The ITS Testbed study looks into the organisational, technical and legal conditions necessary for an Austrian ITS test environment. For this sake, a test environment is defined as a permanent facility that serves to test ITS systems or components in research, development, market introduction or procurement. Access to the test environment should be nondiscriminatory and open to researchers, developers and providers alike. The primary purpose of the test environment is to promote research and development. The study takes on the operator’s perspective. Potential operators from Austria and experts with experience in operating test environments for intelligent transportation systems were successfully enlisted to author the study. The study is the result of the cooperation of the Austrian key operators and providers of infrastructure.
For the study, experience gained with testbeds in Austria and abroad was screened to filter out best practice examples and in-depth interviews were conducted with more than 30 players in the ITS field. Furthermore, the study was discussed with members of the ATTC (Austrian Traffic Telematic Cluster) in the course of two meetings. The results of these surveys are very encouraging. All participants showed interest in an ITS testbed. Eighty-five percent were interested in taking part in such a testbed. The Federal States expressed urgent interest in a test installation to measure traffic. Three out of four respondents were also interested in a test environment for traffic control. More than half of the respondents were interested in an interface to test services and applications. The potential operators primarily see possibilities of co-financing, using and operating test installations. There are generally no objections to the disclosure of data for the purpose of research and development.
Starting out from these results, nine specific use cases for test environments were examined and described. For three of these, an initial development stage was designed in detail:
- Installations and systems for the testing of traffic measurement and sensory systems are the most urgent and can be implemented rather quickly. ASFINAG has ready-to-use installations in place; further installations in the city and on country roads appear reasonable.
- A data interface to test new traffic information and traffic management services and applications – using ITS platforms already in place or ITS platforms under construction – can be provided. Such an interface would promote and facilitate the development of lots of services and applications.
- Traffic control is the issue that will gain significance in future. The first development stage saw the construction of a test environment for traffic-responsive VLSA control at individual junctions.
This initial development stage also requires that legal, organisational and financial conditions be defined to govern access by external parties and contract templates must be drawn up for this purpose.
The type of organisation for the test environment is determined by the fact that the test facilities are both owned and operated by the infrastructural operator. In any case, the structure of the test systems will be devised to meet the operator’s own needs. A concerted, systematic approach and appropriate funding would allow coordinated test systems of a higher quality to be installed. Access to the test systems will be organised by a central coordination point giving external parties access to the facilities at a cost. Not only the test systems to be installed but also the general organisational structure would need to be financed.
Findings of the study are published by a final report (German only) which is available online via the Federal Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology (BMVIT):