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Community programme (EEC) in the field of road transport informatics and telecommunications (DRIVE), 1988-1991

Part of the Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (1987-1991) under subactivity 2.3.: "New services of common interest (including transport)".

The programme falls into two broader contexts:
- Providing an Integrated Road Transport Environment (IRTE) throughout Europe covering all forms of road transport;
- Contributing to a consistent development of European RTI by providing it with a standardized European home market to serve as a basis for world expansion and so further promote the European information technology industry.

In cooperation with both industry and the public authorities the programme concentrates on defining infrastructure and operating requirements and on developing the specifications, protocols and standards required for Europe-wide infrastructures and information systems.

This includes:
- Identification of the best choice of RTI systems and best implementation strategies;
- Providing guidelines for industrial products and European regional infrastructures;
- Developing specifications and standards to allow industry to develop the necessary components;
- Implementation of pilot schemes.

The approach of the DRIVE programme is to find an optimal path for pre-selected RTI technologies and systems and then to focus support on implementation in those domains where public needs and benefits have been identified.

The programme includes Community activity relevant to EUREKA actions, in particular PROMETHEUS, EUROPOLIS and CARMINET, with respect to standardization and common functional specifications relating to the development of advanced infrastructure systems.
To promote road transport efficiency, safety and environmental protection within the Community by the application of Road Transport Informatics (RTI) and telecommunications.
Three areas:

- Road transport informatics (RTI) technologies:
Research, testing and experimentation needed to explore the technical and economic characteristics of the relevant technologies. This covers DRIVE-specific hardware and software topics, including enabling and supporting RTI technologies, RTI software technologies, the human factor and man-machine interface, and fault tolerance;

- Evaluation of strategic options:
Three main tasks: the refinement of objectives, specially developed evaluation tools to assess the suitability of various technological options and the generation of viable scenarios which incorporate the appropriate technological options for meeting the defined objectives;

- Specifications, protocols and standardization proposals:
To draw up standards for the various interfaces, to assess the requirements of each interface, to produce specifications, standards and protocols and to draft guidelines for the drawing up of regulations.
Implementation is monitored by the Commission assisted by a Committee composed of two representatives of each Member State and chaired by a Commission representative. The Commission establishes and updates as necessary a draft annual workplan defining the detailed objectives, the types of projects and the activities to be undertaken. After consulting the Committee, it defines procedures (including rules on confidentiality) for the exchange of information between Member States, suppliers and itself.

Proposals for projects, as a rule, are submitted in reply to an open invitation to tender. Projects take the form of shared-cost contracts. The Community may bear up to 50% of total expenditure or, where universities and research institutes are involved, up to 100% of the marginal costs.

Each project should involve at least two independent partners from a minimum of two Member States. One partner at least should be an industrial undertaking. Projects may include organizations and enterprises from non-Community European countries with which framework agreements for scientific and technical cooperation have been concluded. Procedures are set up for cooperation with COST actions in related research areas.