2.4  The Harmonization requirements and advice concept

2.4.1 Purpose and aim

As the primary objective of this handbook is the harmonisation of the ITS service deployment throughout Europe, the “harmonisation and advice concept” is the very core of the handbook. Here, for each of the European ITS Core Services, requirements and advice are formulated from a pan-European perspective in such a way that

  • functional, organisational and technical interoperability between the ITS services is achieved
  • the end user, irrespective of the European country in which he/she is travelling, can perceive and use the services offered in the same or at least a similar way
  • uniform implementation and evaluation benchmarks for the deployment of ITS Core services are available to the acting road operators when they intend to implement a new ITS service or improve an existing ITS service.

2.4.2 The Must, Should & May requirement principle

It is essential for every prescriptive document to provide specifications in a well-defined and unambiguous language. There are various definitions that clarify the use of particular words (such as those listed below) within their prescriptive texts.

For the purpose of this ITS Reference Handbook, the well-established provisions of the RFC 2119 are used, which is used to specify the basic Internet standards:

The ITS service key words “MUST”, “MUST NOT”, “REQUIRED”, “SHALL”, “SHALL NOT”, “SHOULD”, “SHOULD NOT”, “RECOMMENDED”, “MAY” and “OPTIONAL” in this document are to be interpreted as described in RFC 2119. An overview of the keywords, their meaning and the possible answers in the context chapter Harmonization requirements and advice is provided in Table 6.

Table 6: Requirement wording

In general, the keywords in brackets are possible, but their use is not recommended in order to avoid confusion which may arise because of different common linguistic usage of the terms in the different EU member states.

Note: the capitalisation of these keywords that is frequently used in Internet standards is not recommended for the ITS Deployment Reference Handbook.

The use of this “requirements language” allows the direct transfer of the requirements stated in chapter Harmonization requirements and advice to a compliance checklist.

2.4.3 The harmonization requirements and advice chapters and sections

Against this background, the manual provides a formal ITS service definition and requirements and advice in a total of 6 chapters:

Service definition

  • Determination of a de facto linguistic term usage or a fixation of a linguistic term usage; Text provided is not a description but a short and precisely formulated definition.

Functional requirements and advice

  • This chapter illustrates the functional architecture/structure of the service in a way that the typical main functions from data collection to information provision to the end user are depicted and identifiable.

Interface requirements

  • This chapter defines the information structure for data exchange, as far as relevant with reference to and in conformity with the Delegated Regulations of the ITS Directive 2010/40. Such information requirements are called “Interface requirements”.

Organisational requirements

  • This chapter describes the organisational architecture/structure of the service in a way that the typical main organisational roles (of the service value chain) are identifiable and that the contractual basis of their cooperation and the principles of how they work together in operations become visible.

Common Look & Feel requirements

  • Harmonisation focus of this chapter is the “User service perception” with the intention to enable the users and partly also the operators of the service to experience a common look & feel wherever they use the service.

ICT infrastructure requirements

  • This chapter is intended to list and illustrate technical standards which are useful/necessary to improve interoperability between organisations and technical systems they use to operate the service. As the handbook is intended to foster only harmonization of ITS services it is not necessary to address technical details which are required to implement the functions of the service itself (as it would be necessary in the context of a tender).

Required standards and specifications

  • When needed and relevant for the particular service, this chapter contains normative references to standard(s) required for implementation and/or operation of the service and in those cases where the service depends on particular data definitions and/or e.g. special recommendations on the use of VMS (see
  • In the section “information provision standards”, standards, that are required to implement the above-mentioned “Interface requirements”, are formally listed and, if necessary, for better understanding described verbally. A digital tool for creating DATEX II profiles according to the specified requirements is available on the website www.datex2.eu. It will help developers implement ITS services.
Figure 8: Steps describing requirements interfaces for information exchange

Level of Service Definition

  • The harmonisation focus of this chapter is on the European level agreed service assessment criteria. The section “Level of service criteria” provides a (common) definition of possible levels of service (LoS) for the different characteristic elements of an ITS service. The section “Level of Service Criteria related to Operating Environment” maps the possible range from minimum to optimum level of service for each of these characteristics, hence supporting harmonised deployment of services throughout Europe.