This week, four European countries (Belgium, the Netherlands, France and the United Kingdom) successfully tested innovative cooperative ITS services in real traffic conditions and across borders. This TESTFEST was the fourth and final test event of a three-year project of 30 million euros, co-financed by the European Union under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) program, InterCor. This event was organized by the Government of Flanders.
The first results were presented today at the “Connecting European Corridors conference” in the presence of the Flemish Minister for Mobility and Public Works, Ben Weyts, and Geert Van Der Linden, DG MOVE, European Commission.
To Geert van der Linden, European Commission, the great value of the project is that we have created a network and started to roll the ball towards the deployment of C-ITS. ” InterCor provided a solid input and basis. Now we shall deploy what we have and start developing new services.” he added.
“During this TESTFEST, 12 international teams did successful cross-border test runs proving interoperability of C-ITS services in the InterCor Member States and beyond. This is another step to the international roll-out of C-ITS. There is still a lot of work ahead but we are on the right track!” added Peter Schmitting, InterCor TESTFEST activity leader, ERTICO – ITS Europe.
Road infrastructure talking to vehicles
C-ITS stations have been placed alongside the road to send information to the test vehicles about real-time road and traffic conditions (such as speed advices, obstacles, lane closure, traffic light status). These messages are displayed on a system in the vehicle. This “on-board station” warns the driver in a safe way about potentially dangerous traffic situations.
The main objective of these tests is to investigate whether the ITS equipment of the different countries and of different providers works well together, in order to harmonise technology so to ensure service availability and continuity and ultimately increase road safety in Europe.
The emphasis of this week’s TESTEFST was on services broadcasting data about traffic conditions from the road side stations to the unit on-board vehicles and the specifications for these services necessary for use across national borders.
Accurate information for the driver
InterCor tests how information can flow automatically to the display in the vehicle. In this way drivers can make real-time decisions and road safety and traffic flow can be improved.
By displaying the information on the screen inside the vehicles, the chance of drivers missing the information displayed on road side signs is reduced. For example, a red cross on a dynamic sign above the motorway, indicating that a lane has been closed for works, can thus be displayed automatically on a screen in the vehicle. Providing this information in the vehicle reduces the number of drivers accidentally driving in a closed lane, thereby improving safety for both the drivers and the workers.
Additionally, information about the waiting time at a traffic light can improve traffic flow and driving comfort. When the on-board unit automatically shows on the display how long a driver has to wait for the green light, a lot of frustration can be avoided, red light negation will drop and traffic will flow more smoothly.
The ultimate goal is that the driver of the vehicle no longer receives “noise” from information while he is driving. For example, the vehicle of the future will automatically receive information about road works, speed limits or traffic lights. Based on this information, the vehicle can then suggest a different route or speed to the driver. Ultimately, this information can even support automated mobility and enable self-driving vehicles on our roads.
InterCor project results
The results of the InterCor project contribute to the formulation of joint specifications for these systems, within the C-ROADS Platform (www.c-roads.eu). Thus, InterCor contributes to the introduction of C-ITS services within the four participating Member States and across Europe, whereby national borders will no longer play a role.