Intelligent Cooperative Systems in Europe
Earlier projects within the European R&D framework programmes concerned systems that were aimed at improving either the transport infrastructure or the vehicles themselves: these projects generally developed autonomous or stand-alone systems, either in the vehicle or at the roadside.
From the outset of the Sixth Framework Programme, it was recognised that the future of ICT applications in transport for safety and efficiency lay in cooperative systems, based on vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communications, rather than in autonomous systems. Indeed, however effective it may be, a vehicle-based system could greatly benefit if additional information could be made available as a result of cooperation with other vehicles and with the infrastructure.
Major efforts were also underway in the USA and Japan (e.g. Vehicle Infrastructure Initiative, Advanced Safety Vehicle Programme, Advanced Cruise-Assist Highway Systems, Smartway, Internet ITS…). Now was the time for Europe to gain a leading position in these developments, focusing on its own requirements and needs, and building on recent initiatives launched in some Member States (e.g. INVENT [Germany], CVHS [UK], PREDIT [France], IVSS [Sweden]…).
Now Europe has to build on this expertise and take a lead in the research, standardisation and market introduction of Intelligent Co-operative Systems. With distributed intelligence covering a wide range of information shared between road and vehicle, the door opens to innovative approaches on services such as traffic management, freight & fleet management, vehicle navigation, hazard warnings and driver information. The expected user benefits of new cooperative system technologies also promise to make these new services commercially attractive.
The eSafety Forum Working Groups
The eSafety Forum was established in 2002 to promote and accelerate the development, deployment and use of Intelligent Vehicle Safety Systems. In March 2005, the Forum established a new Working Group on Communications. The group will play a crucial role in defining the European approach to the communications aspects of the Intelligent Vehicle Safety Systems.
The group will focus especially on spectrum issues and standardisation, and will also follow the international developments in the U.S. and Japan.
The Implementation Road Map Working Group analyses how to promote the deployment of these systems in future, and solutions to encrease market penetration and customer awareness (e.g. incentives).
ITS can be applied in support of "cleaner mobility" by improving communication and the collection and flow of information amongst vehicles and infrastructure in order to manage a smoother, more flexible traffic flow of people and goods and in the most cost-efficient way. The ICT for Clean Mobility Working Group promotes the environmental benefits produced by ITS applications for traffic efficiency, for example traffic management systems that reduce vehicles' delay leading to less fuel consumption and lower emissions. This new Working Group is also looking towards ITS systems and services that specifically address environmental objectives.
The eSafety Security Working Group investigates eSecurity needs, which address the vulnerability of Road Transport introduced by the misuse of networked and co-operative systems, and which are compatible with legal and certification aspects.
In June 2005, the European Commission adopted the i2010 initiative: European Information Society 2010 for growth and employment. As one of the three flagship projects proposed by the i2010 initiative, the EC issued a new Communication: Intelligent Car Initiative, "Raising Awareness of ICT for Smarter, Safer and Cleaner Vehicles".
The Intelligent Car Initiative, presented in this Communication, has three objectives:
- to co-ordinate and support the work of stakeholders through the eSafety Forum
- to support research and technological development for smarter, cleaner and safer vehicles
- to create awareness of ICT-based solution for safer and more efficient transport
Within the first objective, the work will address the issues of spectrum needs for cooperative systems. The i2010 Intelligent Car Initiative will offer the highest level political support and a coordination mechanism for the discussions on spectrum