Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems (C-ITS) use technologies that allow road vehicles to communicate with other vehicles, with traffic signals and roadside infrastructure as well as with other road users. The systems are also known as vehicle-to vehicle communications, or vehicle-to- infrastructure communications. The term connected vehicles, in other words, refers to applications, services, and technologies that connect a vehicle to its surroundings.
Vehicles are getting safer, cleaner, and more intelligent. Various sensors and assistant systems enable vehicles to monitor their environment. By means of information exchange among vehicles, as well as between vehicles and the roadside infrastructure, vehicles transform from autonomous systems into cooperative systems. The development of C-ITS is primarily driven by applications for active road safety and traffic efficiency, which help drivers to be aware of other vehicles, disseminate warnings about road hazards, and provide real-time information about traffic conditions for speed management and navigation. Typically, these C-ITS applications rely on always on connectivity among the vehicles in the vicinity, including the roadside infrastructure, and frequent data exchange (Festag, 2015).
Applications include everything from traffic safety and efficiency, infotainment, parking assistance, roadside assistance, remote diagnostics, and telematics to autonomous self-driving vehicles and global positioning systems (GPS) (Uhlemann).
As highlighted by Awaid Javes and Ben Hamida, Cooperative Intelligent Transportation Systems are key component of the future road traffic management system. Their essential purpose is to enhance the vehicle safety awareness and hence, provide an accurate information of vehicles in the vicinity through regular sharing of cooperative awareness messages (CAMs).
What emerged from the C-ITS Platform Final Report (a report endorsed by nominated experts, representing the organizations and countries listed in the Register of Commission expert groups) of the European Commission is that a coordinated action in the EU is paramount: a unique legal and technical framework, indeed, is essential and coordinated efforts to ensure quick uptake of C-ITS are requested.
A second general conclusion of the C-ITS Platform working groups is urgency. As evidenced, “the technology is ready, the industry is already deploying C-ITS equipped vehicles in other parts of the world and announced to be ready to deploy in the EU by 2019, provided that the above-mentioned framework is in place sufficiently in time”.