By Henry Wasung and Rasmus Lindholm
Much has happened in the 21 years that ERTICO has existed. Countries have appeared and disappeared, history ended, a new cycle of terrorism begun, a single European currency launched, China became the world’s second largest economy, mobile phones became ubiquitous, England were expelled from many football tournaments on penalties, flares came back – and went out again, televisions became flatter while the population seems to be going in the other direction…
…and we have become connected…
ERTICO was set up to drive forward Intelligent Transport Systems, a new industry made possible by ever faster and cheaper computing – and made desirable by ever increasing transport challenges. With about 1 car for every other person in the EU (1), and taking into account the concentration of population in cities, ITS offers a new path to tackle the ensuing congestion, safety, logistical and environmental consequences. As an example, according to Belgian’s Le Soir, in Brussels by 2015 the average journey time will have increased by 45% (compared to the 2001 figure) and the average speed of a car will be no more than… 15km/hour!
ITS is not only a way to combat these transport challenges, but also is economically attractive. Investing in ITS produces a clear return, and provides skilled work for Europe’s workforce.
However ITS is not straightforward. A public authority can, for instance, build a metro line, roll-out a bike sharing scheme, expand a motorway in a comparatively straightforward manner. To take the latter example, roads have been built for millennia, and while they have improved, being able to bear ever greater weights etc., the improvements are incremental and the number of actors limited. ITS is not only a whole new ball game, but also involves many different stakeholders from widely divergent sectors, many of whom have no traditional transport experience and limited experience in working across sectors.
And it is here that ERTICO comes into its own. ERTICO is a public-private platform for cooperation between ITS stakeholders, working to ensure that Europe achieves its political goals concerning safer, smarter and greener transport - as underlined in the recent Transport White Paper from the European Commission. The ERTICO Partnership has evolved greatly in the past two decades, with new Partners from new sectors, but has always had at its core the public-private principle. It is this successful marriage of the public sector and the private sector(s) that has proved to be the key to ERTICO’s – and its Partners’ – success. The goal? Deploying ITS not for its own sake but to achieve societal and political goals, strengthen the competitiveness of industry and optimise services for the user. How? Through creating win-win situations for all stakeholders - or at least appropriate solutions which take all positions into account.
Indeed, the reason that the ERTICO Partnership has evolved is that ITS itself has evolved. ITS is in an important transitional phase from deployed island solutions with very limited data exchange networks and lack of interoperability towards a comprehensive co-modal data exchange network and seamless mobility services, where people, goods and vehicles are continuously and ubiquitously connected, receiving or sending useful data/information. Likewise, ITS is highly advanced with respect to most technologies to collect, provide, process and use vehicle, traveller and infrastructure data/information. Many ITS services already exist supporting traffic management, providing driver navigation and traveller information. These services can be further improved and will have substantial additional potential for serving customers.
With the evolution of the ERTICO Partnership, it should come as no surprise that ERTICO itself has evolved. While European (co-)funded projects are still a very important part of ERTICO’s service offering, ERTICO is addressing the need to enhance cooperation both within the different sectors and between them through the Sector Platform initiative, through its Fora and workshops, and through its productive relationship with the European Commission.
Deployment issues are not neglected either, through the ERTICO hosted TISA and ADASIS organisations, and through new deployment platforms such as the Cooperative Mobility Alliance. Likewise, ERTICO has recently established Task Forces on ITS issues of note, such as the Task Force on ITS for ElectroMobility, which is charged with developing an ITS roadmap for ElectroMobility and an implementation work plan for the ERTICO Partnership, or the Task Force on Safe and Secure Truck Parking, initiated in 2012 to map existing activities and identify short and medium term goals.
Another related initiative already bearing fruit is ERTICO’s efforts towards certification, standardisation and international harmonisation. In this regard, ERTICO teamed up with ETSI for the first Cooperative Mobility Services (CMS) Interoperability event in November 2011, the success of which inspired the recent second CMS Interoperability gathering in June 2012. ERTICO’s portfolio of MoU’s with its international peers is also impressive, with cooperation agreements signed with Russia and China in 2011, to add to the existing agreements with Japan and the United States. These agreements not only work towards the development of international standards and certain specific areas of interest, such as eCall / ERA GLONASS, but also provide opportunities for ERTICO Partners.
Along with international cooperation, ERTICO is also developing partnerships with public authority associations, such as EUROCITIES, with whom a Forum on ITS for Urban mobility was organised in May 2012, and with public authorities generally, recognising their importance in the deployment of ITS.
Not to mention the European and World ITS Congresses, which not only showcase the latest developments in the ITS world but are also full of demonstrations, highlighting to all and sundry not just what could be achieved through the deployment of ITS, but what can be achieved now…
This year’s General Assembly on 20 June 2012 was particularly significant as it is the first year following the modification of the ERTICO Statutes. All eight Sectors of the ERTICO Partnership will be represented in the newly elected Supervisory Board (SB) from now on. In addition a new Chairman of the SB, Jean Mesqui from ASFA, was appointed. The expansion of the SB will further guide the activities of the ERTICO Partnership while maintaining the necessary focus to ensure that tasks are met and goals achieved.
ERTICO is an initiative of ITS stakeholders who are willing to work together, share information and develop common positions. The combination of a broad partnership base, targeted and integrated activities as well as broad involvement in related ITS initiatives is the basis of its success in supporting the development and deployment of ITS. ERTICO is the initiative to enable effective cooperation of stakeholders towards intelligent mobility. ERTICO's professional team are there to facilitate and support effective cooperation of ERTICO Partners and ITS stakeholders.
The ERTICO initiative has as its ultimate goal to bring intelligence into mobility.
ERTICO exists to serve its Partners. To further discover how ERTICO can help meet your companies goals, or to discuss possible new initiatives, contact Rasmus Lindholm.
(1) Rates vary significantly between countries and counting methods, with Luxembourg generally top of the list – 7 cars/10*capita – Eurostat pocket book, Energy, transport and environment indicators, 2010 edition