The content of this handbook has been written by ITS practitioners and experts in the field of Traffic and Travel Information and Traffic Management systems from across Europe, working for Road an Transport Authorities and Road Operators in cooperation with the European Commission. The content had originally been drafted and adopted by Member States in 2012 as separate deployment guidelines, with an update in 2015 under the EasyWay and EU-EIP programmes. The current handbook is now published as a major revision to reflect changing requirements in a time of radical technological change.
The authors of this handbook had to pay particular attention to the introduction of the Delegated Regulations issued under the European ITS Directive (see 1.2.2). Furthermore, the emerging roll-out of C-ITS services created the need to incorporate the results achieved by the European C-ITS platform C-ROADS. The traditional domains of road operators have now opened up to data and information exchange with actors outside their own area of responsibility through various communication channels.
This cooperation adds significant value to the ITS services they operate, which is described in more detail in the following chapters 1.2.2 to 1.2.6. The technical reference, i.e. how the data and information exchange is technically implemented using European standards and specifications now available, is described in a general way in chapter 2, and partly in 3.1, 4.1 and 5.1 and specifically for each ITS service in the chapters “Harmonization requirements and advice”.
Having regard to Directive 2010/40/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 7 July 2010 on the framework for the deployment of Intelligent Transport Systems in the field of road transport and for interfaces with other modes of transport the European Commission adopted in 2013 the first two Delegated Regulations on the provision of information services utilizing so-called National Access Points (NAPs, more information see 1.2.4):
Two additional Delegated Regulations were adopted in 2015 and 2017 respectively:
These delegated regulations can be found on the following links:
Information to provide
The data and information listed in each delegate regulation, which – if available in digital form – entails an obligation to be made accessible in each Member State through its national access point, are presented in the following tables
Table 1: (EU) 885/2013 (ITP) – Classification of data provision
Table 2: (EU) 886/2013 (SRTI) – Classification of data provision
Table 3: (EU) 2015/962 (RTTI) – Classification of data provision
Table 4: (EU) 2017/1926 (MMTI) – Classification of information provision
Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for road-based ITS services have been established in order to assist evaluators on the assessment of the impact of ITS service deployment.
Two types of KPIs for an ITS service (or a combination of services) have been defined:
For the evaluation of ITS services, there are KPI definitions developed by DG MOVE, as well as KPIs developed by EU EIP. Both sets of KPIs include related or even directly corresponding KPIs. Representing an agreed shortlist of a wide range of indicators, DG MOVE KPIs have a more generic nature, intended for fulfilling progress reporting duties of Member States to the European Commission in the context of the ITS Directive. EU EIP KPI definitions are more detailed and their use when evaluating ITS deployments could potentially provide additional insights. An informative technical reference document “ITS Deployment and Benefit KPI Definitions” has been released by EU EIP Evaluation. This document includes the KPI definitions in detail, specific examples of KPI calculation, as well as a matrix that relates the EU EIP and DG MOVE KPIs.
In the framework of EU EIP, reported results from ITS deployments stemming mainly from the CEF ITS Corridors (i.e. Arc Atlantique, Crocodile, MedTIS, NEXT-ITS and URSA MAJOR) are collected in two ways:
The latter are provided in Annex A of the Reference Handbook, while the Corridor Evaluation reports can be found in the Evaluation Library of EU EIP. In addition, EU EIP Evaluation has developed a very convenient Evaluation Toolkit, which allows users to search for results based on various criteria, e.g. a specific service, ITS Corridor, Benefit KPI etc.
Finally, the very informative publication “Digitalisation of road transport in Europe” by EU EIP contains highlights from the evaluation of the CEF ITS Corridors and summarises the impact and benefits observed from ITS deployment on the Corridors.
A National Access Point (NAP) is a digital interface installed by an EU Member State to make traffic and mobility data accessible for a wide range of data providers and users (see (EU) 2013/886(SRTI)). NAPs can take the form of a repository, registry, web portal or similar. Each EU Member State is stipulated to establish NAPs to address obligations from the corresponding EC Delegated Regulations. The Delegated Regulations do not specify which form the NAPs should take, however for Delegated Regulation 2017/1926 and 2015/962 NAPs shall provide discovery services to users.
Impact on ITS Core services
The National Access Points are relevant for the European ITS Core Services, since the Delegated Regulations oblige the various actors (road operators, digital map providers, service providers, etc.) to provide access to their data when available in machine readable format, depending on the type of data and under certain conditions. For example:
In most cases where ITS is applied, related data, which are listed in the delegated regulations, are digitally available and thus should be made accessible for a wide range of data users through the National Access Points. Where applicable the ITS Core Services have been adapted following the obligations from the Delegated Regulations with respect to the National Access Points.
