Real time transmission of external data for Automated Driving vehicles based on TPEG technology is demonstrated for the first time

Developers from TomTom and NNG have demonstrated a live data feed that provides external real-time data specifically tailored for Automated Driving (AD) vehicles, thus increasing safety and ensuring better traffic management. This is possible thanks to the new generation of TPEG3 data feed developed by TISA (Traveller Information Services Association).

TISA members TomTom, the location technology specialist, and NNG have proven the possibility and the benefits of sending real-time data specifically generated to supplement the onboard sensor data of an AD vehicle from an emergency vehicle. The data feed generated by TomTom in Berlin was perfectly received in Budapest by NNG, who processed the data using an autonomous driving simulation. This triggers certain actions, such as forming an emergency lane or informing passengers about deviations of the planned route, as well as preventing non-standard manoeuvres caused by an approaching emergency vehicle that the passengers might not yet be aware of.

“Emergency situations require rapid action to help save lives, so it’s critical that drivers and vehicles can be warned to make way for emergency services. TomTom is always developing new solutions to help make roads safer for everyone and this exciting collaboration has the potential to further enhance the TomTom Hazard Warnings service.”Ralf-Peter Schäfer, VP Traffic and Travel, TomTom.

“NNG is excited to participate in the development and piloting of future Information for Automated Driving (TPEG3) as it fits perfectly in our technology vision supporting traveller experience in the automated driving era. NNG’s Intelligent Co-Driver concept is able to make use of the TPEG3 specified dynamic data to keep the vehicles and their occupants up-to-date about safety relevant traffic situations. TPEG3-EVA demonstrator therefore is a key milestone for us through. We strengthened the cooperation with other members of the traveller and traffic information ecosystem.”NNG CTO Martin Pfeifle.

“The results of the demonstration exceeded our expectations on the value that the TPEG3 data could deliver to improve the autonomous driving strategy and tactics in the given context of an approaching emergency vehicle. This was a very promising first demonstration, which paves the way for more use cases to which the TPEG3 data feed will be expanded, so a lot of development and standardization lies ahead of us.”TISA Executive Director Matthias Unbehaun.

At the base of this demonstration was a completely updated version of the TPEG2 protocol, which is the successor of the globally very successful RDS-TMC and nowadays part of most modern navigation systems. It offers a method for transmitting multimodal traffic and travel information, regardless of client type, location or delivery channel (e.g. mobile networks, DAB, HD radio, etc.). However, to suit the specific needs of AD vehicles concerning flexibility of delivery, as well as richness and granularity of the information, a completely new data model was conceived and combined with state-of-the-art serialization and compression, plus a hybrid request-response / publish-subscribe communication paradigm. The first main objective of TPEG3 is to improve situation awareness by providing an ‘additional sensor’ for AD vehicles, effectively extending the range of onboard sensors whilst being faster than current map updating techniques. The second objective is to support traffic control strategies and policies for the safe and efficient usage of available road infrastructure.

TISA will now start improving the logical data model, adding a large number of new use cases requested by TISA members. TISA will also integrate rich meta-data to describe quality characteristics and the provenance of the source data, as well as to assist the processing and interpretation of the information in the AD vehicle with rich contextual information. TISA will further liaise with other standardization organizations to ensure alignment and interoperability with in-vehicle communication (e.g. ADASIS) and to integrate an uplink channel to feed data from the AD vehicle back to the service provider (e.g. using SENSORIS).

Queensland Government in Australia recognises TISA’s work on automated driving

A report recently published by Queensland Government in Australia, on the study ‘ Map creation, monitoring and maintenance for automated driving’ gives well-deserved recognition to the work of three ERTICO Innovation Platforms: TN-ITSADASIS, SENSORIS and TISA.

The Australian report, available online, contains an extensive analysis of the used mobility data space related methodologies in Europe. The study highlights in particular the work done by the ERTICO platform TN-ITS and presented in its published reflection paper ‘The future of a Common European Mobility data space‘. TN-ITS facilitates and fosters the exchange of ITS-related spatial road data between road authorities as trusted data providers and data users, such as map makers and other parties. The reflection paper certifies the propagation of the TN-ITS data share methodology, based upon CEN/TS 17268:2018, to exchange map ‘base layer’ data updates , created by Member States Road authorities, as trusted data sources, to data processors and service providers.

