European Global Navigation Satellite Systems (EGNSS) such as EGNOS and Galileo can provide the flexible, low cost solutions that are needed by the transport sector. A recent workshop organized by the European Commission with the support of the European GNSS Agency (GSA) highlighted the benefits and added value offered by EGNSS in applications from road tolling to logistics and a potential key role in the proposed new digital tachograph.
On 20 February the GSA took part to a workshop in Brussels on the EGNSS Applications Action Plan in areas relating to road transportation including smart tachographs, transport of dangerous goods, multimodal logistics and road tolling.
Representatives of the GSA, together with speakers from the European Commission, end-users and industry, presented the benefits brought by EGNSS in all these domains during this one-day workshop.
The event provided an overview of the latest challenges and related policy developments within the various road transport domains and showed the added value delivered by current and future EGNSS solutions. The speakers also outlined a portfolio of GNSS-based innovations and best practices developed by the industry.
Gian-Gherardo Calini, Head of Market Development at GSA, gave an overview of the integrated market development strategy for EGNSS. Calini noted that the road sector had been identified as the largest GNSS market segment (together with location based services) in the third issue of the GSA’s Market Report.
Most GNSS devices were already enabled for EGNSS services either via EGNOS or Galileo. Trends such as lower costs for connectivity, growing numbers of embedded devices, and vehicle communications, together with new policies and regulations in Europe; were driving new requirements for vehicle positioning: requirements that EGNSS technologies can fulfil.
Calini highlighted two specific policy areas - road tolling and the eCall emergency response regulation – that showed how EGNSS can add value and provide flexible solutions. He also described how the GSA is managing a large portfolio of research and innovation projects that were developing a range of near-market applications with great market potential.
How EGNSS can support the evolution of e-Freight and multimodal logistics in Europe and beyond was explained by Fleur Breuillin (European Commission) and Daniel Lopour (GSA). E-Freight is a vision of a paperless freight transport system where an electronic flow of information is linked to the actual physical flow of goods. Developments in this area can lead to future ‘intelligent cargo’ concepts to further automate and improve the efficiency of logistics. And positioning services are an integral part of this concept making logistics a significant market for EGNSS.
Lopour pointed out that the increased availability, resilience, integrity and accuracy offered by EGNSS will support the uptake and efficiency of e-Freight solutions through applications such as container positioning, corridoring and geofencing, or georeferenced cargo status monitoring, amongst many other services, seamlessly integrating across transport modes and geographies.
EGNSS road tolling was discussed by Alberto Fernandez Wyttenbach (GSA). Such solutions for location based charging are offering flexibility, easy extension of schemes, low transaction costs and could help decision-makers on traffic management and environmental policies. Wyttenbach claimed that GNSS is becoming the technology of choice for free-flow road tolling in Europe with its three main advantages for toll chargers: coverage, availability and no direct installation costs. A number of GNSS enabled tolling schemes were already in operation in Europe and others were planned.
The final GSA presentation focused on how the unique authentication services offered by Galileo will benefit the next generation of digital tachographs. Franco Gottifredi discussed new proposals for the digital tachograph that will mandate the inclusion of GNSS technology.
Clearly a tachograph requires a robust and trusted GNSS service that should be very low cost and resilient against spoofing and other interference. An authentication signal provided via the Galileo Open Service could provide a very suitable free of charge solution, offering worldwide coverage and could be implemented easily in existing Galileo-enabled receivers and terminals when it was introduced. There is growing interest in such a service and its market potential from a range of stakeholders.
“EGNSS can add value and provide flexible solutions in road transportation.”
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