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ITS : Intelligent Transport Systems 

About ITS


This Section (Section 3)     About ITS      gives a general introduction to the context of Intelligent Transport Systems and the categories that form the bulk of the Sections of this Guide.

Section 7   -                                           provides a more formal description of ITS and their interrelationships.

If there is a particular aspect of ITS of interest that is not one of the main sections. These links might be of use.



An introduction to Intelligent Transport Systems 


Intelligent Transport Systems – ITS - is a name that we use to describe transport systems where vehicles interact with the environment, and with each other, to provide an enhanced driving experience, and where intelligent infrastructure improves the safety and capacity of road systems.


'Intelligent Transport Systems' (ITS) is a name used to describe complex and very often “state of the art” systems to improve the driving experience. These systems involve vehicles, drivers, passengers, road operators and managers interacting with each other and the environment, and linking with often complex backbone infrastructure systems. Reducing the appalling death and injury toll in road traffic accidents is a key objective of many ITS services, as is improving the efficiency of vehicles and traffic networks. Increasingly these systems are also being used to attempt to lessen adverse effects to the environment of transport systems.


As such, these systems are by their nature, interactive.


To operate successfully, data must be sent accurately, and in a timely manner, and data must find the correct recipient and be understood by that recipient, who may be a in completely different system. Such systems can only interoperate if they are designed to comply with international standards.


Although ITS is often seen in the context of road traffic, the sharing of modes of transport by travellers and freight, mean that ITS also includes interface with rail, water and air transportation systems.


When we first think if ITS services our mind may be focussed on delivering a service to a vehicle and its occupants, but it must not be forgotten that many ITS services are based solely within the transport network to, for example, reduce congestion, and most services provided to vehicles and their occupants have to be carried via the infrastructure at some point of their path.


But, most importantly, ITS systems do not work in isolation. They are frequently dependent on backbone infrastructure systems for telecommunications, infrastructure networks, and the internet. Over the air, they frequently have to share spectrum with other users, or may use general wireless communications systems to provide or support ITS specific applications. This book also identifies many of these communications support standards.


Further, ITS is a developing sector, and standards are being developed as the technology evolves. Indeed, the technology can only evolve to its potential if the technical developments are undertaken cooperatively, often in pre-competitive phases, and the development of Standards is an intrinsic part of this process.


Finally, while we may read much about potential ITS systems, many of the systems remain concepts, and neither the technologies nor the Standards are yet fully developed.


There is a joke in the ITS standards development sector “we have given up trying to make drivers intelligent, so now we are making the vehicles and roads intelligent !” Somewhat deprecating, but it captures the essence of what ITS is trying to achieve. ITS is about reducing the risks in transport and improving the driving experience.


Intelligent Transport Systems do not have to be only about vehicles and roads. Air transport, marine transport, and rail transport systems can, and frequently are, increasingly “intelligent”. Indeed, air and rail transport systems have used advanced system and electronics design as part of their operation and infrastructure for decades. Marine navigation systems for all but small vessels have also used electronics and radio for location finding, obstacle avoidance and collision avoidance, for a long time.


However, for reasons that we will attempt to explain below, the emphasis of what is generally known as “ITS” is focussed on land transport systems and, in particular, roads - and railways and ferries where they interact with road systems. 

But firstly, allow me to introduce you to Mr Joe Soap. Mr Soap, Joe, is a car driver, bus driver, truck driver, motorcyclist. For just over a century he has been able to jump into or onto a mechanical device with wheels and steerage, and propel himself around with little assistance from outside, other than someone conveniently laying tarmac, concrete or gravel strips between and around cities, and with little external control other than rules and regulations which are imposed occasionally by a passing police officer. This may satisfy Joe’s sense of freedom, but is often not very efficient, and is sometimes downright dangerous. Once upon a time there were not many Joe Soaps around, but now there are so many, and getting more, and the chances of them “bumping in to each other” are increasing significantly.


