The Reference Handbook for Harmonised Core ITS Service Deployment in Europe made its official debut at the ITS World Congress in October 2021 in Hamburg. This Handbook is available as:
Note: The Reference Handbook replaces the EasyWay ITS Deployment Guidelines (2012).
The drafting and adoption of the earlier EasyWay ITS Deployment Guidelines was a significant achievement in 2012 of predecessor projects (EasyWay and EIP+, both co-financed by the European Commission).
The original set of 18 EasyWay guidelines comprises requirements that ITS services should comply with in order to be harmonised with the deployment of the same service in other Member States. This does not prevent services to be tuned for local needs, but ensures a certain level of harmonised end user experience and also basic interoperability on the data level, which again is an important contribution to the feasibility of seamless, cross-border services.
The EasyWay guidelines of 2012 were provided as a set of 19 separate documents (18 guidelines + introduction document), each consisting of two parts: Part A contains the harmonisation requirements following the must/should/may approach and the comply-or-explain principle while Part B presents the Best Practices for each respective service.
As the ITS Deployment Guidelines were released in 2012, with an update of Part B taking place in 2015, the need to revise the guidelines emerged. A main reason was the entry into force between 2013 and 2017 of the Delegated Regulations for the provision of: road safety relevant traffic information (886/2013), information services for safe and secure parking areas for trucks and commercial vehicle (885/2013), EU-wide real-time traffic information services (2015/962) and EU-wide multimodal travel information (2017/1926), making a revision of the ITS Deployment Guidelines essential, in order to maintain compliance with the regulations.
Furthermore, updating all service descriptions to the state of the art, including latest developments in digitalisation and C-ITS, as well as incorporating to the harmonisation requirements knowledge gained from the collection of Best Practices and the results of the ITS Corridors and the EU EIP activities (e.g. Quality Package, NAPs, KPIs, among others) is fundamental, in order to provide guidance to the ITS Community that is up-to-date, comprehensive and complete in all aspects. Making the information easier to reach and easier to understand and assimilate was another goal of the planned update, eliminating redundancies and merging all previously separate documents into a complete Reference Handbook for harmonised ITS core service deployment in Europe.
EU EIP Activity 2 undertook this ambitious task which took approximately 4 years to complete. The main part of the work took place within the three EIP Expert Groups of Activity 2 (Traveller Information Services, Traffic Management and Freight & Logistics), which consist of experts from most EU Member States with the necessary expertise to take up this challenge. The Cross Corridor Cooperation task, also under the Activity 2 umbrella, ensured a stream of valuable experiences, results and Best Practices from the ITS Corridors, while the other EU EIP Activities, Working Groups and Task Forces contributed with their results and expertise, so as to ensure that the final document is complete in every aspect. In addition, collaboration with the PSA DATEX II, together with the significant contribution from EU EIP SA 4.5 on harmonization of interfaces for data exchange, led to the development of recommended DATEX II service profiles, while on the basis of the Collaboration Note between C-ROADS and EU EIP references to relevant C-ITS use cases are introduced, where relevant.
An extensive dissemination plan that started already at the early stages of development of the Refence Handbook, presenting its development to external stakeholders, other ITS projects co-financed by the EU as well as national, European and international conferences paved the way for its introduction and at the same time fed back to the development team comments and suggestions from the ITS Community. Finally, a series of feedback phases of the draft Handbook gave the opportunity also to its prospective users to extensively comment and contribute with their ideas and suggestions to its further expansion and improvement.
In the long drafting process of this new handbook, the development team managed to fulfill all the previously mentioned goals. The experts worked intensively on finding the best possible solutions and introducing new innovations and content, in order to deliver a piece of work that would provide exceptional value to the ITS Community. As an overview, provided below are the major changes that the Reference Handbook for harmonized ITS core service deployment in Europe introduces:
The Reference Handbook was created by ITS experts and practitioners and refined in a commentary process by member states experts. The innovations introduced ensure that the content is comprehensive and up to date, as well as underpin its credibility and relevance.
The Reference Handbook constitutes an essential basis for a harmonised and cross-border implementation of ITS services. Thus, it is a powerful tool in the effort to master the challenges of the European transport infrastructure described at the beginning. It makes a significant contribution to maintain a competitive European economy and constitutes a major component on the road to a modern and climate neutral society.
Apart from a dedicated website www.itsreferencehandbook.eu this handbook is also available as a download via the links below. Due to the big number of pages Annex A ‘Deployment References’ is provided as a separate download, as well as the Executive Summary.
Note: Official the Reference Handbook is released in October 2021 and replaces the EasyWay ITS Deployment Guidelines.