A new Danish platform for the development of intelligent traffic

By Project Director Svend Tøfting North Denmark Region

In the next few years lots of resources will be allocated to the ITS field in Denmark. Among other initiatives it has been decided to introduce road pricing and to implement eCall. One of the larger ITS initiatives is conducted in The North Denmark Region which intends to be the Danish ITS region where new technologies are developed and tested before they are implemented throughout the country. The ITS Platform is the first large project and thus the first step in realising out this vision: an ITS Platform which is open and available for new applications. The ITS Platform has a total budget of €5m and will be implemented 2010-2013.

If Intelligent Transport is to give the expected contribution to make the traffic of the future safer more efficient and more eco-friendly it requires both car-to-car and car-to-infrastructure communication. In order to achieve this objective a close collaboration between public authorities and companies is necessary. On the one hand we need to install equipment with positioning- and communication-systems in the vehicles and on the other hand we need to develop services so road users want to take advantage of the possibilities.

The Platform idea

It is strongly emphasised that the system functions as an open platform. The platform is to be the basis on which the actual ITS applications are built. It will contain the prevalent and general ITS functions which have a broad scope of use across the various applications. This could be e.g. position sensor data and communication or data processing functions in the individual box in the vehicles as well as data management and data exchange on the server. The basic ITS functions are sent through a number of interfaces which are accessible for the applications – both on the server and on the mobile unit.

The fact that the platform spans the entire server architecture and all the way into the attached vehicles gives a unique possibility for designing services and applications which take advantage of this. The application on the server is able to communicate with applications on the mobile unit the applications can use the general ITS functionality and data can flow freely in both directions and can be interchanged with other systems.

All together this means that the ITS Platform makes it possible to develop complete and integrated system solutions without having to build such a system from scratch.

500 vehicles will test the systems

The ITS Platform will consist of an electronic unit (On Board Unit/OBU) and a server for collecting processing and communicating the data. The OBU which initially will be installed in 500 cars makes it possible to get information about the whereabouts of each individual vehicle. Furthermore it is possible to contact the vehicle and its driver via the unit.

Building an organisation which on the one hand is able to develop the necessary technologies and applications and on the other hand can deliver the necessary support and service to the participating road users will be a central part of the project. Substantial resources are thus allocated to finding participants installing the equipment in the vehicles and to deliver the subsequent service.

User-friendly applications

The ITS Platform will be tested in 500 vehicles in which the OBU and the developed applications will be installed
The mobile OBUs and the server constitute the ITS Platform and provide a wide range of ITS functions. In order to illustrate the ability of the platform to manage diverse and simultaneous ITS applications the project will develop a number of demonstration applications. These applications will be fully operational and may serve as inspiration for actual commercial product development.

To begin with the development of the following applications is planned:

  • Parking: the platform handles automatic payment for parking so the driver doesn’t have to do anything actively. In the case of time-limited parking the driver is notified before the time runs out. The parking application is developed in cooperation with the Municipality of Aalborg Parking North and PBS (direct debit service).
  • Driving statistics: this function can be used to collect data about driving style (energy efficient driving hazardous driving) which can be relevant for both the driver himself and for employers. Furthermore it is possible to print a log of the driving which fulfils the demands of the Danish Tax Authority. In the case of theft the car can easily be tracked.
  • Traffic information: the project cooperates with the National Road Directorate and the Municipality of Aalborg on optimising the continuous traffic information for the benefit of all drivers including the ones who do not have the system in their cars.
  • Traffic statistics: the ITS Platform will collect data which can be used for mapping of both localities with congestion congestion dependent travel time and localities with speed violations. This information is useful for public authorities but also for private actors who are developing route planning systems and tracking systems.

Invitation to cooperation
The project which is coordinated by Aalborg University in cooperation with the companies GateHouse and Inntrasys will be a promoter for the development of an ITS cluster anchored in North Jutland. The open structure of the ITS Platform reduces the costs for companies who are interested in developing and testing new ITS applications and services and will thus support innovation in the field of ITS. All companies are welcome to join.

Furthermore the project aims at attracting resources for large parallel projects in which the ITS Platform is used. International projects are more than welcome.


For further information please contact Project Director Svend Tøfting


Facts about the OBU
The Inntrasys OBU is a mobile platform which is designed for mobile ITS services. Dedicated services and applications can be executed on the OBU through a set of open interfaces. Together with the ITS server the mobile platform architecture of the OBU constitutes a coherent and extremely flexible ITS infrastructure. The platform contains the technologies which are necessary for products to fulfil the demands of EETS (European Electronic Toll Service) including GPS DSRC and GSM/GPRS. Furthermore the OBU contains a number of other technologies and sensors which support advanced ITS services such as car-to-car and car-to-infrastructure communication. It has a traffic safe communication interface to the driver of the vehicle and is also easy and thus cheap to install. The OBUs can be updated continuously with new applications and functions via GPRS communication.
Facts about the ITS Server
The ITS server is a further development of GateHouse’s ghTrack platform which is a tracking and monitoring platform exceptional in the sense that it is independent of the tracked unit as well as easily integrated with other ITS systems. The ITS server will enable users/system houses to develop services and applications for the server which interface with the users via web and which use data such as car positions. The ITS server and the OBU together constitute the ITS Platform

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Original Publication Date: Fri 30 Jul 2010