ITS services are about enhancing the driving experience. This may indeed make it easier for Joe Soap to endure or enjoy his journey. It may help pass the time of passengers in his vehicle as well. It may provide Joe with some connectivity en-route, some infotainment services, some services to ease the task of driving. It may extract money from him to pay road tolls, and provide information about the next leg of his journey. However, the most important focus of ITS service provision is safety, and environmental aspects- minimising pollution and minimising emissions, is becoming increasingly important.


In 1996 and 1999 two reports, ‘Global Burden of Disease’ (World Health Organisation, World Bank and Harvard University)’ and ‘World Health Report –Making a Difference' (WHO 1999), showed that in 1990 road accidents as a cause of death or disability were the ninth most significant cause of human death and injury (out of a total of over 100 separately identified causes) and predicted that by the year 2020  will move up to sixth place in terms of years of life lost and ‘disability-adjusted life years’.


The actual figures are even more shocking. Jones and Aeron-Thomas (A review of Global Road Accident Fatalities. TRL.) estimate that global road deaths were between 750,000 and 880,000 for the year 1999. Later estimates have put this figure at closer to 1.25 million deaths per year, and the toll is increasing. The study also estimates that global road injuries (of whatever severity) amounted to between 23 and 34 million road accident injuries per annum in the late 1990’s.  Later estimates (Commission for Global Road Safety, June 2006. Make Roads Safe: a new priority for sustainable development.) have estimated 1.25 million deaths per year and other estimates calculate over 30 million injuries per year in addition to the death rate.


The rapid development of emerging economies, and particularly Asia, mean that despite the natural evolutional improvement of safety provisions in vehicles and transport systems, without some significant changes to the way that road transport is conducted, these dreadful figures are likely to increase significantly.


Even amongst developed countries with organized transport networks and well-disciplined drivers, the death and injury toll remains unacceptably high. Although there have been significant improvements in the last half century, the improvement curve has flattened off, so that the death rate in the 15 long standing countries of the EU (excluding recent expansions) has remained at around 40,000 deaths per year, and over one million injuries per year, for several years. The figures for North America are similar.


These attrition rates are unacceptable to civilised society, and most leading nations have committed themselves to measures to attempt to halve the death and injury rates within a decade.


Traditional safety improvements, infrastructure improvements, and driver training will contribute, but will by no means achieve, this target. Intelligent Transport Systems are now seen as the only way that these goals can be achieved. Safety is therefore one of the principal driving forces behind the evolution, development, standardization and implementation of ITS systems.


But what is an “Intelligent Transport System” ?

Surprisingly, there are a shortage of good generic definitions.


The Chairman of the Australian National Road Transport Commission explained in his keynote speech to ITS Australia National Conference in 1999


“It is possible to read a great quantity of the literature, and yet still not quite understand the plot. What is really going on in this great technological revolution, and why? Computers and lots of benefits, yes, but that's (frankly)… ho-hum. Why might Intelligent Transport Systems be more exciting than Intelligent Outdoor Barbeques ?

‘What is the difference between an intelligent transport system and a washing machine with a PhD?’ he went on to pose the question,  ‘I don't know’, is the answer, he says, ‘but at least I'll be able to recognise the washing machine.’

The US Department of Transport describes ITS as follows:  “ITS improves transportation safety and mobility and enhances global connectivity by means of productivity improvements achieved through the integration of advanced communications technologies into the transportation infrastructure and in vehicles. Intelligent transportation systems (ITS) encompass a broad range of wireless and wire line communications-based information and electronics technologies”.  


Well this says something about what ITS is seeking to achieve, but it is a less than adequate definition of ITS.


Doug. Morgan, Department of Transport, Calgary, provides a more down to earth definition as “Intelligent Transport Systems or ITS is the application of technology to better manage traffic and maximize the utilization of our existing transportation infrastructure. The technologies are potential tools that will help to manage congestion, improve emergency vehicle response, optimize the operational effectiveness of transit systems and provide travellers with real-time information.”


Somewhat better, but the important aspects of safety are not adequately covered.


