A number of EU documents have addressed the fact that slow and uncoordinated decision making for deployment of ITS (Intelligent Transport Systems) on urban, regional and national level is the most urgent problem to be solved in order to utilise the benefits that ITS can provide in terms of a sustainable European transportation system. In particular, the European Union's ITS Action Plan (published in December 2008) identifies the need for a European ITS Decision-Support Toolkit to assist stakeholders involved in deployment.
2DECIDE addressed this important challenge: To support and speed up consistent decision making related to ITS deployment for road and public transport applications (timely, cost-effective, interoperable, positive impact to urban and interurban mobility, positive cost/benefit ratio). It support ed Member State administrations, regional and local administrations and other road and public transport operators, in maximising the benefits offered by Intelligent Transport Systems and Services.
The overall vision of 2DECIDE was to:
- support the ITS Strategy of Europe (White Paper plus mid-term revision, ITS Action Plan, Green Paper, etc);
- support national deployment strategies and activities;
- support ITS faster and more efficient related decision making processes.
This has been done by providing an easy to access (single entry), consistent (linked to all necessary data sources and processed to one information source), up-to-date (maintained) toolkit for decision making for ITS applications. The toolkit developed by 2DECIDE aims to meet the needs of stakeholders and will provide the user with:
- demonstration of existing evaluation results (cost/benefit ratio);
- comprehensive knowledge base of experience in the area of ITS deployment based on post-implementation knowledge;
- objectivity, transparency and transferability;
- a single point of access;
- description of technologies and information on their performance.
The tool is multilingual, supporting five languages.
2DECIDE aimed at the following User Groups:
- governments and public administrations (EU, national, regional, county, municipal, etc);
- public transport authorities and operators (rail, coach, bus, ferry);
- road operators (public authorities, toll motorway companies, etc);
- associations and networks (road directorates, ITS, cities, motorway operators, etc);
- developers or major event organisers with an interest in transport and access;
- operators of major airports, seaports, etc, regarding road and public transport issues.
The main tasks in 2DECIDE are identifying user (stakeholder) needs, defining the architecture and functionality of the web-based toolkit (including the decision process), building the toolkit, collecting the required information (evaluation reports, guidelines, cost-benefit study results, etc) and mapping it to relevant needs, policy objectives and areas of ITS application, populating the database with this information, maintaining the database and outreach/publicity activities.
The Toolkit follows a three-step approach as follows:
Step 1: Select ITS "market packages" and measures to match user input
a) User inputs
In 2DECIDE, the user input is structured into:
- Problems and needs: The user provides information on the particular problems, needs and requirements to be addressed by the implementation of an ITS application/service. The user can also provide input into a particular problem category like traffic congestion, air pollution, lack of transportation information.
- Objectives and sub-objectives: The user will be able to specify relevant policy objectives for applying the ITS application/ service. Policy objectives can include safety, environment, efficiency, accessibility, integration, etc. Specific sub-objectives could include the improvement of travel times or the decrease in accidents.
- Scenario, Context: An ITS implementation will always be part of a larger scheme that involves the activities of the area that it serves. As it can not be considered in isolation the provided context gives important information for the second step.
b) Market packages
After provision of the user inputs a framework needs to classify the numerous available ITS applications/ services into distinct packages that can respond to variant set of user needs and requirements and are related to European and international standards for ITS service applications. In 2DECIDE, this aggregation of numerous ITS applications and services is called a “market package”. These represent slices of the ITS deployment that address specific services. A market package collects together several different subsystems, equipment packages etc that provide the desired service. The first step comprises the identification of the market package(s) that correspond(s) to the user input, objectives and context.
Step 2: Match requirements to specific ITS applications/services
The ITS Toolkit
The ITS Toolkit responds to Action Point 6.2 of the European “Action Plan for the Deployment of Intelligent Transport Systems in Europe” (European Commission, 2008), which calls for the development of a decision-support toolkit for investment decisions in ITS applications and services.
The Toolkit covers Intelligent Transport Systems for road and public transport applications. The user functions and basic descriptions are available in English, German, French and Italian, although the more detailed data (including descriptions of case studies and evaluations) is in English only.
Benefits for the decision makers: