Lead experts in the field of Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) gathered in Brussels for a two-day workshop this week to discuss how technology can be better used to create a driving and transportation culture that contributes to safe, efficient and sustainable mobility in the coming years.

The workshop, entitled “Towards a new transportation culture: technology innovations for safe, efficient and sustainable mobility”, was organized by UNECE and the Federal Public Service Mobility and Transport of Belgium ITS plays an integral role in the development of mobility as Jacqueline Galant, Minister of Mobility, Belgium, noted in her opening speech: “…safe, efficient and sustainable mobility cannot happen without ITS” she said: In order to support the development of ITS, new mobility technologies need to be embraced on a national and international level and the legislative and regulatory frameworks should be coordinated.

Eva Molnar, Director of UNECE’s Transport Division, said: “Legislation is not an immediate obstacle to ITS solution deployment! However the policy approach should be clearer… Transport Policy makers and regulators should work together.” The workshop explored new innovations such as autonomous driving or technologies that enable vehicles to communicate with each other or with infrastructure, and the way in which UNECE can further advance harmonization of traffic rules, vehicle regulations or messages that are provided through variable message signs.

The High-level panel concluded that the main opportunities lie in improving road safety, managing mobility (i.e. developing infrastructure, relieving traffic congestions and creating parking space), protecting the environment and enhancing economic development (for example, in freight).

Challenges remain mainly in funding, the deployment of ITS, and the collection and connectivity of data. Finding a common language in the regulatory framework and a common definition for ITS as well as adapting existing conventions and agreements may also pose challenges.

The panel identified several priority areas where progress is needed: the development of autonomous cars and automated driving, safety in intersections and level crossings, intelligent road charges and smart e-tolling and traffic management and variable message signs (VMS). For more information, click here


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