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Public consultation

The provision of EU-wide real-time traffic information services under Directive 2010/40/EU (the "ITS Directive")

Consultation period: 20/12/2013 – 14/03/2014

Target group

Citizens, local or regional public authorities, national public authorities, associations, non-Government organisations, civil society organisations, companies, academia, who have an interest in the issue of provision and usage of real-time traffic information services and other related issues such as the collection, processing and exchange of data required to provide EU-wide real-time traffic information services.

Objective of the consultation

The Commission is seeking views in particular on:

  • extent of the problem with existing services;
  • assessment of scope for improvement;
  • relevance and impacts of proposed options.

The results of this consultation will feed in into an on-going cost-benefit analysis, with a view of a possible proposal of the Commission for specifications under Directive 2010/40/EU (the "ITS Directive") which would address the issue of provision of EU-wide real-time traffic information services. In addition to answering specific questions, in the final section of the questionnaire respondents are invited to voice their views on other relevant aspects not explicitly mentioned in the questionnaire.

What are real-time traffic information services?

Real-time traffic information services aim to provide road users with useful, accurate and up-to-date information on the road network, traffic circulation plans, traffic regulations (such as speed limits and access restrictions), recommended driving routes and real-time traffic data including estimated travel times, information about congestion, accidents, road works and road closures, weather conditions, other relevant safety-related information (e.g. the presence of animal, people or debris on the road). Additionally, real-time traffic information services can potentially include any other information considered relevant to the planning and the execution of the trip.

Who are the users of real-time traffic information?

The users of real-time traffic information fall into three main categories:

  1. the most numerous user group is road users including private motorists, commercial road transport operators  and also users of public transport services who want to optimise their transport activities;
  2. transport infrastructure managers, road operators and traffic managers use real-time traffic information to optimise the utilization of transport infrastructure they are responsible for and also aim to provide a better user experience for road users;
  3. ITS service providers who use real-time traffic information to provide value-added services to their own customers

Policy background

Directive 2010/40/EU (the 'ITS Directive')   provides for the adoption of specifications to ensure the compatibility, interoperability and continuity for the deployment and operational use of EU-wide real-time traffic information services (priority action "b").

As listed in Annex I of the Directive, these specifications shall include:

  • the definition of the necessary requirements to make EU-wide real-time traffic information services accurate and available across borders to ITS users;
  • the definition of the necessary requirements for the collection by relevant public authorities and/or, where relevant, by the private sector of road and traffic data (i.e. traffic circulation plans, traffic regulations and recommended routes, notably for heavy goods vehicles) and for their provisioning to ITS service providers;
  • the definition of the necessary requirements to make road, traffic and transport services data used for digital maps accurate and available, where possible, to digital map producers and service providers.

The Directive foresees these specifications to be binding and aimed at ensuring the development of interoperable services, where possible based on existing standards and technology. The initiative is expected to contribute to EU-wide continuity and harmonised delivery of real-time traffic information services.

The European Commission has already adopted specifications for the minimum requirements for road safety related minimum universal traffic information services . The objective of this initiative was to provide early warning to drivers about unexpected and dangerous traffic situations or road conditions to enable them to better anticipate and adapt their driving behaviour to avoid potentially serious accidents.

How to submit your contribution

All the contributions shall be submitted through the online questionnaire.

Please note that

As part of the European Transparency Initiative, organisations are invited to use the Register of interest representatives to provide the European Commission and the public at large with information about their objectives, funding and structures. If you are not registered yet in this register, please visit:  

Received contributions, together with the identity of the contributor, may be published on Directorate General for Mobility and Transport website, unless the contributor objects to publication of the personal data on the grounds that such publication would harm his or her legitimate interests. In this case the contribution may be published in anonymous form. Otherwise the contribution will not be published nor will, in principle, its content be taken into account.

Contributions may be submitted in any official EU language.

Related documents

Hard copy pdf - 135 KB [135 KB]

Consultation document pdf - 39 KB [39 KB]

Results of the consultation pdf - 4 MB [4 MB]