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Future applications in satellites navigation for road telematics and for road management system. (VSS2003/903)

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Geo-spatial type
Project website
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Network and traffic management systems (NTM)
Transport mode
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Transport policies
Transport sectors
Passenger transport,
Freight transport


Background & Policy context

Europe showed clearly its intention to assure its autonomy in satellite navigation. This key domain of the European strategy for the space has an impact on the policy of transport. The approval given to the project GALILEO of satellite navigation opens numerous perspectives in the development of location based services. The road telematics is one of the sectors privileged by such an initiative (eg control and tracking of vehicles, route guidance and planning of routes).

Switzerland also participates in the European projects of satellite navigation through the European Space Agency and thanks to the bilateral agreements (6th frame program of research). The transport policy in Switzerland aims at a harmonization with the one introduced in Europe. Eventually Switzerland will have to integrate the services that will be proposed jointly with satellite navigation.

GPS was designed thirty years ago, it is now on the way to a modernization. The civil users of GPS will benefit from two new frequencies, of which L5 for critical and safety applications.
The development of the Swiss road telematics will also have to focus on the development of the projects GALILEO, EGNOS and GPS. 


The purpose of this project is to study the potential of the methods of satellites positioning and their future related services. Road telematics and the system of information for road management are domains with high potential for these navigation services.

The project has to cover the following objectives:

  • To study the user's needs of the road in positioning
  • To study the characteristics and the orientations of the navigation satellites systems (EGNOS, GALILEO, GPS) in the context of road applications and transportation.
  • To put in evidence GALILEO's contributions with regard to the American GPS and estimate the complementarity of both systems.
  • To study the services provided by the navigation satellites systems in order to develop road telematics in Switzerland and in the context of the information system for the road management.
  • To estimate the perspectives of the integration of the services of navigation for certain practical examples (management of traffic, services of urgency, intermodal services and combination with a GIS, hazardous goods monitoring)
  • To write a recommendation for the users and the research in road telematics

The methodological approach of this research will be based on:

  • The study of technical and policy papers on navigation systems
  • Information of these technologies to potential users of the administrations and the private sector
  • The establishment of surveys to assess needs
  • Drafting a summary report


Parent Programmes
Institution Type
Public institution
Institution Name
Swiss Government: State Secretariat for Education and Research
Type of funding
Public (national/regional/local)


This project proposes an approach based on one hand related to the specific knowledge of the road domain (ITS, RIS) and, on the other hand, on technical knowledge of navigation systems. The analysis is based on users’ needs (road infrastructure and traffic) in positioning according to the application requirements. 

The following results are developed in the project: 

  • Expression of needs on location for the ITS and the RIS. The fields of applications of ITS refer mainly to telematics services described in the standard SN 640 871: Driver assistance (e.g. collision avoidance), traffic and travel information, traffic management, fleet management, emergency services (e-call) and road pricing. 
  • Characteristics of future navigation systems. This step presents different system architectures (satellites, sensors, GSM, map matching) and defines the performance criteria. 
  • Adequacy between the needs of the ITS services and the RIS, compared to the performance of the navigation systems. The study proposes on one side a typology of road services (ITS, RIS), and on the other side a classification of navigation solutions. 
  • Recommendations to help the user to express their needs in positioning, and to guide the choice of a navigation solution. The study also proposes some ideas being considered on the role of navigation in the Swiss road standards.

The main results of the project are: 

  • Definitions of the positioning performance: accuracy, availability, continuity and integrity 
  • A summary of the needs in positioning for the main ITS services and for the RIS –
  • Short descriptions of the main solutions of positioning and navigation and their respective performances
  • A structuring of services into 4 classes related to security: "safety of life", "legal implication", "commercial implication", and "without implication". 
  • Recommendations for the future standards in ITS and RIS


Recommendations and future work

The study has showed that the expression of the needs in positioning is complex and varies from one application to another and depends on many criteria. In addition, there is no universal navigation solution which is adapted to all situations. The mass market of car navigation systems, commonly called "GPS" gives the illusion that many positioning issues are solved, which is far from being the case when discussing the que


Lead Organisation
EU Contribution
Partner Organisations
EU Contribution


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