A team of experts of representing different sector actors and possessing different, complementary skills will follow the progress of the DRIVE projects with the objective of achieving consensus on Common Functional Specifications, Common Practices, consolidating the DRIVE submissions to standardization bodies and preparing implementation plans for RTI in Europe. They will also track RTI research in Europe outside DRIVE (EUREKA, COST and at the national level) and research outside Europe.
Clearly, the major obstacle for the implementation of road transport informatics (RTI) is the lack of standardised up to date traffic and travel information throughout Europe, which is the very prerequisite for effectively operating such systems. The baseline technologies and services available allow for the realisation of various road transport informatics systems for urban and interurban transport applications. A first attempt has been made to identify and appraise the main features of urban and interurban strategies.
For urban networks, road transport informatics was found to be particularly useful for implementing measures in the areas of traffic monitoring and control, traffic information and route guidance, public transport management and parking management. Strategies for medium or large cities need to be based upon some form of urban traffic control, which should be responsive to traffic demand and should incorporate automatic incident detection. Bus priority systems are crucial for increasing operational efficiency of public transport vehicles. In order to be effective, strategies for urban networks will require some form of demand management for producing the desired change in the choice of the transport mode.
For interurban motorway networks, road transport informatics was found to be particularly useful for implementing measures in the areas of traffic monitoring and control, traffic information and route guidance and fleet management. 2 key measures have been identified as being most effective in reducing congestion on motorways. There are physical network improvements, which in some cases will be the only measure to alleviate traffic problems, and the optimisation of trip patterns to avoid peak effects which cause the heaviest congestion. Road transport informatics systems providing easily accessible, reliable, up to date travel information are expected to be effective in reducing traffic peaks by spreading demand over time.
Because of its unique role SECFO has to be aware of the results and current thinking of all the DRIVE projects. For this reason SECFO members will engage actively in technical panel meetings and the Concertation Meetings.
The method used by SECFO can be described as a Systems Approach i.e. making systems studies including both systems analysis and systems integration. SECFO will actively seek system ideas from each DRIVE project and study the integration and implementation consequences.
Scenarios will serve as important tools in SECFO's work. They will be used to help conceptualize the future IRTE (the Integrated Road Transport Environment) for Europe. By using RTI systems scenarios, integration scenarios, usage and implementation scenarios SECFO plans to conceptually test different policy formulations and their impact on road traffic. These scenarios are seen as an important tool in the consensus formation process.
The main tasks for SECFO are system integration, integration of standards, consensus formation, making of proposals and follow-up on Common Functional Specifications. SECFO's findings will be reported quarterly in a single document which will include sections on international trends, scenarios, standards, impacts, integration and implementation. The SECFO report will be updated quarterly and will, eventually, represent a complete long range IRTE Implementation Plan.
Status reports, Programme Analysis reports, Impact Analysis reports.