On day four of the InterCor ITS-G5 TESTFEST, InterCor coordinator Ronald Adams welcomed guests to the first InterCor Workshop. ERTICO’s Giacomo Somma and the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment’s Michel Beck (Rijkswaterstaat/RWS) joined Mr Adams in welcoming guests, introducing the agenda and setting the scene.

The first speaker was Jan Willem Tierolf from Rijkswaterstaat, who presented the C-Roads Platform and explained its relationship to the InterCor project.  The aim of C-Roads is to link all C-ITS deployments in a harmonised way, similar to the InterCor project and including many of the same members – Netherlands, Belgium, France and the UK.

According to Mr Tierolf the C-Roads Platform is expanding well the number of participating member states continues to grow. He added that by autumn of this year the first test infrastructure should be in place. He also announced the first ITS G5 profile will be adopted this September.

ITS Project Manager Abraham Bot from Rijkswaterstaat, the chief organiser of the TESTFEST, was up next and presented an overview of the ITS-G5 TESTFEST. Mr Bot discussed the venue, preparation, management and testing involved in the TESTFEST and highlighted that the TESTFEST had been a great success. Mr Bot also noted that there had been a high standard of on-board-units at the event, a friendly atmosphere and, most importantly of all, lots of useful data was collected to be analysed.

Following Mr Bot was Dynniq CEO Cees de Wijs who presented the industry perspective of C-ITS. He explained that Dynniq is a multinational company specialised in ITS, managing transport systems across Europe. He elaborated on the state of C-ITS, the challenges ahead, such as upgrading the digital infrastructure on highways, and the transition to a data driven transport system.

He also discussed Dynniq’s experience in developing and deploying C-ITS technologies and the unresolved issues relating to harmonisation, capacity and infrastructure. In closing he called on attendees to seize the opportunity of developing and implementing ITS-G5 services.

After the lunch break, which also gave attendees a chance to experience the ITS-G5 TESTFEST, Andreas Erwig from TomTom presented the service providers perspective. Mr Erwig explained how TomTom is working with other companies and authorities to develop their navigation service. He added that TomTom currently serves more than 550 million devices and this exposure is giving them the opportunity to map traffic conditions with a high degree of accuracy using GPS data.

Of particular interest was a web tool TomTom is developing to track traffic jams using this GPS data – called ‘Traffic Pro’. Using this tool they can detect traffic ‘shockwaves’ which reflect the impact a single traffic event can have on the wider transport network, while more advanced deployments incorporate camera data. On the service providers perspective, Mr Erwig clarified that TomTom is not competing with the ITS corridor but in fact they welcome efforts such as InterCor as they can bring down the prices of technologies and improve the service.

Elaborating, he believes in the coming years companies such as Uber and Lyft will become important suppliers of raw GPS data and this will allow an expansion of ITS services – such as detecting parking spots across an urban area. However he also suggested Europe is too focused on hardware rather than software driven deployment of ITS.

Next up was Maxime Flament from ERTICO-ITS Europe and representing the European Automotive and Telecom Alliance (EATA). He began by explain what EATA is, its membership – including OEMs, suppliers, telecoms providers and more – objectives and goals. He highlighted the challenges ahead for automated driving and how ITS can help support its development.

Mr Flament also discussed the different approaches that EATA was engaged in developing ITS and automated driving, such as Concorda which aims to reduce the redundancies in communications in order to improve reliability and accuracy of services. He also explained different options available for sharing and using bandwidths for different purposes and applications and how these methods can support ITS deployment.

From EATA’s perspective he supported the comments from TomTom regarding developing software rather than hardware solutions. In closing he called for an opening up for more bands to allow for prioritisation of vehicle data.

Following Mr Flament were Ilse Harms from Connecting Mobility and Kirsten Pouwels from Rijkswaterstaat who shared their perspective on the human factors of ITS.  Ms Harms explained that she was invited as a psychologist to assess the user experience of ITS services. She elaborated on her experience noting that the aim of ITS should be to influence the road user rather than simply the vehicle, therefore the human-machine interface (HMI) should be prioritised in development of ITS technologies.

Ms Harms also discussed the launch of a new programme being run by RWS to cultivate a network of users – 5000 by the end of the year. In closing she focused on the need to incorporate the user experience as early as possible in the development process.

Ms Pouwels highlighted the various situations the drivers face on daily basis which need to be taken into account when developing ITS technologies such as erratic vehicle movements, obstacles, lack of visibility and the varying kinds of technologies which could be difficult to integrate. in their closing remarks, the called for the development of new guidelines for ITS users.

The final speaker of the day was Gary Crockford from the UK’s Department for Transport (DfT) who shared the perspectives for hybrid C-ITS services roll-out and a view on the upcoming InterCor Hybrid TESTFEST. He outlining the state of play in the UK for ITS and C-ITS, highlighting the UK’s desire to be a world leader and maintain an integral role among the international community in these fields. Mr Crockford explained that the DfT provide a lot of R&D support for ITS, have written a code of practice for testing driverless cars and providing a lot of facilities for testing and developing ITS technologies.

Finally, Mr Somma of ERTICO and Mr Adams of RWS brought the workshop to a close and thanked everyone for attending.

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