The Australian study conducted a comprehensive review of the use of prior maps in automated vehicles, with a particular focus on the potential role for government in developing, monitoring and maintaining these maps. TN-ITS is rightfully being considered as a valid and easy way to deploy technology for the exchange of information on changes in static (not‐changing) road attributes. As the study validates the need to for the TN-ITS goals reached: ‘Currently there are many different data storage formats for GIS data and it is difficult to convert between them. The objective of TN‐ITS is to create a common exchange format, “enabling creation of plugins to existing (legacy) systems for extraction of information on changes in road attributes”. These legacy systems are typically the digital systems of the road authorities. This will enable immediate updates for HD map providers, when road authorities make changes to the road network, such as adding a new traffic light, or a new give‐way sign.’

The study also emphasises the importance of public-private partnerships – as a win-win approach to successfully move forward and take leadership in deploying the full mobility data space, establishing digital twins and enabling innovative applications and services to the benefit of the market and end user applications. The recent call of the European Commission for the further federation of National Access Points within the EU is an opportunity for TN-ITS to further support and enhance the accuracy, quality and trust properties, being values recognised by the end user and service provider alike.

The two platforms ADASIS and SENSORIS, which the Australian government study refers to, make reference to the key world standard they develop. The one developed by ADASIS enables Advanced Driver Assistance Systems to access map data ahead of the vehicle and thus optimise vehicle functions. The one developed by SENSORIS defines the data interface for uploading vehicle sensor data to the cloud transforming each vehicle as a multi-sensor probe.

As the report explains, in the EU, the development of connected and automated vehicle technologies has been a major policy item for many years, with ERTICO – ITS Europe being a major partner in this development. ERTICO has been responsible for the establishment of many European and global initiatives including ADASIS, SENSORIS, TISA, and TN‐ITS.

The report concludes that in the EU, the primary driver for the deployment of connected and automated technology is the goal of improving road safety – a major EU policy objective called ‘Vision Zero’, which aims to reduce road fatalities to almost zero by 2050.

TISA supports the harmonized message set for safety related traffic information

In the Directive 2010/40/EU (“ITS Directive”) the European Commission developed as Priority Action C a EU Regulation named “Data and procedures for the provision, where possible, of road safety related minimum universal traffic information free of charge to users”. It defines amongst others a single list of categories of safety related traffic information to be provided without additional cost for the end user.

Thanks to the fruitful collaboration among Car2Car Communication Consortium, Data for Road Safety, DATEX II and TISA a third revision of the “Terms and definitions” has been issued on 19 February. The document provides a subset of DATEX II situations, DENM and TPEG2-TEC causes and TMC Events, which shall be defined and declared as the message sets to be used for safety related messages.

Further, for the selected message sets, a correlation between the four standards DATEX II, DENM, TPEG and TMC is defined.

The outcome for this 3rd revision includes:

  • 10 new events (based on a survey to record real world events that are categorised as Safety related messages)
  • New definitions and recommendations to facilitate how these events can be expressed in the mainstream standards in use.

The document can be downloaded here

 “A harmonized message set for safety related traffic information is a key ingredient towards the effective warning of drivers on the road for unusual, safety impacting situations. This third version of the guideline for safety-related traffic message sets reflects the latest developments and practices in the collection and provisioning of safety-related traffic information. Prepared and harmonized with an increasing group of stakeholder organizations, this effort shows that fostering traffic safety by better information is an enduring focus theme throughout Europe, for both public and private stakeholders alike.”, Teun Hendriks, Chair of the TISA Technical and Standardisation Committee

“We know from the Data for Road Safety ecosystem that interoperability plays an essential role in the access and exchange of data across brands and across borders. “We value this document as a means to facilitate increased harmonization across the relevant ITS standards”, Joost Vantomme, Chair of the Data for Road Safety Partnership, ACEA Smart Mobility Director

