Road accidents remain a major cause of death and injury in Europe in spite of considerable improvements over the past
decade. The European Commission recognises the important role which intelligent transport systems (ITS) can play in making Europe’s roads safer still.
ITS relates to the application of ICT on road transport infrastructure and operations and includes a range of systems to detect incidents,support traffic supervision and manage or provide real-time information to road users and hauliers, among other things. Recently ITS have taken a prominent place in EU transport policy, and more specifically in the road safety policy orientations for 2011-20, which aim to promote and accelerate deployment of innovative technology in order to improve road safety. Cooperative systems allowing communication between vehicles,
from vehicles to road infrastructure and between infrastructure – thereby enabling travellers to remain connected at all times – have all the potential to accelerate deployment of advanced driver assistance systems . The importance of modern technology to achieving transport objectives led the Commission to develop an Action Plan for deployment of ITS in Europe. This helped pave the way for the adoption in 2010 of an ITS Directive that aims at accelerating coordination and deployment of ITS in road transport.1 The Directive sets out four priority areas and lists six priority actions for which targeted specifications enhancing interoperable deployment will be developed. Most of these priority actions have a direct impact on road safety, as they are related notably to improved traffic information and in particular to the widest possible provision of minimum road safetyrelated traffic information, free of charge to users, to multi-modal information services, to provision of an EU-wide interoperable eCall rescue system and information and reservation services for safe and secure parking for trucks and commercial vehicles. It is hoped that relevant technical, organisational and functional specifications should be developed for all priority areas by the end of 2014.
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