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DRIVE Integrated Telecommunications


This project is designed to examine the demands for telecommunications of all kinds within the DRIVE network, and to formulate recommendations on the optimum methods and systems for dealing with this information flow in the most cost-effective manner. The key objectives are to identify the needs for information flows in terms of data rates, accuracy and priority and to produce system definitions and recommendations for all the mobile and fixed network communications required for services identified during the DRIVE programme. The systems adopted to handle these flows must have reliability of operation, technological viability, appropriate growth potential, and compatibility of standards throughout the required geographical areas. They must also recognise the wider communication environments within which the systems operate, and the work must assess costs and benefits in terms of both the initial choice of technologies and their subsequent effectiveness.
Many aspects associated with the integration of telecommunications for road transport informatics (RTI) have been examined in detail. These aspects include analyses of both functional requirements and the capabilities of bearer networks. In addition, an analysis of interconnection techniques led to the development of the DRIVE normalised data transmission (DNT) and the optimum interconnection of applications and networks, based on the open systems interconnection (OSI) model. The analyses have made use of models and simulations, formulated within the study, to achieve this optimum matching.
The systems considered to handle the data flows were chosen as they satisfied the following criteria, reliability of operation, technological viability, appropriate growth potential and compatibility of standards throughout Western Europe. The costs and benefits of these systems in terms of both the initial choice of technology and their subsequent effectiveness were taken into account, as well as the wider communication environments in which they will operate.

The key issues for the study were:
definition of integrated road transport environment (IRTE) communications architecture;
characterisation of the information flow required by the IRTE in terms of volumes of information, data rates, and the accuracies, securities and priorities required;
assessment of the applicability of the communication systems available;
recommendation of the fixed and mobile communication networks appropriate for the services identified during the DRIVE programme;
collaboration with other DRIVE projects, standards bodies and telecommunication network operators.

After analysis of available communication systems and protocols used in different systems it was concluded that no existing system fulfils all the needs of the DRIVE project. Therefore, the idea of defining a standard interface, which was to be called DNT (DRIVE normalised transmission) emerged. The DNT concept includes a well defined interface to application layers and it is the responsibility of the DNT layer to select the most suitable bearer service for the use of an application with the help of an optimum routing process. Also the possible internetworking should be done by the DNT.
Advantages of the DNT that have been identified are:
the provision of a standard interface for road transport informatics (RTI) application designers;
facilitation of the addition of new applications;
the provision of RTI applications on multiple bearer networks leading to larger markets;
facilitation of competition between telecommunication network operators for RTI data traffic;
extensive use of open protocols and alignment with the European Commission's policy of open network provision.

Telecommunications networks have been investigated for their specific applicability to road transport informatics (RTI), with a view to their eventual integration into an integrated road transport environment (IRTE). A comprehensive computer database has been produced of communication traffic profiles of all known RTI and RTI related applications and RTI services have been classified according to bearer requirements.
An understanding of the data flows for traveller information and trip planning applications is deemed to be essential before a communications architecture can be designed. 14 applications and estimated data flows have been studied and the data flows between vehicles and infrastructure have been estimated and described by an information flow diagram. The data flows were then dimensioned in terms of urgency, reliability, security and number of bytes required. An estimation of likely vehicle densities then allowed an indication of data generated by an application over a given area to be predicted.

The problem of the integrity of data, in the sense of maintaining or retrieving a data quality criterion measured by bit error rates under given circumstances or values of key parameters such as vehicle speed, data rate or coverage area, on DRIVE communications channels has been addressed.
The following communications channels were studied, modelled and software simulated:
the vehicle to vehicle channel;
the beacon to vehicle using the radio channel;
the beacon to vehicle using the infrared channel;
the GSM-SDCCH channel;
the land mobile to satellite channel, in particular using L-band.

The integrated road transport environment (IRTE) will offer the road user access to road transport informatics (RTI) applications on a pan-European basis. However, future mobile communication systems will cover only the urban and suburban areas and the main routes. Studies have been conducted on the communication systems for extraurban areas, and in particular land mobile satellite systems (LMSS) and ground mobile systems.
Particular achievements have included:
identification and analysis of a number of existing and planned ground system configurations;
consideration of modifications for the above systems that will better meet the needs of RTI;
definition of possible configurations of land mobile satellite systems (LMSS);
outlining of possible alternatives and evolutions of LMSS.

A framework has been provided for discussing communication principles in an integrated road transport environment. The framework addresses some of the often confusing points about the intent, applicability and implementation of road transport informatics (RTI) communication systems, and consists of:
a set of terms to facilitate discussions on open communications (ie communication by means of a preagreed set of standards protocols);
models to engineer simplified and relevant replicas of the open communication scenarios under consideration.
Among others, the following issues are addressed: enterprise aspects of RTI distributed systems and processing, informational aspects, computational aspects, engineering aspects, technological aspects, RTI versus open systems interconnection (OSI), RTI versus open distributed processing (ODP), relationships between abstract items, such as protocols in the DRIVE normalised data transmission (DNT), and their concrete representation in RTI real systems, validation techniques including formal description languages and tools, the management and security of RTI communication systems, etc.
A set of closely related tasks is taken from the Workplan to form a coherent Project. The aim is to identify and analyse the requirements for transfer of information, advice, and (where necessary) control instructions within DRIVE, and to assess the applicability of possible communication networks. An essential element of the project is to achieve concertation with the telecommunications requirements which will emerge from other projects as the DRIVE programme progresses. Close contact will be maintained with other consortia, by interchange of system and technical information as the work develops.
Main Deliverables:
Preliminary system definition and recommendations for extra-urban IRTE systems.
Descriptive model to evaluate telecommunications structures including specialised networks.
Recommended protocols for vehicle-to-infrastructure communications.
Preferred error correction schemes.
Final version of DRIVE communication system architecture and DRIVE system management.



Participants (7)

United Kingdom
South Kensington Campus
Philips Research Laboratories Fiar
Swedish Institute of Computer Science
Tate Associates
United Kingdom