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Questions and Answers: Intelligent Transport Systems

Met dank overgenomen van Europese Commissie (EC), gepubliceerd op dinsdag 14 december 2021.

What are Intelligent Transport Systems?

Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) apply information and communication technologies such as journey planners, eCall, and automated driving in transport, making mobility safer, more efficient and more sustainable. With ITS, citizens can receive better information through applications in the car, e.g. on traffic regulations and roadworks. Systems like eCall, which automatically alert emergency services in case of an accident, are already installed in 12 million cars. ITS thus leads to an overall safer and more efficient and comfortable driving experience.

A smarter and interoperable transport system allows more effective management of traffic and mobility across transport modes, facilitating combining the most sustainable modes of transport. For instance, mobile apps are proposing travellers different transport options to get to their destination. Also, transport operators will share their insights with authorities for better mobility management decisions. In turn, this will reduce congestion and bring down emissions.

ITS are therefore vital to tackle Europe's growing emission and congestion problems, and can enable entirely new services and jobs. But in order to be effective, the roll-out of ITS needs to be coherent and properly coordinated across the EU.

What changes to the ITS Directive are proposed and why?

Since 2010, the ITS Directive has been the EU's tool to ensure the coordinated deployment of such systems across the EU, based on European specifications and standards. The revision includes an extension in the Directive's scope to better encompass emerging services, such as multimodal information, booking and ticketing services (such as apps to find and book journeys that combine public transport, shared car or bike services), communication between vehicles and infrastructure (to increase safety) and automated mobility. It also mandates the collection of crucial data and the provision of essential services such as realtime information services informing the driver about accidents or obstacles on the road.

How does digitalisation fit into the wider transport policy?

The digital transformation of the transport sector is essential for reaching our sustainability and transport efficiency goals (alongside other objectives). The Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy lays out how Europe can achieve this digital transformation, and includes milestones such as deploying automated mobility at large scale by 2030 and eliminating fatalities in all transport modes by 2050.

This Strategy identifies the deployment of Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) as a key action to achieve these goals, together with the digital transformation of the European transport system.

How are you protecting personal data?

Transport and traffic services do not necessarily need personal data. Data can be anonymised and aggregated, which also provides greater reliability and better quality services. Where personal data is necessary, this data is subject to the EU data protection rules, notably GDPR. This is also, in particular, a crucial concern when it comes to access to in-vehicle data.

What are you doing to improve ticketing, notably when it comes to rail and multimodality?

In 2022, the Commission will present a new initiative on multimodal digital mobility services. This initiative aims at supporting the development of digital service intermediaries, which can help passengers identify all the tickets available and easily book (even if the journey has different legs and/or is operated by different operators). This proposal will also look at journey continuation agreements in the rail sector, with the objective of opening them up to all operators and making them more transparent. In addition, the Commission is in parallel looking to revise the existing Delegated Regulation on multimodal travel information services to further support journey-planning services.

For More Information

Press release: New transport proposals target greater efficiency and more sustainable travel:

Questions and Answers: The revision of the TEN-T Regulation

Questions and Answers: European Urban Mobility Framework

Questions and Answers: Action Plan to boost long-distance and cross-border passenger rail services


Factsheet: CREATING A GREEN AND EFFICIENT Trans-European Transport Network

Factsheet: IMPROVING ROAD SAFETY AND DRIVER COMFORT through digitalisation

Factsheet: THE NEW EUROPEAN Urban Mobility Framework


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