After 3 years, Compass4D project announced its continuation to the public at its final event at the 22nd ITS World Congress in Bordeaux, France.

The Compass4D consortium and its associated partners have decided to continue operating the C-ITS services, without EU co-funding, for at least one year with the ultimate goal of moving from pilot to large scale deployment for a self-sustained market.

The official ceremony of the agreement took place at the opening of the project final event on Wednesday, 7th October. The event officially kicked off with the welcome speech by Hermann Meyer, CEO, ERTICO – ITS Europe and was followed by the ceremonial signature of the Memorandum of Understanding by the representatives of the seven European cities of Bordeaux, Copenhagen, Helmond, Newcastle, Thessaloniki, Verona and Vigo.

21509071094_d2e7307ce9_z“After one year of tests and a one year operational phase in both the centre and ring road of Bordeaux, Bordeaux Metropolis and the City of Bordeaux are happy to have participated in the deployment of C-ITS services. Through Compass4D, we installed the first operational pilot of cooperative ITS systems in France which is a great achievement for us. Bordeaux is delighted to continue the experimentation of cooperative systems such as Compass4D and, to supplement them with other use cases” said Ms Nathalie Delattre, Deputy Mayor of Bordeaux.

Some 100 participants attended the final event which took place in the Palais des Congres, Bordeaux on Wednesday afternoon. The event included 9 presentations from different cities and industry stakeholders tackling the needs for large scale deployment to become reality.  In addition, two parallel panel discussions focused respectively on benefits for cities and users and business cases for industry players and service providers.

Compass4D also featured as one of the highlights of both the opening and closing ceremonies of the ITS World Congress, during which Cees de Wijs, Chair of the Supervisory Board of ERTICO – ITS Europe, declared “One of the key focus areas that the ERTICO Partnership pursues is interoperability. There are plenty of very good tangible results in European projects, but the point is how to replicate these results on a large scale. This is about interoperability and standardisation, but also about finding the right business models to achieve the critical mass needed to boost the market and the ITS industry. We are extremely delighted to see the refreshed momentum in this direction with the launch of the Compass4D initiative. Firstly, the commitment that the cities and the industries have made to continue or further intensify the large scale deployment of cooperative services as a follow up to Compass4D, which is already a key step towards a self-sustained market. Secondly, the extension and improved alignment of testing of connected and cooperated services across several corridors in Europe.”

Compass4DThe Compass4D demonstrations also proved to be a huge success during the five days of the Congress. “A total of 10 vehicles have run more than 1700 kilometers to demonstrate the Compass4D services to almost  300 participants who were impressed and very pleased with the results.” said Mr André Perpey, CEO of Geoloc Systems and leader of the Compass4D final demonstration in Bordeaux. “The Compass4D demo vehicles not only exchanged information in the context of this specific project, but also from other demonstrations providing cooperative services this week in Bordeaux. This means we have achieved interoperability between equipment from different vendors beyond Compass4D.” added Mr André Perpey.

“The most important issue now is to focus on adding value to the user, providing the basis for a self-sustained market for C-ITS in cities, which is good for both the cities and the industry. This is a huge opportunity and we, as ERTICO, commit to supporting this initiative and making it a success.” said Mr Hermann Meyer.

Overall, during the three years, Compass4D has installed equipment and implemented and cooperative services on almost 300 roadside units and traffic lights and on more than 600 vehicles, with over 1200 drivers involved in the pilot tests. The implementation process lasted more than one year and required large efforts from the whole consortium.  The seven European cities have been actively involved in the Compass4D project with the aim of addressing their challenges and needs in the context of improving traffic management.

At the same time, Compass4D has brought together many other key stakeholders such as industry players, public transport operators, fleet operators, users, standardisation and research organisations. “And this is something the cities in the Compass4D project very much appreciated. Our involvement was not just about offering our roads for testing purposes, but also to discuss from a city’s point-of-view possible business models, deployment barriers and, most importantly, deployment opportunities. Because it is now time to move to large scale deployment to get real impact from C-ITS services for urban mobility. Because in smart cities our citizens expect efficient mobility, without traffic jams, unnecessary delays and accidents”, said Mr Gert Blom, strategic deployment advisor of Compass4D from the City of Helmond.

Originally, the ITS World Congress in Bordeaux represented the final event of the project, but Compass4D will continue its services for one more year with the aim of moving from pilot deployment to large scale deployment to achieve a self-sustained market. The organisations involved in the Compass4D continuation will meet in November 2015 in Newcastle to conclude the pilot deployment project and launch the activities for large scale deployment of C-ITS services in 2016. “This is the commitment: one small step for Compass4D partners, one giant leap for the ITS community.” said Mr Gert Blom enthusiastically.