ITS Observatory webinar – a unique tool for ITS deployment, an introduction

51 stakeholders participated in the first ITS Observatory webinar that presented a general overview of the benefits and key features of the ITS Observatory, the value of the ITS Observatory for the ITS stakeholders, Customer Cases and a potential Customer testimonial. Polls took place throughout the webinar to collect valuable feedback on the individual presentations. A lively Q&A section concluded the webinar.

ITS Observatory’s Project Coordinator Paul Kompfner of ERTICO – ITS Europe, kicked off the webinar by explaining why we need an ITS Observatory. Currently there is no overview of ITS deployment in Europe, potential investors need to know the “what, where, who & how” of ITS; government, investors and suppliers need to know the impacts, benefits and costs; and ITS deployment can and must be stimulated through a dynamic, open market place for ITS knowledge & information. The ITS Observatory is a tool for and by the ITS community. It is self-servicing: ITS owners & suppliers will enter content. Anyone interested can search the database. ITS stakeholders can share knowledge, ask questions and give advice. The ITS Observatory has the ambition to become THE place for ITS information. The ITS Observatory’s main features include the “What is Where” (an inventory of ITS deployment), “Who’s Who” (a directory of the ITS Community), “What’s New (announcements of new ITS developments & deployments), “Success stories” (examples of good practice & lessons learnt), “Euro projects (e.g. Horizon 2020 TE-T), “ITS Directive”, “Impacts and benefits”, “Insight” (market trends, technology watch, opinion pieces), “Standards” (inside information on ITS standards & standardisation), “Knowledge marketplace” (post your question to an ITS expert, find an insider contact, give advice), and “Online networking” (share your experience, see what are the hot topics).

The ITS Observatory delivers a clear value proposition. The ITS Observatory is in for the long haul  and the project will put in place a sustainable business model and plan for future ownership of the ITS Observatory.René André Jacob of Xerox Business Services explained that the ITS Observatory is a flexible and user-friendly crowed sourced knowledge platform which offers the ITS community the opportunity to demonstrate innovations, programs and projects, organisations, solutions and other ITS information to the community AND serves as a “one-stop shop” to find ITS related information, people and places, and to act as a starting point for professional interactions. From an industry perspective, the ITS Observatory offers the opportunity to increase an industry’s visibility, demonstrate capabilities, show products and solutions, raise its profile, improve its competitiveness and become a differentiator in the market place. A poll with the webinar participants raised the question on who should pay for the yearly costs of managing the ITS Observatory. 56% of the participants believed the EU should pay, followed by 34% for the ITS Nationals, 31% government (national, local, …), 28% industry and 28% the ERTICO Partnership through a membership fee.

Simon Edwards of Newscastle University presented the Customer Cases. Workshops, surveys and interviews established customer requirements, what people want from the ITS Observatory and how they will use it. General differences in priority requirements between public and private sectors have also been identified. An ITS Observatory customer segmentation includes 8 distinct categories. A poll asked webinar participants what the ways are in which any customer can use the ITS Observatory. 3% believed in publishing content, 32% in searching for knowledge, 0% of the answers in providing investment, 6% in developing networks and 28% in all of the previous options. Simon Edwards then continued with the description of a  Customer Case for the government. He took the example of a local authority in the North of England who wishes to deploy ITS strategically to optimise operation of the road network, reduce CO2 emissions and enhance safety of vulnerable road users. The customer case described what the specific needs of the government were and what the ITS Observatory could offer. Customer Case search options in the ITS Observatory “What is Where” section include filters and an interactive map. The “What is where” domain includes filters by country, ITS domain, geographical coverage, area of transport, and problem area / objective. The “Who’s Who” section includes filters by country, ITS domain, type of organisation and name. Information is complemented by the sections “Success stories”, “User forum” and “Events listing”. The ITS Observatory ensures a follow-up to the interaction. Customers get in contact with other implementers, can invite industry partners to start a market consultation and can attend a congress which aims at solving similar issues.

A potential “Customer testimonial” was given by Nuccia Fedel of ACI. As a public non-profit body, ACI is a federation of over 100 Automobile Clubs and Associations. ACI established and controls companies that are instruments for the provision of services related to mobility. Nucci Fedel described what input ACI could deliver to the Observatory and what benefits using the Observatory could bring to ACI. As a public authority, the ITS Observatory “What is where” will allow ACI to identify potential opportunities where ACI’s systems may be useful and can be presented to local authorities; “Success stories” will allow ACI to verify whether there are better solutions etc. The ITS Observatory will be a tool for ACI to promote its role as a public authority, its capabilities to potential customers/partners and its systems and solutions. Nuccia Fedel also presented the Customer testimonial for Luce Verde, a real time traffic management information service,  A poll was organised regarding “Why should public authorities be willing to share information and content on the ITS Observatory”. The majority (61%)  of the participants believed it was to make comparisons between other/similar authorities or adopted solutions. 18% of the participants believed to stimulate improvement proposal, 12% to networking with other public authorities, 6% in attracting investors and 3% in increasing visibility.

The webinar was concluded with several questions from the audience. On the question whether the ITS Observatory did not consider the automotive industry, webinar moderator Paul Kompfner confirmed there is room included in the database structure (for example C-ITS and Connected and Automated Driving). Participants asked who will be in charge of feeding and coordinating the data. It was made clear that the users will enter their own content and can write to the ITS Observatory administrators with specific questions. There will be however a light level of control with people being responsible for their own information entry. Upon the question when the ITS Observatory will be live, Paul Kompfner replied that a beta version will be presented at the European ITS Congress in Glasgow in June 2016. After that it will become available for the early adopters and the public platform will be live in October 2016. It was also made clear that the ITS Observatory will not duplicate existing efforts and that it will include links with other sources; portal and channels.

For more information:

ITS Observatory webinar – 10.05.2016 – Agenda

1. What is the benefit of the ITS Observatory, key features – Paul Kompfner – ERTICO – ITS Europe
2. Value for ITS Observatory stakeholder, René André Jacob – Xerox Business Services
3. Customer cases, Simon Edwards – Newcastle University
4. Potential customer testimonial, Nuccia Fedel – ACI

Webinar recording