Last week, Tuesday October 3rd, the European Parliament voted to approve the Intelligent Transport System (ITS) Directive Revision for a move towards large-scale deployment across the European Union.
The newly approved revisions set out by the European Commission called for an update to the Directive in order to adapt to the emergence of new road mobility options, mobility apps, and connected automated mobility, with the aim of stimulating faster deployment of new, intelligent services.
It also aims to address previous shortcomings such as a lack of interoperability, lack of consultation and cooperation between stakeholders, and insufficient availability of data.
Originally devised in 2010, the ITS Directive aims to accelerate the implementation of Intelligent Transport Systems which utilize Vehicle-to-Everything (V2X) communication between vehicles, infrastructure, and pedestrians.
The European Parliament recognized these as systems that aim to provide innovative services relating to different modes of transport and traffic management, by enabling various users to be better informed and make safer, more coordinated, and smarter use of transport networks.
While some Member States were already deploying ITS in their road transport systems, the Directive aimed to ensure a coordinated and effective deployment of ITS within the Union as a whole.
In 2019, the European Commission proposed a Delegated Regulation to ensure the legal certainty for the deployment of ITS. However, there was a Council objection, ruled under legal and technological reasons, which did not see an act implemented.
As there was no legislative act for regulations, the deployment of Intelligent Transport Systems relied on voluntary cooperation from stakeholders to ensure that it was implemented within vehicles across the market, and as part of road infrastructure.
The European Commission has outlined that the success of ITS across Europe is dependent on an interference-free zone, seamless communications, and fast and broad availability to all road users.
Within the Directive, ITS is regarded as an application that makes mobility safer, more efficient, and more sustainable, and four leading principles are set out: technology neutrality, coexistence, interoperability, and compatibility.
Specifically, the Directive calls for the following:
• Technology neutrality whereby the focus is on service delivery with a regulatory framework that fosters market-led innovation. Services and their related benefits should be benchmarked according to their end-user and ecosystem value, not the underlying technology.
• Special attention should be paid to the development of ITS in rural areas across the EU for social and economic inclusion.
• Data shared by National Access Points should be easily readable to commonly understood by commercial transport operators.
• The possibility of having digitized data related to the vehicle, the driver, and the trailer should be further considered to ensure the use of electronic proof of compliance across the EU.
• Integration of electronic consignment notes (eCMR) within the emergency call (eCall) system, allowing emergency responders to have full visibility of the information of the cargo being transported.
• When the deployment of and use of ITS applications and services share any type of data, it should be made voluntary for owners of this data to do so.
• Consumers should have their data protected in compliance with GDPR.
• The message format used between connected and automated vehicles, authorities, infrastructure, and overall environment should be defined and standardized for seamless and reliable data sharing.
• Cyber attacks should be minimized, and data security needs to be ensured, with privacy legislation upheld. As part of ITS, the ownership of data related to transport operators should stay internal.
Within 12 months of the Directive’s date of entry into force, the European Commission will be required to consult with the European ITS Advisory Group and other relevant stakeholders to adopt a working programme by means of an implementing act.
The Directive will be used to set out a coordinated deployment of Intelligent Transport Systems across the EU.
As such, ‘Priority Area IV’ within the Directive highlights the requirement of a definition of necessary measures for further development and implementation, particularly to support CCAM.
Specifications for information and warning services and an EU security credential management system for Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems (C-ITS) are also required.
Whilst EU Directives are legislative acts that set out a goal that EU countries must achieve, individual countries devise their own laws on how to reach these goals.