Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

INDRIS goes with the flow

Europe's inland waterways are carrying more and more goods as pressure builds to reduce traffic on the roads. The lack of a common communication standard could hinder further development. INDRIS aims to put that right by setting common and open standards for data transmission ...
Europe's inland waterways are carrying more and more goods as pressure builds to reduce traffic on the roads. The lack of a common communication standard could hinder further development. INDRIS aims to put that right by setting common and open standards for data transmission and ship-to-shore communication.

Background

The growth in traffic carried by Europe's inland waterways is fuelling concern that current traffic management and information systems may need a radical overhaul. These systems currently operate according to local standards and protocols, all of which have to be mastered by skippers and ships' officers. This is clearly inefficient, and may even be unsafe. If an accident provokes a possible pollution hazard, everyone has to be told about it as quickly as possible - other vessels, port authorities, shipping companies and terminal operators. For the long-term future of Europe's inland waterways, there is clearly a need to share and communicate data on a range of subjects such as on-board navigation, voyage planning, lock and terminal management, and cargo and transport management. To do this it is essential to have common standards based on an open system, which is where Inland Navigation Demonstrator for River Information Services (INDRIS) comes in.

Description, impact and results

INDRIS aims to build a transport management tool that will help skippers with immediate on-board decisions and thus assist in the long-term strategic management of the inland waterway system. The tool will be based on an open standard for River Information Services (RIS) that will develop into guidelines for a completely new RIS concept for inland navigation.

Three models are currently being demonstrated: the Rhine-Scheldt demonstrator on the River Rhine from Oberwesel to Rotterdam and on the connection from Rotterdam to the River Scheldt will show the complete RIS concept in action; the River Danube demonstrator on a mountainous stretch near Vienna will concentrate mainly on information at a tactical level; and the demonstrator on the River Seine will focus on fairway information services and on an electronic cargo bourse service.

If the demonstrators show that the standards work, it is hoped that Member States will propose their acceptance as EU-wide standards and their consequent application by transport authorities and companies developing IT applications for inland navigation.

Working partnerships

INDRIS is a high-level project involving transport ministries from Austria, France, Germany, Holland, and the Belgian communities of Flanders and Wallonia. It also draws on the expertise of hi-tech transport companies such as DaimlerChrysler Aerospace, and other specialist companies like Litton Marine Systems, a market leader in navigation, and control and communications systems, based in the Netherlands, and SevenCs, which produces digital charts and is the leading ECDIS (Electronic Chart Display and Information System) software supplier.


Source: European Commission, DG XIII/D.4 - Information and dissemination of scientific and technical knowledge
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