GEMINI aims to develop an integrated system for driver information. This focuses in particular on the Radio Data System Traffic Message Channel (RDS-TMC) and Variable Message Sign (VMS) networks. In addition, a main objective of GEMINI is to demonstrate and evaluate this integrated system. This will be achieved through trials sites in Italy and the UK.
The generation of event messages in the new integrated road transport environment (GEMINI) project is involved with the development of an integrated system for driver information which focuses in particular on the radio data system traffic message channel (RDS-TMC) and variable message sign (VMS) networks.
Progress to date has focused on the feasibility and design of GEMINI. Some of the main issues which have come to light relate to the operational practices associated with the 3 potential GEMINI architectures. These offer a range in their levels of integration between the 2 information services.
Detailed system architectures have also been developed. By necessity, these are dependent upon the existing and committed architecture for the 2 pilot sites. The main components of these site architectures have been identified and include information providers, the VMS infrastructure and the RDS-TMC transmission network. The communications infrastructure between the various GEMINI subsystem has also been specified. In vehicle and on VMS receivers have been developed to a prototype stage and will be demonstrated in Turin.
GEMINI has been structured in four broad work areas. Work Area 1 focused on the feasibility and design of the GEMINI systems at the demonstration sites. System design and planning is addressing data collection, data processing and information distribution. Central to the success of GEMINI is the integration of data processing and information distribution techniques.
Implementation and operation of the pilot experiments comprises the second GEMINI work area. This involves the commissioning, installation and integration of the different GEMINI components at the test sites. Work Area 3 will concentrate on evaluation and recommendation of the implemented GEMINI system. The evaluation will cover safety issues as well as technical and operational performance, plus an assessment of user responses to both the RDS-TMC and VMS information sources. The evaluation results will be used to form a set of conclusions and recommendations based on the operation of the GEMINI system.
The final work area concerns project management. Its primary objective is to ensure that the project is properly coordinated and working towards a common goal. In addition, this work area is ensuring coordination with related ATT and other projects.
The key issues being addressed by GEMINI come from its two main technical components. Collective and individual information constitute the basic building blocks of GEMINI. To achieve the aims of integration, GEMINI recognises the necessity that the messages transmitted via the various communications media should, as an absolute minimum, never contradict each other. In fact, it is essential that they should be mutually confirmative. A key element of GEMINI is to ensure that the information developed in the project is capable of being implemented on a pan-European basis. To facilitate this, the GEMINI principles will be demonstrated at the selected European test sites in Italy and the UK.
One of the basic GEMINI aims is to develop an RDS-TMC service which provides compatible information with roadside VMS. VMS typically have a pre-defined set of legend options. These may include an event and, in some instances, a diversion message. A key GEMINI result will be the correspondence tables which link the two information system.
In addition to this, GEMINI will enable the implementation of RDS-TMC services in the Birmingham and Trieste-Brescia pilot sites. Links with ATT-ALERT will ensure that experiences from GEMINI will contribute towards enhancements of the ALERT C protocol. Finally, a series of GEMINI operational practices are being defined to enable transferability to other European sites.
The GEMINI integrated driver information network forms a tangible demonstration of ATT applications in Europe. It will be important in demonstrating the effectiveness of ATT systems and as such, is acting as a tool for promoting the concept of the IRTE. This will provide improved information services to all road users, addressing the three main DRIVE objectives of efficiency, safety and the environment.
Contribution to Standardisation
GEMINI is contributing to standards both in VMS and RDS-TMC. On the VMS side, it is relaying practical experience back to appropriate standardisation bodies on the scope and content of displayed information. Similarly for TMC, GEMINI is providing field trial experience of some key features of the ALERT C protocol which can feed back into the protocol standardisation procedure.
RG8 7JW Pangbourne