The European Council has approved the revision of the revised Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) Directive. This will ultimately make high-quality and timely data available for services, such as multimodal journey planners, navigation platforms, and emergency services. Access to better data will allow for the more effective management of traffic and mobility across transport modes, enabling users to better combine the most sustainable modes of transport. It is also a necessary enabler for cooperative, connected and automated mobility (CCAM), as targeted by the Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy.
The revision of the ITS Directive will extend the scope of the Directive to cover emerging services, such as multimodal information, booking and ticketing services (for example apps to find and book journeys that combine public transport, shared car or bike services), communication between vehicles and infrastructure and automated mobility.
Pursuing the ambition for the increased digitalisation of processes, the new rules also set targets for the digitalisation of crucial information, such as that on speed limits, roadworks and multimodal access nodes, and the delivery of essential services, such as information on road safety. The benefits for transport users will include real-time information and digital, intelligent road infrastructure, as well as more accurate intelligent speed assistance systems. The revised rules also aim to facilitate the deployment of cooperative ITS, which allow vehicles and road infrastructure to communicate with one another, for example to warn each other about unexpected events, such as a traffic jam ahead.
The potential benefits of digitalisation, the deployment of ITS and data sharing for urban areas are addressed in both the impact assessment of the revised ITS Directive and new European Urban Mobility Framework. Several ITS services target reductions in urban travel time, for example, through the increased ease of use of multimodal solutions or the provision of real-time traffic Information. Most of the new mobility services offered in many cities, such as free-floating car and bike sharing, ride hailing and innovative taxi services or delivery services, are mainly offered through mobile apps. The provision of multimodal travel information and multimodal digital mobility services (MDMS), such as MaaS applications, that combine new mobility modes with traditional forms of transport, help to increase the use of clean modes and reduce the pressure of cars on public space in cities. The provision of on-street and off-street parking information can bring efficiency benefits to drivers and help to reduce emissions by reducing the time spent ‘cruising’ at low speeds to find a parking space, whereas Park & Ride information helps to reduce congestion in urban areas and also shift travel from cars to public transport. CCAM has the potential to increase traffic safety in cities as well as improving traffic flow and reducing emissions.
The proposal to revise the ITS Directive was presented by the Commission in December 2021, as part of a European Green Deal package of initiatives for more efficient and sustainable transport. Now that is has been formally approved by both the European Parliament and the Council, the new legislation will enter into force 20 days after its publication in the EU's official journal. Member States will then have 24 months to transpose it into national law.
Original article published by the European Commission on 24 October 2023.
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