12. July 2016
Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems (C-ITS) are close to large-scale deployment. This raises questions about trust, rights and duties, as C-ITS deals with safety of human life and property, and with private data.
In order to approach these questions, the origin of C-ITS, its nature, and involved entities need to be understood. Some findings are presented in the below list in chronological order:
- The term ITS was created about more than two decades ago when ISO set up its TC204 "Intelligent Transport Systems". ITS is the logical continuation of RTTT (Road Transport Traffic Telematics), which was the title of CEN TC278 and the initial European approach towards ITS. Note that CEN TC278, later on, adopted the name ITS.
- The term Cooperative ITS and its essential meaning was invented in the EC project CVIS (Cooperative Vehicle Infrastructure System). CVIS and ISO TC204 cooperated in the development and validation of ITS standards, particularly the set of CALM (Communications Access for Land Mobiles) standards from TC204 WG16. As a result of this cooperation, the ITS station and communication architecture ISO 21217 arose.
- Simultaneously with TC204 WG16, but not yet synchronized or harmonized, IEEE 1609 WG developed the WAVE (Wireless Access in Vehicluar Environment) system. WAVE supports a sub-set of ITS functionality as requested by SAE (Society of Automobile Engineers)..
- Members of TC204 WG16 prepared for the foundation of ETSI TC ITS, of which the kick-off meeting was in December 2007. Just at this time European car OEMs started contributing to C-ITS standards development, and the C2C-CC (car-to-car communications consortium) was founded.
- The EC launched mandate M/453 on Cooperative ITS in order to promote and speed up creation of C-ITS standards. ETSI TC ITS and CEN TC278 WG16 replied to the mandate and produced a set of inital standards for C-ITS, referred to as Release 1 C-ITS standards (neither complete nor consistent). Note that CEN TC278 WG16 develops jointly standards with ISO TC204 WG18 on the basis of the Vienna agreement.
- The work of ETSI TC ITS focuses on a small domain of ITS, i.e. road safety improved by car-to-car communications. The approach is functionally similar to the WAVE approach, but technically not compatible.
- The joint work of CEN and ISO focuses on C-ITS in general, and particularly on the needs of road administations and authorities, not excluding the road safety domain.
- CEN and ISO produced several ITS and C-ITS architectural documents and guidelines. The first important architecture standard ISO 21217 was converted into a technically equivalent ETSI EN 302 665. Note that in the meanwhile EN 302 665 is out of date, whereas ISO 21217 was revised in 2014 considering latest developments in CEN, ETSI, and ISO.
- CEN and ISO also produced several standards for general management of C-ITS, particularly the identification of globally unique identifiers, the means to enable abstraction of ITS applications from communications, and hybrid communications with handover. Note that hybrid communications is much more that a dual protocol stack (5,9 GHz and CNs).
- The ISO CALM FAST standards were harmonized with IEEE WAVE, providing interoperability modes. Note that the functionality of FAST fully covers the functionality of WAVE, but not vice versa.
This short list shows, that the major expertise and promotion of C-ITS is done in CEN/ISO, and thus these two SDOs are the real advocates of ITS.
A problem of general interests and business models arises from the fact, that three major big interest groups have to meet in a single device, i.e. in the vehicular ITS station unit (ITS-SU), and each of these groups would like controlling the whole C-ITS, i.e. operate it as a closed system. Note that this conflict is not at all a technical conflict, as the CALM approach serves all technical needs. C-ITS however is designed as a "chaotic system", i.e. a system that is not necessarily operated as cellular networks are; nevertheless roles and responsibilities can be identified for specific C-ITS services or service domains.
Every user that has a certified ITS-SU becomes part of C-ITS. Operation of C-ITS thus builts on a trusted ITS-SU. A C-ITS authority, in general, is needed to set up the minimum requirements and rules for a trusted ITS-SU and its communications and data sharing between ITS applications. This authority has also to be in charge of managing appropriate identifier registries (see EN ISO 17419). CEN and ISO, being the advocates of ITS standards, definitively must be part of this authority. User groups such as road operators, authorities, car OEMs, and end user organizations should also contribute to the C-ITS authority, which finally will create a C-ITS allicance (similar to the WiFi alliance).
As C-ITS is not just targeted for use in a single region, the C-ITS authority has to be a hierarchical organisation applying the principle of subsidiarity such that regional decision committees will run the regional business, and a global kind of steering committee will ensure appropriate synchronization between the regions. As C-ITS is of public interest, NGOs (non-governmental organizations) should not at all play a dominant role in the C-ITS authority.
In case of any questions please contact the C-ITS core experts.