Delivering European Transport Policy in line with the ITS Action Plan of the European Commission requires co-ordination of traffic management and development of seamless pan European services. With the aim to support sustainable mobility in Europe, the European Commission has been supporting the development of information exchange mainly between the actors of the road traffic management domain for a number of years. In the road sector, the DATEX standard was developed for information exchange between traffic management centres, traffic information centres and service providers and constitutes the reference for applications that have been developed in the last 10 years. The second generation DATEX II specification now also pushes the door wide open for all actors in the traffic and travel information sector.
Much investment has been made in Europe, both in traffic control and information centres over the last decade and also in a quantum shift in the monitoring of the trans-European transport network (TEN-T). This is in line with delivering the objectives of the EasyWay programme for safer roads, reduced congestion and a better environment. Collecting information is only part of the story – to make the most of the investment data needs to be exchanged both with other centres and, in a more recent development, with those developing pan-European services provided directly to road users. DATEX was originally designed and developed as a traffic and travel data exchange mechanism by a European task force set up to standardise the interface between traffic control and information centres. With the new generation DATEX II it has become the reference for all applications requiring access to dynamic traffic and travel related information in Europe.