A key pillar of the ITS Action Plan is the optimal use of travel and traffic data to foster the development of Europe-wide real-time traffic and travel information services. There are two specific actions:
- Action 1.1: Definition of procedures for the provision of EU-wide real-time traffic and travel information services
- Action 1.4: Definition of specifications for data and procedures for the free provision of minimum universal traffic information services
With advancing technology and diversified data sources more data is in principle available. An important issue is the definition of the roles of the public and private sector especially on co-operation on data access and exchange. Due to different national policies and information markets across Europe these roles cannot be generalised.
A harmonisation of rules concerning data access and a free universal service will contribute to the following objectives:
- Continuity of services (across borders)
- Road safety: easier access to safety-related information
- Use of public data: taking full advantage of public data for efficient information
- Market development: feasible business models and lower costs (economies of scale)
The European Commission completed a study in 2011 on traffic and travel data access and on possible free road-safety related traffic information services, with a view to analysing the status quo in the EU and producing draft policy options. Specifications and procedures should be established for the use of public data, data availability, data formats, data exchange, (cross-border) procedures and legal issues (contracts, agreements, licenses, liability).
Specifications for Europe-wide services will be elaborated under the ITS Directive until the end of 2012 (free minimum traffic information services) and the end of 2013 (EU-wide real-time traffic information services).