The first CROCODILE workshop addressed the transposition of the EU ITS Directive with regard to the establishment of national bodies, national access points for traffic data and the availability of such data in general. In a World Café, stakeholders from Poland, Romania, Hungary, Czech Republic, Croatia and Austria, together with participation of the EC discussed their approaches to these topics. Two discussion rounds took place which means that the workshop participants had the chance to discuss up to two of the topics, however these are interrelated and therefore discussions sometimes crossed thematic borders, being fully in the spirit of the motto “Bridging Boundaries”.
There was a common sense visible that a national body has to be part of the public administration in order to ensure impartiality and shall be attached to an already existing organisation. There are several candidate organisations and decisions are ongoing. So far it seems to be clear that there has to be a joint national body for all specifications represented by one organisation and it should rather be one national organisation each than a common organisation for several or all EU Member States. ITS associations do not seem to be suitable organisations.
As mentioned above there are different situations in most of the countries concerned, namely regarding the respective organisational and legal framework. In some Member States there already are central collection points for data from public authorities (CZ) and central traffic management and information. Depending on the country there will be a varying number of actors involved, mostly this will comprise motorway operators. Yet the technical and legal skills to run a national body have not been completely defined so far, but they will be developed in the near future like it will be done within the CROCODILE project. Self-assessment in terms of certification might be favourable to control because of monetary reasons.
The discussion revealed open questions and issues that will be dealt with in the coming year:
- How will private service providers be obliged to share data according to priority action c?
- How will the national body carry out the approval of data or services?
- What will be the consequences/measures/legal actions if a national body rejects the approval?
- What happens if a service provider provides a multinational service like TomTom and Google do – will they have to do assessment in every MS?
National Access Point
There are different possibilities for implementing a national access point within the Member States. From the sides of Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Romania it seems most likely that the respective NAPs will be covered by the national road administrations. As for Croatia, the national automobile club will possibly take the role of the NAP.
Current initiatives for NAPs can be seen as a starting point. Their expandability must be agreed upon early on national and cross-border level. In terms of transnational coordination of NAP structures there is the possibility of informal/bilateral vs. official agreements. On the long run of course there have to be official agreements guaranteeing sustainable operation on European level. However in the current starting phase informal or bilateral agreements can be adopted easier and faster and could therefore be the right choice. This matter also depends on the kind of data to be exchanged and on the stakeholders involved.
There has to be a migration strategy that goes beyond single contracts obliging all contractors to forward data to the NAP. In order to ensure that different data contributors will be able to maintain a predefined level of quality proper tools for entering data will be necessary.
The discussion revealed the general understanding that basic NAP implementation is realistic until the end of 2015 as it is expected by the EC and various actions are already taken.
A lot of static and dynamic traffic data is already available however there is still a lack of data exchange within and between the single Member States. Due the splintered responsibilities in the Member States (e.g. different road operators) it is sometimes unclear which data are available from which side and in what level of quality. In some countries traffic data are currently given to the private sector (e.g. TomTom, Garmin, Google), but not properly exchanged among national stakeholders which underlines the fragmented status quo.
The discussion once more revealed the necessity of bilateral agreements between Member States on traffic data which should be exchanged. The workshop participants worked out a first proposal for a minimum set of traffic data which needs to be exchanged between CROCODILE MS (on the TERN), containing the following:
- Short-term road works
- Unprotected accident area
- Exceptional weather condition
- Truck parking possibilities (static/dynamic if available)
In spite of legislative and organisational differences in the respective countries the discussions unveiled numerous commonalities in past and future activities. Because of this it was possible to agree upon a draft necessary minimum of traffic data every set of transnationally exchanged data will have to contain. It was stated that establishing national bodies and national access points until the end of 2015 is possible and realistic. The project CROCODILE will be an important catalyst in defining the technical and legislative preconditions for the operation of these entities.