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EC PROJECTS SEAMLESS


“SEAMLESS has also made technical contributions in the areas of traffic light assistance and strategic route management”


HIDING SEAMS ALONG THE VALUE CHAIN With an understanding of the architectural assumptions in place, SEAMLESS then identified gaps in specifications, which hinder the distribution of an urban road authority’s data to road users. For the distribution of traffic informa- tion there are potential obstacles throughout the value chain, each needing a different technical solution for a different participant. In the case of publishing local authority traffic informa-


tion: from the viewpoint of private sector service providers the local authority data is currently either not available, not sufficiently standardised for their economic integration, or an unknown. SEAMLESS has produced a set of outputs aiming to improve this situation, by considering the profiles (constrained specifications) and translations that are needed as data moves through the value chain. SEAMLESS recom- mends that local authorities publish traffic data as a DATEX II service, but just specifying “DATEX II” is not enough to support cost-effective integration by service providers! DATEX II includes many different kinds of publication


and each kind features many alternative choices and optional elements. Existing implementations vary widely in the choice of elements populated. Travel times in particular have been implemented in very different ways in current local and national information services. SEAMLESS has produced improved DATEX II models and profiles for areas such as travel time and traffic status, and has published these on the datex2.eu website. These are complemented by specifications and guidance aimed at the source urban traffic data systems, and also improved specifications and guidance for the latter parts of the value chain where the urban information can be supplied to vehicles through TPEG services.


Background


SEAMLESS is part of the ERA-NET Road Mobility programme, co-funded by the European Commission 7th Framework and the national roads authorities of Belgium, England, Switzerland, Germany, Netherlands, and Norway. The Programme Executive Board is chaired by Philip Proctor of the Highways Agency, UK. The SEAMLESS deliverables are being published on the ERA-NET ROAD website http://eranetroad.org/. SEAMLESS is being delivered by a consortium led


by AlbrechtConsult (Germany) with partners Mott MacDonald (UK), PTV (Germany) and TrafficMaster (UK).


66 Sets of technical deliverables address the whole value chain The specifications and guidance include tested executable


XSLT transformations (for example from UTMC to DATEX II), although these will need further tailoring to meet the specific constraints imposed by the local sources and their available data, including location referencing. SEAMLESS has also made technical contributions in the


areas of traffic light assistance and strategic route management. The deployment guidelines published by the EasyWay


project should also be recognised. While the EasyWay guid- ance is for national roads authorities with a focus on deploy- ment on main Trans-European Road Network corridors, the stated vision and mission of the traveller information serv- ices are common to services from local authorities, and so much of the guidance is relevant for location authorities. The technical requirements of the EasyWay guidelines are refined in the SEAMLESS deliverables. Compliant urban data services should be registered in


a directory of services, such as the datex2.eu directory of DATEX II nodes, to advertise them to service providers, who can then visualise a manageable cost of integrating the data into their in-vehicle services.


The author gratefully acknowledges the contribution of the SEAMLESS partners to the work described in this article.


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 Ian Cornwell is Technical Director at Mott MacDonald  ian.cornwell@mottmac.comwww.mottmac.com, www.transporttech.mottmac.com


 Further activity on harmonisation of protocols can usefully study UK and German examples using the SEAMLESS deliverables on the ERA-NET ROAD website, http://eraroadnet.org


thinkinghighways.com Vol 8 No 3 Europe/Rest of the World


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