An intelligent transport system utilises information and communication technologies and related services, i.e. transport telematics. The FITS programme aims at developing public and private ITS or transport telematics services and the related information infrastructures. The programme started in 2001 and will continue to 2004. FITS continues the work of the Ministry's TETRA programme, which developed ITS infrastructures in 1998-2001.
The FITS programme is developing the information society and implementing the transport policy targets related to it. This requires close-knit co-operation between the various forms of transport needed by users. The emphasis of the programme is on R&D producing user-oriented services and on increasing competence in the field.
Along with the information society and transport policy objectives, FITS covers all transport modes and concentrates on the seamless co-operation between all modes of transport as required by the users. The programme emphasises such R&D actions that lead to user need-oriented services.
The development of information infrastructures and the content required by the services are necessary in many areas. The programme improves the prerequisites for services and networking as well as solving operational issues. The programme also aims at increasing national expertise in the ITS domain and at developing system and device products required by the services.
The project areas act as strong leading-edge areas that develop new and effective ITS services and solutions. Each of the project areas is managed by its own project area steering committee, which is chaired by a project area leader who is assisted by a project area secretary. The project area steering committee independently organises all calls for proposals and tenders, and decides on the acceptance of individual proposals into the project area.
In addition, FITS contains a horizontal project area for the management, dissemination and exploitation of the results. Individual service pilots are also linked to the programme to test the provision of new services and the feasibility of new service concepts and principles.
The Programme Steering Committee involves MinTC, the Ministry of the Interior, the Finnish Road Administration, the Finnish Rail Administration, the Finnish Maritime Administration, the Finnish Civil Aviation Administration, the Finnish Meteorological Institute, the Confederation of Finnish Industry and Employers, the Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities, the Metropolitan Area Council, the City of Helsinki, the National Technology Agency, the Academy of Finland, Radiolinja Ltd, Sonera Ltd, and Foreca Ltd.
The funding is provided by the Ministry of Transport and Communications (MinTC) and the transport mode-specific administrations, the municipalities, companies, the National Technology Agency and the European Union.