ISO TC204 – the International Standards Organization Committee for ITS Standards, defines ITS as “information, communication and control systems in the field of urban and rural surface transportation, including intermodal and multimodal aspects, traveller information, traffic management, public transport, commercial transport, emergency services and commercial services, generally referred to as “Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS)”


An improvement, but still not very adequate. And a good definition is important in order to gain the involvement and commitment of stakeholders. People (whether investors, governments or citizens) don't often buy things which they don't understand or don't know what they do, and can’t readily see the benefit in their function. So let us be specific about what we mean by ITS within this book.

Here is the Williams and Skinner definition of ITS:


Services to support travellers of all classes- drivers, passengers and pedestrians, and to assist road network management and performance by using systems for information, communication, and control in the field of urban and rural surface transportation, to provide improved safety and an enhanced travelling experience, including intermodal and multimodal aspects. Such services include accident prevention and mitigation, emergency services response and support, driver assistance, traveller information, traffic management, infotainment en-route, public transport, commercial transport and services, theft prevention and after theft recovery, and public safety and security.”

In order to perform most ITS services there are two elements:

a)         the means to communicate

b)         the performance of the service


and ITS Standards will fall into one of these two types.





Benefits of ITS Standardization


Some ITS services can be provided without International Standards. Adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning systems, parking assistance systems, forward and backward obstacle warning systems, and non-interactive route guidance are good examples of such systems, and you will find them in widespread use in vehicles on sale today. Such systems can be designed within an automotive manufacturer’s research and development department and implemented without any standardization. If Citroen achieves obstacle warning by using infra-red and Mercedes by lidar or some other technology, it does not require a Standard, and has little consequence other than one technology may be more efficient than the other. Wherever possible, it is generally the preference of automotive manufacturers to follow this path, both for reasons of product feature separation, but also because there is an antipathy to the length of time and cost of standards development. However, most vehicle manufacturers, and also regulators, do support the development of standards to monitor the comparative performance of such systems, in order that claims made are comparable.


Automotive manufacturers participate in International Standards where they can see clear commercial advantage to do so (or disadvantage if they do not participate). Nearly five hundred standards developed by ISO TC22 (Road Vehicles) attest to this.


While some ITS can be provided without standards, this is not the case for the majority of ITS services. A more careful look at the services in the first paragraph of this chapter will quickly identify that these services can be characterised as being of an insular type. That is, they do not need to interact with other vehicles or the infrastructure in any interactive way. An adaptive cruise control system needs to sense the presence and speed of the preceding vehicle, but it does not have to communicate with that vehicle. A lane departure warning system identifies the positioning of white lines and/or road pavement but does not require it to communicate. Similarly with forward and backward obstacle sensing systems.


The bulk of ITS services do, however, require communications with other vehicles or the infrastructure to perform their services. Indeed it is the bi-directional communication that provides the new capabilities that will enable the safety and service promises of ITS to be fulfilled.

Clearly, a collision avoidance system where a Ford speaks a different language to a Mercedes is of limited use (unless you are travelling in space full of one marque). An ice alert or skid alert system, that only works with one marque of cars may not be quite as useless, and may offer an apparent product advantage (buy a BMW and other BMW’s in the area will alert you to skid hazards etc.), but would only work in densely populated areas, and in reality doesn’t offer much. A roadside beacon providing variable message sign data into the vehicle is not going to provide different “languages” to different marques. For the vast majority of ITS service provision, standards are not only desirable, they are an essential component if the ITS system is to function.

Communications Security is also a major issue. In 2015 GM had to recall 1.4 million Jeep and associated marque vehicles, because a journalist demonstrated how to hack into the vehicle CANBUS vehicle network using its internet connected entertainment system and remotely take over control of the vehicle. It is an area where auto OEMs tend to have erred on the side of greed to acquire data from cars and cheap solutions. This has to be addressed and overcome, and standards and standardised security offer the best way to achieve this.


For ITS Standards developers, the process of ITS standards development also presents some additional significant business benefits.  


Traditionally, standards have been developed once a technology has been developed or a system operational environment is determined. All too often, in these situations there may be a winner and a loser, or all parties may have to redesign their product. In these circumstances it is unsurprising that manufacturers and systems designers prefer a “de-facto” standard where their technology dominates the market before a “de-jure” standard can be developed by multiple companies acting together.


