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A new European directive is pushing for greater adoption of Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS): How and when is this coming to the telematics market?
i) on the framework for the deployment of Intelligent Transport Systems in the field of road transport and for interfaces with other modes of transport, has entered into force on August 28, 2010.After validation by the European Parliament, a new ITS Directive (Directive 2010/40/EU
This directive is paving the way for a European-wide market of services in the transport business focusing on the 4 priority areas defined as follows:
·          optimal use of road, traffic and travel data (real traffic information service)
·          Priority actions: EU-wide multimodal travel and real-time traffic information services as well as road safety related minimum universal traffic information services
·          Continuity of traffic and freight management ITS services (enabling better fleet management services)
·          Actions: e.g. ensuring information flow; tracking and tracing of freight
·          ITS road safety and security applications (eCALL and parking services)
·          Priority actions: EU-wide eCall services as well as reservation and information systems services for safe and secure parking places for trucks and commercial vehicles
·          Linking the vehicle with the transport infrastructure (enabling Car2Car and vehicle2infrastructure services)
·          Actions: e.g. systems for exchange of data or information between vehicles, infrastructures and between vehicle and infrastructure

ii. In 2008, EC was pointing out the real challenges of the growing transport needs for all Europe. EC called for the adoption of ITS applications and alerted on the lack of an existing standard and coherent organization between countries for making the deployment of such technologies economically viable. Most of the action plan has been transposed into the directive, except for the timing where member states will benefit of longer periods of time between every report (every 3 years versus 1) and for the safe keeping of existing ITS applications deployed in one member state.The new directive is the result of a long-awaited European process of negotiations between Parliament and Council since the first draft was proposed by the European Commission (EC) in December 2008

This is to say that in Europe, every new application requires a consensus from all of the members and always takes into consideration every existing set up. As an example, the investment in the emergency calls services made by some European car OEM:s (seen as real pioneers a decade ago) will therefore be protected for tomorrow and stay compliant with the future pan-European eCall standard.

The new directive establishes a framework and planning of actions to support a coordinated and coherent deployment of ITS within the EU, in particular across the borders between the member states, and it sets out the general conditions necessary for that purpose. For example the reuse of existing technologies like EGNOS/Galileo and RFID, the creation of a new ITS Advisory Group (similar to the eSafety group which was created in 2002 for eCall and lead by ERTICO), regrouping delegates of industry, associations and European Member States –for those who want to work on the future specifications of ITS applications it will most certainly be very interesting to join – and an ITS Committee (parallel to other existing committees for road tolling, recording equipments, use of spatial information, etc.), which with its expertise will help the EC to drive the specifications and the global action plan.

A two-step approach for a swift introduction of ITS through EU legislation has been agreed: the Commission will prepare and adopt the necessary specifications for the ITS applications and services concerned. Their aim is to be ready by February 27, 2013 for a minimum of one or more of the priorities. Then, within 12 months and, where appropriate, after an impact assessment, the Commission will present a proposal for deployment of those ITS to the European Parliament and the Council, which will jointly decide for or against the proposal. In any case, member states will have the final say on whether or not to deploy and ITS application or service in their territory. However, if they do so, they must respect the specifications adopted under the directive. There are some additional key milestones to keep in mind: in August 2011, member states will report their ITS activities and projects to the Commission. In August 2012, the member states will report about the national deployment of ITS application and their actions for the next 5 years. A report of progress will be updated every 3 years by the Commission for the Parliament.

In conclusion, this is a necessary and constructive framework for preparing and organizing the conditions of an interesting market for ITS services on a European scale.
This directive does not hide the complexity of delivering telematics services for all Europe. Indeed, we are talking about providing some connected services in a fragmented mosaic of countries for more than 230 million passenger cars, 30 million light commercial vehicles and 6 million trucks. Having a portion of this market, we at Telenor Connexion have an understanding of how complex it can be. Therefore, I am expecting a long process for assessing the existing implementations, taking into consideration every report and finding specifications good enough to be approved by the larger number.

Finally, coming back to the business reality, I believe that this is a good time for automotive OEMs to make decision whether to start a venture or wait longer (but do not expect a reliable specification before 2013). It’s worth keeping a serious eye on this.

i Directive 2010/40/EU adopted on July 7, 2010 by the Parliament, can be downloaded on the web site: 
IiThe draft document from the European Commission dated of Dec 16.2008, with reference 2008/0263, are available on web site: