On-board driver assistance coupled with two-way communication between vehicles, with and between road infrastructure can help drivers better control their vehicle and hence have positive effects in terms of safety and traffic efficiency. Vehicles can also function as sensors reporting weather and road conditions including incidents, to be used for high-quality information services.
Enabling precisely this sort of interaction, this is where so-called "cooperative systems" come into play. The ITS Action Plan looks to further consolidate R&D results and to promote coordinated deployment.
Action 4.2 of the ITS Action Plan aims specifically at the "Development and evaluation of cooperative systems in view of the definition of a harmonised approach; assessment of deployment strategies, including investments in intelligent infrastructure".
EU-funded research projects on cooperative systems e.g. Coopers , CVIS , Safespot have delivered promising results that have notably contributed, under the coordination of the COMeSafety project, to the definition of a communication architecture for cooperative systems. This work needs further consolidation and large-scale pilots such as EuroFOT and Drive C2X are aiming at validating the promising cooperative applications.
Co-operative Systems would notably require spectrum for short-range, low-latency communications. On 5 August 2008 the Commission has adopted Decision 2008/671/EC to reserve the 5.9 GHz band for safety related ITS applications. The Decision will harmonise the usage conditions for the availability and efficient use of this frequency band on a non-exclusive basis.
Standardisation is also an important element in the area of cooperative systems. ETSI and CEN are currently working to produce the minimum necessary standards for cooperative systems, as a response to the Standardisation Mandate of the Commission .