ITS presents a different situation. Many ITS services can only be defined in collaboration. This is a relatively new situation. ITS is not unique in this respect- the connected home, visible supply chain, and other examples which require connectivity, are in a similar situation. However these situations have arisen as the opportunities presented by connectivity have increased. They represent a relatively new scenario.


This changes the business model with both a “carrot” and a “stick”. The biggest immediate effect on the business model is the “stick”. Manufacturers who do not participate will be disadvantaged and may take several years longer to bring their products to the market, with the consequent risks that this incurs, or may indeed be forced to participate in order to meet new legislative requirements for safety, in order to retain their market. The stick may be effective, but it is rarely popular.


The “carrot” is in this case, however, also very significant. Because there is a requirement for the backbone of ITS systems to be developed co-operatively, largely in pre-competitive stages, the standardization process, instead of being an additional cost burden, offers very significant financial benefit by sharing the costs of research and development, and by reducing the risk of failure. This clearly has a positive effect on the bottom line.


What are ITS Services ?


So far we have referred to “ITS Services”, or  "ITS Service Provision" rather loosely. In this section we will summarise current thinking about ITS Services and the characterisation of them in the ITS world and in ITS Standards in particular.


When we address the fundamental problem of what are “Intelligent Transport Systems” we need firstly to consider who are the customers and how we characterise the benefit to them.


Firstly we have to classify what the benefit to any user is. An ITS system has no point if it provides no benefit. Although the benefits are very varied, they can typified as the receipt of a “service”.


Thus we can say that the world of ITS is made up of the provision and receipt of “services”.


If we next consider the “customers”- the beneficiaries of the service provided – they are a broad church. The customers of ITS – the users – comprise a very large range of individuals and organisations that can be considered in groups. These groups may be car drivers, truck drivers, emergency services, public transport, police, road managers etc. Indeed, any user or manager of a transport system could potentially be a customer for one or more ITS services.


But, as there are potentially thousands of ITS services, how can we classify them into manageable groups?


We cannot use customer groups as a means of classification, because different client groups may use the same service(s). So we need therefore to turn our attention to the types of service provided.


ISO 14813-1 attempts to do just this



ISO 14813-1

Intelligent transport systems- Reference model architecture(s) for the ITS sector-Part 1: ITS service domains, service groups and services


This International Standard addresses the issues of classifying ITS services into groups. This deliverable was first developed in the mid 1990’s, and was issued as an ISO Published Technical Report. In recent years it has been substantially revised to bring it up to date to include developments in the sector over the last decade. And the document is being updated yet again.


ISO 14813-1:2015 provides a definition of the primary services and application areas that can be provided to Intelligent Transport System (ITS) Users. Those with a common purpose can be collected together in ITS service domains, and within these there can be a number of ITS service groups for particular parts of the domain. ISO 14813-1:2015 identifies 11 service domains, within which numerous groups are then defined. Within this framework, there are varying levels of detail related to definition of different services. These details differ from nation to nation, depending on whether the specific national architecture building blocks are based directly upon services or on groups of functions. Thus, the intent is to address groups of services and the respective domains within which they fit. As these domains and service groups evolve over time, it is intended that this International Standard be revised to include them.


ISO 14813-1:2015 is applicable to the working groups of ISO TC 204 and other TCs which are developing International Standards for the ITS sector and associated sectors whose boundaries cross into the ITS sector (such as some aspects of urban light railways, intermodal freight and fleet). It is designed to provide information and explanation to those developing ITS International Standards and to those developing specifications, implementations and deployments for ITS.


ISO 14813-1:2015is advisory and informative. It is designed to assist the integration of services into a cohesive reference architecture, assist interoperability and common data definition. Specifically, services defined within the service groups will be the basis for definition of use cases and the resultant reference architecture functionality, along with definition of applicable data within data dictionaries, as well as applicable communications and data exchange standards.


As this International Standard is at the core of how we consider and classify ITS, and all of the standards and groups of standards that comprise ITS as we know it now and as it will evolve in the future, we will consider it in greater detail than most.



Intelligent transport systems- Reference model architecture(s) for ITS, Part 1- ITS service domains, service groups and services groups the ITS sector into 11 service domains – general areas, and within each area, identifies types of service provided to that domain.