Within the European ITS Platform project one specific activity aimed exclusively at monitoring and harmonisation of these National Access Points across Europe. This activity has produced a number of information materials that can be used by Member States, road operators and information service providers when dealing with National Access Points:
All this information can be downloaded from the following weblink: Monitoring and Harmonisation of National Access Points. An overview/list of all national access points is shown here: National Access Points A mechanism for accessing, exchanging and reusing transport related data under Delegated Acts of the ITS Directive (2010/40/EU).
There are several initiatives funded by the EU that address the support and development of the standards used for the ITS Core services described in the handbook. Some examples of these initiatives are the DATEX II group, the Data4PT project or the TN-ITS initiative. Because the handbook draws from the perspective and expertise of road operators, we present below more details about DATEX II group which, out of all initiatives, deals with the most relevant standard for (inter-urban) road transport.
DATEX II is the electronic language used in Europe for the exchange of traffic information and traffic data. The development of DATEX was initiated in the early 90s because of the need to exchange information between traffic centres of motorway operators. Soon there was the need to open this information to service providers. DATEX “I” was strongly linked to the arising standard of road information, ALERT-C for RDS-TMC broadcasting support.
Built with the technical tools and methods of that time, it was too limited for evolving with the Internet boom, which is why DATEX II was developed. By means of DATEX II, traffic information and traffic management information is distributed in a way that is not dependent on language and presentation format, avoiding re-keying, misunderstandings and translation errors by the recipient. Nevertheless, the recipient can still choose to combine it with spoken text, an image on a map, or to integrate it e.g. in a navigation service’s route calculation. The increasing scale on which ITS services are being dimensioned, as well as the new digitization requirements arising from self-driving cars, requires increased use of standards and thus also challenges the DATEX II community accordingly.
The DATEX II organisation currently organised as a CEF Programme Support Action (PSA), co-funded by the European Commission (Agreement number MOVE/C3/SUB/2015-547/CEF/PSA/SI2.733309 RWS). DATEX II is open to all stakeholders in the traffic management domain (road authorities and road operators) that want to participate in the development, maintenance and user support of DATEX II.
The governance of the DATEX II organization is controlled by the “Rules of Procedure of the DATEX II organization”. These rules apply to all partners in the DATEX II organization.
The delivery of ITS Core services to road users has evolved and used a multitude of communication channels (e.g. spoken traffic information in FM radio, Variable Message Signs, Internet portals) since decades. This is the basic idea behind the illustration in Figure 3.
When looking to the content segment, road authorities and operators have traditionally heavily relied on own detectors along their network, complemented by e.g. Floating Phone Data / Floating Car Data and incident reporting by road users. This delivery process including its sourcing is represented in the stylised value chain for traffic information.
The advent of Cooperative ITS (C-ITS) has opened up another channel to this value chain (highlighted in Figure 2 in yellow). For simplification reasons we stick here to the linear value chain and do not argue on C-ITS leading to a circular information flow or even a value web, as discussed elsewhere. C-ITS is defined according to standardisation in CEN/ISO and ETSI as a subset of the overall ITS that communicates and shares information between ITS Stations (ITS-Ss) to give advice or take actions with the objective of improving safety, sustainability, efficiency and comfort beyond the scope of stand-alone ITS. The definition embraces the concept of ITS Stations that can be located either in vehicles, at the roadside, in the traffic control centre or related to personal mobile devices.
The Delegated Regulation on C-ITS – which has been adopted by European Commission on 13.03.2019 but has not come into force – has emphasised the peer-to-peer network character as well as its security and trust implications. It has defined C-ITS as intelligent transport systems that enable ITS users to cooperate by exchanging secured and trusted messages using the EU C-ITS security credential management system (see https://cpoc.jrc.ec.europa.eu/ for more detail).
As it is illustrated in Figure 2 C-ITS represents another content source and communication channel into the vehicles. As stated in the European C-ITS strategy (COM (2016) 766), a C-ITS message can be communicated in the vicinity by WLAN 802.11p (short range communication) or by existing cellular networks (long range communication). These communication technologies have been tested by road authorities and operators for several years (Field Operational Tests, Pilots and Deployment Initiatives) and can be considered mature for provision of initial C-ITS services. For C-ITS via short range communication, the operational roll-out started and relevant corresponding requirements and specifications are included in the ITS service descriptions.
