23 Mar 2021

Key priorities for the revision of the ITS Directive

DIGITALEUROPE welcomes the revision of the Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) Directive.[1] The Directive has improved road transport and its interfaces with other transport modes. Yet, it has also shown room for improvement, notably on alignment with latest digital technology trends and geographical continuity of ITS services. Studies show Vehicle-to-everything (V2X) communication can lead to a 5-20% reduction of EU transport emissions.[2] More is needed to unleash the potential of this and other transport communication technologies. An enabling framework for rapid C-ITS deployment by vehicle manufacturers and road authorities is key to provide the EU with the necessary tools to advance climate neutrality and road safety goals in mobility. Policy-makers’ attention should therefore concentrate on the following aspects in the ITS Directive’s revision:

  • Interoperability:

For fast-paced innovation where several V2X technologies co-exist, interoperability standards should focus on the service-level (as opposed to radio-level) and non-discriminatory requirements among existing technologies. The revised ITS rules should be based on objective KPIs, such as reduced number of road accidents, lower levels of pollution, increased throughput for traffic efficiency, all while avoiding mandated technical specifications. Interoperable, EU-wide solutions can lead to network effects and efficiency gains. Individual ITS-services can be more  easily  integrated  into combined service offerings, broadening the ITS market and improving service availability. A level-playing field among existing technologies and a path forward for new technologies and services will provide for legal certainty for vehicle manufacturers. To achieve cross-border interoperability, it is also necessary to design EU-level operation and coordination structures.

  • Focus areas:

The EU must better integrate into the Directive new transport communication technologies. This is key to accelerate the uptake of different mobility service domains, advancing safety, efficiency and sustainability. We ask to introduce two broad focus areas:

    1. Digital Infrastructure as enabler of multiple mobility services (including relevant horizontal technology layers from sensors to data-sharing applications and data-driven operation enablers)
    2. Mobility services such as long-haul logistics applications for safe, voluntary and managed data-sharing and urban last-mile distribution. These services will help to prepare our transport system for a major increase in e-commerce.

  • Investments in connected and automated transport:

Funding is key to ensure the objectives of the ITS Directive’s revision are accomplished. The scope of investments should thus include regular upgrades of smart equipment, which tends to have a shorter life-cycle than traditional road infrastructure. The Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) – Transport programme, for instance, should bolster C-V2X funding. That will improve synergies with the CEF Digital 5G Connected and Automated Mobility (CAM) corridors. On a broader scale, more should be done to develop a sense of commitment among transport authorities in the EU on the importance of intelligent traffic monitoring, management and control in Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) and other important transport corridors. Finally, public road authorities and public road operators must make available high-quality road and traffic data to improve its accessibility, exchange, re-use and update, in full respect of existing contractual arrangements.


[1] European Commission: Intelligent transport systems (review of EU rules)

[2] Source here

For more information, please contact:
Ray Pinto
Senior Director for Digital Transformation Policy
Vincenzo Renda
Director for Single Market & Digital Competitiveness
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