffic management, tolling and public transport.

Opportunities highlighted in Indonesia, a key member of the post-BRIC group of emerging economies, include proposed bus rapid transit services within a government ITS implementation programme. Rating the tie-up a success, Enterprise Ireland’s Cathy Holahan outlined plans for 2013 collaborations on regions including Latin America.

ITS Ireland also handed out its first-ever awards at the conference. Winners were (government category) Cork City Council for a pedestrian counting system supplied by Bandwidth Telecommunications; (industry category) Hit The Road’s journey time planner; and (research category) a National Roads Authority/Arup intelligent streetlighting project, now in pilot deployment.  

ITS Sweden

Nordic Brussels office opens

ITS Sweden has opened a representative office in Brussels – the first national association to establish a direct presence at the administrative heart of the European community. Heading it is Eva Boethius, former project officer of DG Connect, the EC’s Directorate General for Communications

For DG Connect she worked on the Drive C2X project, which is developing a pan-European cooperative vehicle reference platform for communication between vehicles and from vehicles to infrastructure.

ITS Sweden is hoping its new office will help it establish closer cooperation with the EC, Ertico and other Brussels-based organisations.

Ertico CEO Hermann Meyer welcomes the initiative as one that will “substantially strengthen the Swedish voice on ITS in the EU”

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Eva Boethius
Eva Boethius

ITS America

Handbook contract awarded

The US Department of Transportation has awarded ITS America a contract to produce the third edition of the industry bible the ITS Handbook, on behalf of the World Road Association PIARC.

On-line publication of the global technical guide for road owners, operators and managers is set for mid-2014.

The 2004 second edition is available on-line in English and French, in book-form in Chinese and as a CDROM in Spanish.

Companies in this article

European Commission
ITS America
ITS Arab
ITS Australia
ITS Ireland
ITS Romania
ITS Sweden
ITS World Congress
Kapsch TrafficCom
TTS Italia
US Department of Transportation
World Road Association

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