Developments in progress that are not (yet) represented in Figure 2 comprise the following streams:
It should be noted that these evolving technologies create a dynamic environment of new connectivity and data sharing environments. Further new approaches ahead are Mobile Edge Computing technologies as well as data spaces driven by mobility dataspace developments and the GAIA-X initiative on European level. All these technologies are likely to influence the future data sharing environment of the ITS Services described in this Reference Handbook and will be addressed in the service descriptions in future iterations.
The initial deployment of mature C-ITS services is organised via Member State driven C-ITS pilots that collaborate in the C-Roads Platform. This flagship, comprising of currently 18 European states, collaborates on harmonised specifications and communication profiles. The Release 2.0 of C-Roads harmonised C-ITS specifications, published in September 2021, contains a bundle of documents:
Note: C-Roads is constantly evolving. The latest versions can be downloaded from the C-ROADS website (see https://www.c-roads.eu/platform/get-in-touch.html).
The process towards the C-ITS deployment documentation and requirement is illustrated in Figure 3.
The FRAME Architecture (originally called the European ITS Framework Architecture) offers a functional architecture for all different areas of Intelligent Transport Systems. It provides a systematic basis for planning ITS implementations and facilitates their integration when multiple systems are to be deployed. From a large repository, the FRAME user can choose a sub-set of functionalities which are to be supported by the ITS service or services to be planned. FRAME then displays the kinds of data which have to be exchanged between different functionalities and with external stakeholders.
In the CEF Programme Support Action FRAME NEXT, the FRAME Architecture is currently being updated and extended. A new tool – which uses the software Enterprise Architect similar to the DATEX II development – facilitates browsing the repository and the architecture modelling process. FRAME does not mandate any physical or organisational structure. However, the updated version reflects the Delegated Regulations under the ITS Directive (section 1.2.2) and gives examples of the effects on stakeholder agreements and communications architecture. Due to the origin of FRAME and in contrast to this handbook, the focus is more on the interaction of different functionalities within the ITS environment of an organisation. Interfaces to the outside of this organisationinternal ITS environment are also shown and described on a functional level and – where applicable according to the Delegated Regulations – with communications and stakeholder agreements.
More information: www.frame-next.eu.
Digital maps for ITS must always be up to date for attributes that are critical in terms of safety and efficiency. However, it is very difficult for map providers to keep their maps up to date for those attributes. The mission of TN-ITS is to facilitate and foster the exchange of ITS-related spatial road data between road authorities as trusted data providers and data users as map makers and other parties. The focus of data exchange is in general on road attributes based on regulations (static road attributes), but may extend to other road and transport related features.
Within TN-ITS, map makers and public authorities work together and support EC policy to update static road data and ensure a seamless data chain. They provide guidelines and tools to support implementation as well as define and maintain TN-ITS specification in CEN/TC 278/WG7. The benefits of the project include the improvement and frequent update of maps for traffic and ADAS services, an M2M data interface, an authoritative data feed for public use and in general a contribution to seamless ITS services and safer and more efficient driving.
More information: www.tn-its.eu.
Public transport services rely increasingly on information systems to ensure reliable, efficient operation as well as widely accessible, accurate passenger information. These systems are used for a range of specific purposes such as setting schedules and timetables, managing vehicle fleets, issuing tickets and providing real time service information. Data plays a very important role in a well-functioning public transport system and large amounts of data are collected by the providers to enhance their services.
Data4PT’s overall objective is to support the development of harmonized European public data exchange standards (Transmodel, NeTEx and SIRI) and enhance partnerships amongst public authorities and travel information service providers. These standards will provide Union-wide multimodal travel information services which apply to the TEN-T network, including urban nodes. Aim of the project is to enable EU-wide multimodal travel information services and contribute to a seamless door-to-door travel ecosystem across Europe, covering all mobility services.
More information: www.data4pt-project.eu.
In the framework of the IDACS PSA, the 16 partners/member states will establish, at national levels, a uniform methodological approach identifying and monitoring the existing and emerging charging infrastructure for electric vehicles and vehicles to other alternative fuel sources. The objectives of the project are the following:
More information: https://ec.europa.eu/transport/content/programme-support-action-addressedmember-states-data-collection-related_en.
 Berndt et al. 2018: Coordination and Support Action COoperative ITS DEployment Coordination Support, Deliverable 2.6 Deployment Guidance CODECS