Data, data and more data at NAPCORE Mobility Data Days

This month POLIS' Traffic Efficiency Working Group met to discuss data and digital transition.

POLIS has spent 3 days talking transport data at the NAPCORE Mobility Data Days and advisory board meeting in Paris. There were many rich discussions during the sessions and particularly the breaks about different transport data topics, including the digitisation of data on which POLIS is engaging heavily with its members.

This meet was held by POLIS' Traffic Efficiency Working Group, which supports POLIS members in knowledge sharing and reflection about current transport practices, new developments and evolving European policy related to network management, Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) and data.

POLIS is particularly keen to understand how the NAPCORE platform can support local authorities in their transition from analogue to machine-readable and standardised transport data. This is essentially the scope of the revised EU’s real-time traffic information (RTTI) delegated regulation adopted earlier this year, whose consequences are likely to be far-reaching for local authorities (depending on the adoption of the revised ITS Directive currently under review in Council and Parliament).

Key takeaways from the event include:

  • National-level support (financial and technical) and guidance are crucial for the digital transition in local government, particularly to meet the requirements of the RTTI delegated regulation.
  • Not all countries are starting from scratch – some started to digitise traffic regulations and geospatial data more than a decade ago.
  • Member States are starting to engage with cities about the RTTI delegated regulation, although the sheer number of local authorities (from several hundred to several thousand in each country) makes it a daunting task. (National governments are more accustomed to working with the comparatively small number of national road authorities/operators about EU transport legislation
  • A national mandate or strong national steer will be needed to get the ball rolling regarding RTTI implementation. That may involve passing national legislation and creating financial incentives. (One country is making access to national transport funding conditional upon meeting the requirements of the ITS Directive and its delegated regulations)
  • Given the fragmented picture across Europe regarding the level of digital advancement and city engagement activities, there is potentially much value in organising the sharing of experiences among Member States. Could NAPCORE be the home for this?

Finally, the POLIS member meeting held in Paris provided a forum for discussion among POLIS members on two new and exciting provisions of the RTTI revision: the first concerns the obligation for traffic regulations/restrictions and traffic management plans to be integrated into driver information services (eg, routing information) where accessible (published) on the NAPs; the second concerns access to in-vehicle data under FRAND conditions for specific public authority transport management tasks.

More information about this is in a separate article on the POLIS members' platform.