GNSS introduction in the road sector
Background & Objectives
Dwindling public investment available for road infrastructure coupled with legitimate societal aspirations for cleaner, safer and smoother roads have underlined the need for new answers to the traditional challenges posed by increased road transport demand:
- Achieving a significant and lasting decrease in road deaths;
- Identifying stable mechanisms of funding for road improvement;
- Eradicating bottlenecks and curbing pollution.
The resulting shift by road users and operators towards a culture of journey optimisation is at the heart of the exponential growth in the offer of intelligent transport applications. By cancelling the need for expensive roadside and allowing the introduction of bundled services, EGNOS and Galileo will precipitate this trend, reduce the negative impact of road transport and offer new services and business opportunities.
GIROADS is a research initiative commissioned by the European GNSS Agency (GSA) which seeks to achieve a shared understanding of the relevance of Europe’s satellite navigation programme to the everyday needs of the road transport sector.
The underlying philosophy behind the GIROADS project is that a number of key applications hold the potential to become enablers of transport policy as a whole, while giving rise to commercially viable service provision schemes of interest to a wide range of stakeholders. These applications have been individually analysed to understand user requirements, assess the existing regulatory framework and build a realistic market study that can serve as a reference to the sector.
GIROADS has based its technical programme on an architecture which associates existing components previously developed under community-funded research projects (ADvantis, VeRT and SCORE) within an open, robust and scalable system, which can support application-specific service centres through a common technical structure.
Once in place, a series of field trials covering the most promising applications (such as pay-per-use insurance, electronic fee collection and traffic information services) will be held in urban and inter-urban environments through the collaboration of municipalities and road operators already associated to the project. These live demonstrations will seek not only to demonstrate the smooth integration of the overall system design, but also to validate that EGNOS and Galileo offer a new class of applications which are currently unavailable.
GIROADS aims to facilitate the introduction of GNSS (EGNOS& Galileo) in the road sector by:
- identifying all potential GNSS applications in the road sector;
- evaluating their market potential and proposing a successful commercial model;
- assessing their impact on the regulatory environment;
- establishing a technical platform providing support to all planned services;
- field-testing the platform on high-potential applications (electronic fee collection and congestion charging, traffic information services, pay-per-use insurance, livestock tracking)
- raising awareness of the tangible benefits of GNSS,
- establishing recommendations facilitating the take-up of GNSS applications in the road sector. GIROADS will play the role of a reference platform for the development of EGNOS/Galileo applications to the road community as a whole.
Work performed & results
The main limitation on a massive penetration of GNSS-based telematic applications is the complexity and cost of application-specific systems. GIROADS will demonstrate that a device supporting multiple simultaneous applications can lead to significant economies of scale and enable the emergence of bundled services of interest to the road community. GIROADS will also demonstrate the benefit of Galileo by focusing on integrity as an enabler of ‘liability-critical applications’, such as road tolls or pay-per-use insurance, where position data becomes the basis of commercial strategies.