On 14 October 2011 on the occasion of the World Standards Day the DG Enterprise and Industry of the European Commission held its annual conference in Brussels. Standardisation is an important issue for the Commission as it impacts on its ability to achieve certain policy goals. In particular this year’s event concentrated on the role that standardisation has in the European economy and how it can ensure innovation and growth for Europe in the world.

The event embraced different areas including standardisation support to Intelligent Transport System (ITS). Representatives of BroadBit Cen278 ETSI and ERTICO – ITS Europe were invited to give presentations and to share their thoughts and views on standardisation and ITS.

Andras Kovacs who manages BroadBit research work underlined the importance of ITS standardisation for small and medium enterprises (SMEs). According to Mr Kovacs SME can have an important role as they can bring innovative ideas; but in order to do so the standardisation process needs to be affordable with a fair pricing strategy and be quick because SMEs do not have the means to spend years on standardisation without achieving returns on this investment. Søren Hess Chair of the ITS Technical Committee at ETSI (the European Telecommunications Standards Institute) stated that substantial further completion of standards on cooperative systems should happen within the next few years. Some standardisation results have already been released. Hermann Meyer ERTICO Chief Executive Officer gave an overview on why standards are needed and presented some of the ERTICO activities in support of standardisation. Mr Meyer highlighted the positive aspect of standards as they provide economies of scale and furthermore they provide the basis for future certification. In the ITS context most standards focus on achieving interoperability seamless connectivity and data/information exchange.

The attention of the participants focused on cooperation and internationalisation. An important issue concerned the role users had in the creation of standards. Mr Hess explained that ETSI has a users group and that several projects such as Field Operate Tests (FOTs) are based on users needs. Mr Meyer confirmed that in the context of deployment it is important to focus more on users in the future. ERTICO has a Users Sector Platform and a Public Authority Sector Platform which provide important input into the Partnership by articulating their needs. In addition ERTICO is also organising a Forum on ITS for Urban Mobility in order to gain knowledge about the challenges in cities and to discuss relevant ITS solutions.

Another important issue raised at the conference was the possibility of increasing international cooperation on standardisation. Most standardisation bodies and organisations are already a step ahead in this process. For instance ERTICO has a well-established partnership with the USA and Japan which covers different types of activities such as vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication and location based services. It was pointed out that there are ongoing cooperation activities between EU USA and Japan on harmonisation of some specific cooperative system applications.

The video of the sessions is available here.

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Original Publication Date: Wed 26 Oct 2011