Thus the previous version of this standard was a published Technical Report, and ha, been referred to as « Fundamental Services ». The new version, “ITS service domains, service groups and services” reflects the evolution of technology-oriented transportation practices and applications.


The Introduction to the current version identifies that ITS is now also expected to address:


  • Transport network operations and maintenance activities

  • Freight mobility and intermodal connectivity

  • Multi-modal travel including both pre-trip and on-trip information and journey planning

  • Variable road pricing strategies for freight and personal travel

  • Emergency and natural disaster-related response activities and coordination

  • National security needs related to transportation infrastructure.


The International Standard recognizes that ITS activities will interface with more generalized activities and environments outside the transport sector. For example, road pricing and revenue systems activities may interface with electronic commerce, or eCommerce activities, and may thus utilize standards and principles associated with the banking industry along with generally accepted accounting principles. The addressing of national security and coordination issues also requires addressing specific national standards related to civil defence, emergency communications, and other procedures. These interfaces, while largely outside the scope of TC 204, are nevertheless critical external influences on the functionality of the various services supported by 'ITS service domains, service groups and services'.


Figure 1 of ISO 14813-1:2015(Figure 2-1) shows a hierarchy upon which the domains and services are grouped.


ITS Users


We must next consider who are the users of ITS Services. ISO 14813-1:2015 defines an ITS user as

“one who directly receives and can act on ITS data or control products. An ITS user is one who receives, directly or indirectly, or provides to, the transaction of an ITS service; these users of ITS services may be human, systems or environment monitoring”.

At the end of the chain, the final user is the driver and/or other occupants of a vehicle, a pedestrian, or user of public transit, public transit operator, commercial vehicle operator, emergency assistance provider, or road operator.


However, behind these end users, are those that enable the transport to function. The road manager, control centre, road maintenance provider, etc. These too are users of ITS services. But at the same time, in many cases they are also providers of components of ITS to other ITS service providers.


And to complicate matters further, when used as a provider of probe data or enquiry response data, ad-hoc network link, the “end user” may also be a provider of data components to ITS service providers.


In general, however, we can broadly say that services are provided to groups known as “drivers”, “vehicle occupants”, “public transit users”, “public transit service providers”, “commercial vehicle operators”, “emergency services”, “pedestrians”, “road managers”, and “regulators and enforcers” .


However, it is not possible to distribute ITS services by user group as different user groups will often use the same or similar ITS service. ISO 14813-1:2015 therefore divides ITS services into service Types.


Types of ITS Services


Introduction to ITS Service Types


'ITS service domains and groups' , are built upon existing U.S., European Union, Japanese and other international and national taxonomies, or classification systems, and provide a common descriptive basis for comparing these taxonomies, as well as others being developed throughout the world. 


These architectures are based on National overviews of what the ITS sector comprises in their countries, and of course there are national differences. However they are all developed from the perspective of national implementation and management and focus on the types of services that ITS can and will provide.


ISO 14813-1:2015 identifies the following “Service Domains” :


  • Traveller information

  • Traffic management and operations

  • Vehicle services

  • Freight transport

  • Public transport

  • Emergency

  • Transport-related electronic payment

  •  Road transport related personal safety

  • Weather and environmental conditions monitoring

  • Disaster response management and coordination 

  • National security



Services are often interdependent on, or providers to, other services within a service group or are key enablers for the provision of services in other service groups. And it observes that in architecture elaborations based on these services it is important that the proposed classification schema identify WHO is responsible for the provision of the service.


For each service domain, ISO 14813-1 goes on to elaborate the Service Groups within the domain and in some cases identifies specific services that comprise the groups. - A summary description and identification of the service groups are provided in the following pages. Further detail can be obtained by reading ISO 14813-1.

Traveller Information


The ISO International Standard 14813-1 describes this domain as “Provision of both static and dynamic information about the transport network to users, including modal options and transfers”.


