1.1  Significance and background of the Handbook

1.1.1 Purpose and aim

This handbook comprises a series of guidance and advice for use by road authorities and operators to support them in development of their strategic approach, design development, deployment, installation and operation of Intelligent Transport Systems and Services (ITS) and remain compliant with EU legislation.

The purpose of these guidance is to assist Member States in taking a broadly similar approach so wider European added value can be achieved, whilst at the same delivering the needs of individual Member States.

On the one hand, the EU Delegate Regulations – published in 2013 – 2019 – and the Guidelines for the practical implementation and use of ITS services – adopted by 17 Member States as early as 2012 – have emerged at very different times. On the other hand, their focus and objectives are very different, the authors were particularly keen to use this handbook to build a bridge between the more strategic Delegate Regulations and the functional, organisational and technical Deployment Guidelines.

Against this background, Member States are recommended to translate the handbook into their national language. So all persons involved in the implementation of ITS services – each at his or her own level – can not only benefit from the important requirements laid down in the handbook, but can also be sure that each national ITS deployment will comply with the requirements of the EU delegated regulations for ITS.

Figure I: Integration of the ITS Reference Handbook in national specifications

1.1.2 Background

There is incontrovertible evidence from European nations and other parts of the world, that use of mature ITS, and more innovative systems now exemplified by C-ITS can make a significant contribution to improving transport efficiency, improving safety, and reducing negative impacts on the environment. A comprehensive compilation of the benefits of ITS implementations from the CEF-ITS corridors is presented in the publication “Digitalisation of road transport in Europe[1]”. The Evaluation Toolkit, developed by EU EIP Evaluation (Activity 5), presents customised results on impact and benefits based on criteria selected by the user[2]. ITS help achieve these outcomes through providing deep understanding of the efficiency of the network at any point in time, making traffic management interventions when necessary, and communicating information to the road user and other stakeholders including neighbouring traffic management centres and service providers.

These benefits can be monetised, and Cost Benefit Analyses are attractive to road operators, Members States and the European Union, all of whom have common key objectives to improve transport provision to support economic growth, increase public safety and reduce short- and longterm environmental impact. 

As a consequence, Member States have been extending the provision of ITS through wider deployment ITS Traffic Information Services such as Safety Related Traffic Information, Real Time Traffic Information, Multimodal Travel Information and Intelligent Truck Parking together with supporting infrastructure. Part of this infrastructure are traffic monitoring and sensing systems, as well as advanced traffic management systems.

At a European level, extending deployment and adopting a largely common approach in provision of ITS services derives wider benefits to trans-national users and assists in building a common European Transport Area. This is to the extent that the European ITS Action Plan, the ITS Directive (2010/40/EU) published in August 2010, and subsequent Delegated Regulations provides the legal basis and a framework for each nation to accelerate and implement harmonised and interoperable ITS systems and services. 

This reference handbook assists in providing the reader with the necessary background and information needed to understand how core ITS Traffic and Travel Information and Traffic Management systems and services can be implemented in each Member State whilst supporting the requirements of the Directive and Delegated Regulations. In particular, it provides advice that will achieve added value of European harmonisation and interoperability. Moreover it describes data communication interfaces which will assist in building a digital layer for traffic and transport across Europe.

Overall this handbook provides a bridge between legislation and policy, and the needs of actors responsible for implementing ITS systems and services on the road network.

Note: This handbook draws from the perspective and expertise of road operators and focuses on ITS-Core services for road transport and inter-urban road networks. Urban networks as well as the upcoming discussion about automated driving are not in the scope of the current version of the handbook.

[1] www.its-platform.eu/digitalisation-book

[2] https://www.its-platform.eu/evaluation-toolkit