ITS (Intelligent Transport Systems) are being applied to facilitate mobility, make better use of existing infrastructure, improve safety and help mitigating negative environmental impacts. Deployment of ITS is also motivated by the increased difficulty of expanding transportation capacity through conventional infrastructure building.
CITRUS takes place in Belgium and studies the technical and economic viability of a companion app for truck drivers. It envisages the development of the app as well as a pilot deployment involving at least 300 truck drivers from Colruyt Group on the Belgian highway network (in particular on the motorways E17, E19, E34, E40 and E411, and ring roads R0 and R1) throughout a period of 36 months. The pilot itself will be operational for 21 months (January 2018 – September 2019). The companion app will provide some "Day 1 services", giving safety-related warnings in relation to traffic jam, stationary vehicles and road works. In addition, it will provide advice as regards to speed, routing and other information and will optimise green light cycles and approaching vehicle speeds at critical junctions. The app will contribute to improve road safety and reduces CO2 emissions of truck traffic.
Services deployed will be based on a cellular C-ITS approach in combination with geographical messaging technologies. The objective of this pilot deployment is the validation of the set ecosystem enabling a plethora of valuable C-ITS use cases using modern cellular networks and geo-messaging cloud services. The planned actions will lay the foundation of a large-scale roll-out and uptake of C-ITS applications in Belgium and Europe.
A key element of this foundation is the delivery of a companion app and its supporting services that will form a solid, stable and proven C-ITS platform. Expanding the geographical coverage of the system after the end of the project will require the provisioning of additional cloud resources, but not of extra roadside equipment (except for the truck-aware traffic signal regulations use case). When scaling up, there is also no need for additional software development, or for extended operational procedures and tools. Those delivered by the project will be generic, making them suitable both for the pilot area and beyond. As a result, the threshold for larger nation-wide or even international roll-out is very low, since it merely comes down to the provisioning of additional cloud resources.
Next to the geographical expansion of the system, it will also be possible to easily add new services in future projects. This is enabled by the clear distinction in the CITRUS project between the general platform developed in Activity 3, and the services developed in Activity 4.
And finally, through the impact evaluation in Activity 6, the planned actions will demonstrate the added value of C-ITS for road users, private companies and local governments. This will increase both public and private support for a large scale roll-out. This is a crucial non-technical element for the establishment of a foundation for large-scale roll-out and uptake of C-ITS applications in Belgium and Europe.