Traveller information domain includes the service groups:


·       Pre-trip information

·       On-trip information

·       Route guidance & navigation-pre trip

·       Route guidance & navigation-on trip

·       Trip planning support

·       Travel services information

Traffic Management and Operations


The ISO International Standard 14813-1 describes this domain as “The management of the movement of vehicles, travellers and pedestrians throughout the road transport network .”


Traffic management and Operations domain  includes the service groups:

·       Traffic management and control

·       Transport related incident management

·       Demand management

·       Transport infrastructure maintenance management

·       Policing/enforcing traffic regulations

Vehicle Services


The ISO International Standard 14813-1 describes this domain as “Enhancement of safety, security and efficiency in vehicle operations, by warnings and assistances to users or control vehicle operations.”


Vehicle Services includes the service groups:


o   Transport-related vision enhancement

o   Automated vehicle operation

o   Collision avoidance

o   Safety readiness

o   Pre-crash restraint deployment

Freight Transport  and Logistics


The ISO International Standard 14813-1 describes this domain as “The management of commercial vehicle operations; freight and fleet management; activities that expedite the authorization process for cargo at national and jurisdictional boundaries and expedite cross-modal transfers for authorized cargo.”


Freight Transport includes the service groups:


administrative functions

·       Commercial vehicle pre-clearance

·       Commercial vehicle administrative processes

·       Automated roadside safety inspection

·       Commercial vehicle on-board safety monitoring



commercial functions

·       Freight transport fleet management

·       Intermodal information management

·       Management and control of intermodal centres

·       Management of dangerous freight

Public Transport


The ISO International Standard 14813-1 describes this domain as “Operation of public transport services and the provision of operational information to the operator and user, including multimodal aspects.”


Public Transport domain includes the service groups:


·       Public transport management

·       Demand responsive and shared transport




The ISO International Standard 14813-1 describes this domain as “Services delivered in response to incidents that are categorized as emergencies.”


  • Emergency domain includes the service groups:

·       Transport related emergency notification and personal security

·       After theft vehicle recovery

·       Emergency vehicle management

  • Emergency vehicle preemption

  • Emergency vehicle data

·       Hazardous materials & incident notification

Transport-related Electronic Payment


The ISO International Standard 14813-1 describes this domain as “Transactions and reservations for transport related services.”


Transport-related Electronic Payment domain includes the service groups:


·       Transport related electronic financial transactions

·       Integration of transport related electronic payment services


Road Transport Related Personal Safety


The ISO International Standard 14813-1 describes this domain as “Protection of transport users including pedestrians and vulnerable users. “


Road Transport Related Personal Safety includes the service groups:


·       Public travel security

·       Safety enhancements for vulnerable road users

·       Safety enhancements for disabled road users

·       Safety provisions for pedestrians using intelligent junctions and links

Weather and environmental conditions monitoring


The ISO International Standard 14813-1 describes this domain as “Activities that monitor and notify weather and environmental conditions. “


Weather and Environmental Conditions Monitoring domain includes the service groups:


·       Environmental conditions monitoring

Disaster response management and coordination 


The ISO International Standard 14813-1 describes this domain as “Road transport based activities in response to natural disasters, civil disturbances, or terror attacks.”


Disaster Response Management and Coordination includes the service groups:


·       Disaster data management

·       Disaster response management

·       Coordination with emergency agencies

National security


The ISO International Standard 14813-1 describes this domain as “Activities that directly protect or mitigate physical or operational harm to persons and facilities due to natural disasters, civil disturbances, or terror attacks.”


National Security domain includes the service groups:


·       Monitoring and control of suspicious vehicles

·       Utility or pipeline monitoring

ITS Data Management


The ISO International Standard 14813-1 describes this domain as “The collation, management, and supply of ITS data to legitimate interested parties”.


ITS Data Management domain includes the service groups:


  • Data registries

  • Data dictionaries

  • Emergency messages

  • Control centre data

  • Enforcement

  • Traffic management data

Other “Views” of ITS


Services to Drivers


In addition to the analysis of services into “Service Domains”, as analyzed in ISO 14813-1, we also have other “views” that we need to consider if we are to understand ITS. Each of these views considers an aspect of ITS that can be used by interested parties to group some of the services in different ways. These are complementary, not competitive means of analysis, and when considering Standards that support ITS can provide a very useful “view”.


