UK's ITS system set for EU roll out


A newly-completed project led by Reading Council is set to shake up European approaches to standards and competition in urban intelligent transportation system (ITS) deployment.

The POSSE (Promoting Open Standards and Specifications in Europe) programme concluded that existing European approaches to ITS-based traffic management on major interurban highways ‘cannot be extended in a way that is relevant to the need for open standards and specifications for cities’.

A report published this week by project partner POLIS, the European cities and regions network, highlights the value of the UK’s Government-led Urban Traffic Management and Control (UTMC) initiative for developing ITS standards.

POLIS contrasts this with the city-based approach prevalent on the continent. The UK's approach has helped tackle vendor lock-in while elswhere there is often a dependence on readily available products, with cities a 'reluctant, for cost and risk reasons, to stray far from a local supplier base’, the report states.

To overcome the problem, POSSE wants the European Commission to commit to ‘long-term European action’ to encourage the creation of UTMC-like frameworks in other countries, and knowledge exchanges across national borders.

Speaking on behalf of the EC Directorate-General for transport, Julie Raffaillac welcomed the work of UTMC 'in taking forward its work on urban ITS, and the sharing it has been able to undertake with cities in other member states’.

POSSE participants have indicated to Transport Network that the Germans in particular are frustrated that they have not been able to build a UTMC-style common forum between the public and private sectors, and are jealous of the UK’s achievements. The Italian city of Pisa is already looking at UTMC as the basis for implementing ITS in its traffic management programme.

Reading is one of the four authorities originally funded by the Department for Transport to develop UTMC.

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