Europe adopts Dutch iTLC standards
The Netherlands is one of the first countries in Europe to further elaborate international iTLC standards and apply them nationally. Other countries are now also benefiting from these experiences: Dutch detailing on how to apply these international iTLC standards in the field (Dutch Profiles) has been adopted internationally. Jaap Vreeswijk, one of the key players in this case on behalf of MAPtm, talks about the Netherlands as a knowledge frontrunner and about regional differences.
Jaap Vreeswijk is a Connected & Automated Driving Traffic Architect at the MAPTM traffic management consultancy firm, and the chairman of the Change Advisory Board (CAB), consisting of public-private experts dealing with iTLC standards in the Netherlands. But standards are also being developed for intelligent Traffic Light Controllers on other fronts. In Europe there is C-Roads, a platform in which European Member States and road authorities work together to test and implement new technologies. They continue to build on European ETSI standards and global ISO standards.
Vreeswijk: ‘When we started Talking Traffic in the Netherlands, basic standards for iTLCs were already in place. As we’ve experimented a lot in the Netherlands and started working with iTLCs on a national scale, we are now one of the frontrunners in the international field. Our domestic experience has led to filling gaps and making adjustments.”
Simply put, the Netherlands, armed with the adjustments, contacted C-Roads, ETSI and ISO. That was received positively. Vreeswijk: “Our additions were published late last year and they’ve now been adopted internationally.”
The latter does not mean that junctions across Europe will all look the same as in the Netherlands. Vreeswijk: “Some countries use the iTLC standards at a different level. For example, there are still many unguarded level crossings in the Czech Republic. These are not expected to be converted into guarded crossings in the short term, but the Czechs want to use C-ITS technology to warn motorists of approaching trains by means of in-car alerts. This goes to show that each country can set different priorities or put varying emphases, thus making it possible to implement the same basic standards regionally.’ The standards do of course also receive the necessary updates based on advancing insights and new techniques becoming available.
Vreeswijk knows his way around in Europe and has now been asked to become the chairman of the C-Roads ‘Signalised Intersections’ working group. An honourable matter; and according to Vreeswijk a sign that the Netherlands (‘together with Austria and France, who like us are very active in the field of C-ITS’) are considered frontrunners in the international field as well.
Adopting the Dutch Profiles is also positive for Dutch companies, Vreeswijk can tell. “The fact that companies such as Swarco, Siemens and Dynniq, which have invested heavily in roadside equipment and iTLCs in the Netherlands in recent years, can apply their standards in other countries as well, is of course very attractive.”