We can see from the list of domains, and if we were to look more deeply into the services which comprise these domains, that many of the services are provided to drivers. Services to drives can be categorized into five types


a)         Driver/User Information Services

b)         Driver Assistance Services

c)         Collaborative Driver Assistance Services

d)         Collaborative Driving Services

e)         Subconscious Services to the Driver


An understanding of the generic characteristics of these services to drivers can further assist our understanding of some aspects of ITS services.

Driver/User Information Services


Driver/User Information Services provide relevant information to the driver/user. They may comprise, for example, satellite navigation information (excluding route guidance), congestion and incident information, etc.


The characterising nature of this group of services is that they are passive or semi-passive in respect of driving or vehicle control. Passive in that they provide general information but no specific parameters are entered and no direct driving assistance is offered or suggested.


Often loosely incorporated in this group are indirect services made possible by an ITS link into the vehicle, such as in-vehicle internet for passengers, and the ability of passengers to directly, or via the internet, book restaurants and hotels etc.












Driver Assistance Services


The next group of services are those that provide direct driving support and assistance to drivers that propose modification of driving behaviour, but do not enact such behaviour. These systems are further characterised in being “stand-alone”. That is they do not require the communication or cooperation of other vehicles.


An example of this type of service is a lane departure warning system, where the driver receives an audible, visual, or sensory (usually vibration) warning when he is about to stray from the lane. Forward and backward obstacle warning systems, where the drive is alerted that he is getting close to an obstacle; round blind corner assistance systems, which provide a CCTV image from the front of the vehicle, provide other examples.


Route guidance, where the driver programmes in his destination and the system advises him of route directions, also fall into this group.


Here the information to the driver is driving specific, and advising to modify driver behaviour.


Many of the early instances of ITS - that are already appearing in production models -  provide services of this nature as they are significantly easier to design and install and, with the exception of congestion sensitive route guidance systems, do not need a communication link to third parties outside of the vehicle.







Collaborative Driver Assistance Services


Collaborative driving services also provide driver assistance services, but require a communication link to other vehicles and/or the infrastructure to provide the service.


Early examples of these services were electronic road toll collection and vehicle access control systems. However the characterisation of these systems more typically requires information from others in order to provide the service.


Collision warning advice systems, where a vehicle collects location, movement and danger information from other vehicles around are more typical examples of where this type of service is headed.


An example would be where a vehicle detects ice, or slippery surface, and sends that information to other vehicles nearby, advising them of the danger. Once received, the driver receives advice of the distance location and nature of the warning.  When he is approaching the dangerous area, he receives a second warning.


The characteristic being that this type of service can only be performed where there is quasi-continuous communication with other vehicles and/or the infrastructure.




Collaborative Driving Services


Collaborative driving services are of a similar communications nature to collaborative driver assistance services, except that the systems directly effect control, rather than advise the driver.


Examples of these systems will be collision avoidance systems, grade (level crossing) collision avoidance systems, platooning, etc.


Of their nature, they require that most, if not all, vehicles are equipped, and are therefore, at the time of writing this book, “future systems”, that may not appear for another decade or ore. However, in order for them to be possible, the communications architectures at least have to start to be implemented in vehicles in the near term. 





Subconscious Services to the Driver


Subconscious Services to the Driver also require a communications link to the vehicle, but to not directly affect driver action, nor, usually, advice to the driver.


Automatic software updates to engine or system management software in the vehicle provides one good example of these types of services. They can be implemented on a much shorter timescale than Collaborative Driving Services, or Collaborative Driver Assistance Services, but require a communications link to the vehicle. 






Means of Achieving ITS Services


Another important “view” of ITS service provision is the means of achieving the ITS service. This is generally a communications centric view. For while in the National Architectures and in ISO 14813-1, the perspective is to divide the sector into different service groups and domains, when it comes to equipping vehicles with ITS interfaces, and providing a network of beacons to communicate with them, the architectural separation of service types and characteristics becomes less important, indeed is of a low order of importance. Here we are putting one communication facility in a vehicle to talk to a limited number of roadside beacons. It is true that there may be multiple types of communication media links, but the emphasis is to be able to network different media, so that there is one facility in the vehicle, and one or more communications medium for it to conduct its ITS communications through. That one communications facility will carry whatever ITS communications services are required.


