Using ITS to support intermodality and multimodality

30 June 2008  •  Author(s): Martin Arndt, Technical Officer, ETSI TC ITS

ETSI, the world-renowned Standards Development Organisation (SDO) produces global standards for fixed, mobile, radio, converged, broadcast and Internet technologies, and in 2007 created the Technical Committee “TC ITS” dedicated to supporting the transport sector through Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS). ITS comprises service groups and service domains resulting in the provision of ITS services which are designed to improve the safety, reliability, efficiency and quality of transport service provision – and its enjoyment.

Much of the emphasis of ITS service provision lies within the road transport sector. However, transport intermodality and multimodality are becoming increasingly important. For example, the use of multiple modes of transport to make a journey following the sequence: car → park & ride → train → metro, or the use of multiple modes of transport to effect a logistics movement, as in the supply chain: item → pallet → truck → rail → ship → truck → delivery. Two aspects of this large field of applications are currently of particular interest: the improvement of safety in general and the reduction of road deaths and injuries in particular (in Europe 40,000+ road deaths per year and over 1.25 million injuries), and the efficient use of transport systems to decrease pollution emissions such as CO2. The provision of ITS services involves communications such as backbone system telecommunications and wireless communications with and between vehicles.

The decision in 2007 to merge all ETSI transport work and to create a Technical Committee dedicated to standards for ITS means the development and maintenance of standards, specifications and other deliverables to support the development and implementation of ITS Service provision across the network, for transport networks, vehicles and transport users, including interface aspects and multiple modes of transport and interoperability between systems, can now happen in one meeting place – enabling the publication of European Standards and acting as a catalyst for Industry progression. Work carried out by ETSI TC ITS is organised through Working Groups (WGs) which focus on communication media and the associated physical, transport, network and security layers, and the provision of generic web services.

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