“The European Road Operators recognise the great importance of reliable information provision with regard to traffic safety related incidents to the road user. Technical innovations and enhanced detection and warning services enable a substantial contribution to road safety as a whole. The DATEX II community regards it as a core responsibility to ensure that the safety related data provision is supported by interdependent data standards used. Harmonisation and interoperability among the chain of exchange is key for a reliable information provision as such. With this version 3 document an important step has been made: new stakeholder communities get involved and relevant future harmonisation topics have already been identified. It is great to have such a collaborative coalition of key-actors joining forces contributing tremendously to road safety for all!”, Bard de Vries, Chair DATEX II Technical Group, Chair SRTI Working Group.


Thanks to Be-Mobile’s innovation, Dutch ambulances are safer on the road

The branch association Ambulancezorg Nederland (AZN) will collaborate with TISA Member Be-Mobile, supplier of smart mobility services from Melle, for the construction and delivery of its own innovative C-ITS platform. With this platform, the ambulance sector links up on a national scale with the services developed within the Partnership Talking Traffic. In this project, the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management works together with dozens of other authorities and market parties on innovative traffic applications.

The Be-Mobile technology ensures that smart traffic lights can give ambulances a green light and thus a safe passage across an intersection. In addition, road users are warned that an ambulance is approaching to allow them to anticipate. This contributes to greater safety for road users, the ambulance team and the patient in the ambulance.

International provider of smart mobility services Be-Mobile is proud to have been selected by AZN to deliver the platform. ‘This is a very big step for the ambulance sector and a first in Europe,’ says Jan Cools, CEO at Be-Mobile. ‘The availability of high-frequency data, directly from the sector’s national systems, will allow us to make optimal use of our technology to facilitate the prioritization of smart traffic lights and to alert other road users via apps such as Flitsmeister’, Cools continues. ‘Be-Mobile is responsible for the safe processing of the data, taking into account all the regulations concerning privacy and the protection of personal data.’

At the end of October 2020, the members of AZN decided that all ambulance regions will connect to Talking Traffic via the sector’s national ICT systems. Be-Mobile has been commissioned by AZN to establish the link with Talking Traffic in the first quarter of the new year. Road safety is the primary motivation. Victor Verrijp, chairman board committee Innovation & ICT, AZN: ‘The fact that this technology can significantly improve safety for all road users is sufficient motivation for us. By taking into account the route of the ambulance, a ‘Green Carpet’ can be rolled out and in the long run delays by, for example, bridge openings and movable bollards can be prevented.’

The introduction of this technology for all emergency and rescue vehicles in the Netherlands has been under consideration for some time now. Recent statistics show that on average at least once a week there is an accident with an emergency vehicle that is forced to drive through a red light on its way to a calamity. Prioritization by smart traffic lights is one of the examples of what is possible with this type of C-ITS technology and it looks like the fire department, police and defense will soon follow. In more and more places in the Netherlands (the counter reaches almost 750 in mid-December and the number is growing steadily) we see smart traffic lights and in this way giving priority becomes possible.

Also in Flanders, through the MobiliData program of the Flemish government, steps are being taken to come up with similar innovative mobility solutions. Ambulances can therefore cross intersections at smart traffic lights in Flanders with a green light instead of a red one. At the same time, other road users are warned that emergency service is approaching, allowing them to anticipate this in time.


An overview of three generations of TTI technology, including TPEG

The IET (Institution of Engineering and Technology) in the UK has just published a new book “Collection and Delivery of Traffic and Travel Information” (ISBN 978-1-78561-772-0), in which TISA, RDS and TPEG have been given very extensive coverage.

The book provides coverage of the following topics, written by a range of experts in their respective fields: road traffic data collection; road traffic news from the air; location referencing; digital coding, collation and exchange of traffic information; European developments in traffic and travel information; the role of the commercial sector in developing road traffic information in the UK and Europe; dynamic road traffic signage; smart motorway information development; contribution of cooperative ITS to road traffic and travel information; multi modal traffic and travel information; social media and traffic and travel information; social media services and business models; and finally traffic and travel information into the future.

Click here for more information.