So from this perspective we need to categorise into the type of communication, and a list of services that can be provided using each type of communication


Note : A single ‘type’ of communication is not the same as a single communications medium, but more the nature of the communication i.e. infrastructure to vehicle, vehicle to infrastructure, vehicle to vehicle, and infrastructure to infrastructure.


While ISO 14813-1 is focussed to service provision in an architectural context of service domains and groups, in order to provide an ITS Service there usually (but not always) needs to be one or more communication medium in place.


For Infrastructure to Infrastructure ITS, such as many aspects of traffic control systems, a general purpose IT/ICT medium can be used. This may well be a wired medium, but increasingly, wireless media are being used within the infrastructure. However, these media are generic standardised media used for ITS, rather specifically designed for ITS. Generic wireless media Standards can also be used to provide Infrastructure <> Infrastructure ITS Services.


When considering Vehicle > Infrastructure , Infrastructure > Vehicle, or Vehicle <> Vehicle ITS communications, for obvious reasons, have, or course, to be wireless.


 ITS services can in some circumstances be provided by generic Standardized media, such as Cellular Telephony, Mobile Wireless Broadband etc. However the demands of a wireless system with moving transient participants, mean that the same performance for bandwidth, cannot be achieved, (compared to performance of similar non mobile links).


Where the service therefore becomes time critical, as for example, with many safety related driver assistance services, it becomes desirable- even essential, to use media that are specifically designed and optimised for the provision of ITS services. Where safety related vehicle behaviour modification services are involved, it becomes absolutely necessary to use dedicated, and preferably protected, media specifically designed for ITS.


There are other aspects of ITS service provision that can, in some cases, be generic standardised techniques used for ITS, generic standardised techniques adapted for ITS, or techniques specifically developed for ITS. Examples might be data definition techniques, such as Abstract Syntax Notation One (ASN.1) – A data notation technique that can be used for ITS data definition, and in some cases encoding and transfer; XML,  Web Services, IPv6 (NEMO) – generic standardised internet Services, where options can be optimised for ITS use and interoperability; and specific services such as generic fare and toll transactions which are often best specifically designed for ITS, but can operate interoperably within the ITS sector, and in multiple services in the sector.



ITS Services for Vehicles and their occupants


The previous parts of this article have considered the Service Domains and Groups - the group headings to describe functional areas of service provision. In considering the Standards required to support ITS communications it is worthwhile describing ITS services for vehicles and their occupants. The priority, and focus of work, as explained above, is to define the communications media Standards to support services to vehicles and their occupants. However, in order to achieve this objective successfully, it is necessary to understand the requirements of these services. 


Some services, particularly in-vehicle services, are already defined, implemented and operating. Others are in advanced design, others are in early research and development stages, and some are still in conceptual design and architecture definition.


Without comparative testing, it is not yet clear which ‘mode’ of service provision is best for which service. Some services are best provided strictly in-vehicle- without the need for ITS communications with the infrastructure or other vehicles; other services are best provided via an installed infrastructure; and other services are best performed between vehicles communicating directly with each other or by ad-hoc mesh networks that evolve between traffic using a particular stretch of road at a particular time.


Each mode has its proponents. Each mode is in a different stage of development. Then there is the complexity of the choice of which air interface medium is most appropriate to consider as well.


Each method has its advantages and disadvantages. Some of the disadvantages are already known to be, or trials and deployment will subsequently prove to be, fundamentally unsuitable for the provision of a particular service. Actual deployment will depend on a mix of technical suitability, local regulations, and market forces


This Section provides a list of actual and envisaged services. It does not form a complete list, and the list evolves over time. Some of the services described in this Chapter are already implemented and available, at the least have been considered conceptually and architecture options evaluated. Most are in some form of test or development. The services are briefly described, and it should be considered that these definitions are not necessarily the final service definitions, and are summary definitions.


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