At the Heart of Connectivity
DATEX II is now at the heart of connectivity, supporting the digitalisation of road traffic and travel information. Next to important updates implemented for national road operators and service providers, DATEX II has broadened its focus to the domains of urban mobility, electromobility charging infrastructure, logistics, electronic traffic regulations, UVARs and cooperative, connected and automated mobility.
DATEX II has evolved technically since its origins, but it is still based on the fundamental principle of separation of technical concerns. This has supported the efficient addition of new models for new functional areas, new protocols and tools for software engineers, and new communication patterns extending from information exchange into control and collaboration.
About DATEX II
DATEX II is the electronic language used in Europe for the exchange of traffic information and traffic data. It has grown from a standard for the exchange of traffic related data between road-traffic control centres to a coherent set of standards supporting the digitalisation and automation of the entire road transport ecosystem to contribute to a safe, green and efficient travelling of persons and goods. To do this DATEX II supports two closely related use cases: The provision of information from datasource to dataconsumer on one hand, and the support of joint traffic management operations of collaboration competent authorities on the other. DATEX II enables the standardised data-provision from the lightest vehicle types like cycling up to the information relevant for heavy lorry convoys. It enables to digitally express in a standardised way the dynamics of road transport infrastructure availability and incidents happening on it. The different parts support the historical, actual and prognosed usage combined with the conditions of us of the networks and the interventions/temporary changes of the competent authorities in this domain. Road transport infrastructure covers everything relevant for the end user to manage his road usage and therefore varies from the road/street itself, the applicable conditions of use like traffic management measures, UVARs roadworks etc, to parking, to charging and refuelling and all that is directly related to that. By means of DATEX II, traffic & travel information and traffic management information is distributed in a way that it is language and presentation format independent. This means that there is no room for misunderstandings and / or translation errors by the recipient, but the recipient can choose to include spoken text, an image on a map, or to integrate it in a navigation calculation. The increasing scale on which ITS services are being dimensioned, as well as the new digitisation requirements arising from self-driving cars, requires increased use of standards and thus also challenges the DATEX II community accordingly.
- The stakeholder cooperation maintaining DATEX II is now in the NAPCORE project setting (https://napcore.eu/) per 2021. The EU funding of DATEX II is sensibly done via NAPCORE because of its strategical significance for national road authorities and road operators having to comply with the EU delegated regulations supporting the EU ITS Directive aiming at harmonised multi modal traveller services across Europe. Alignment of standards with standards in the travel domain is one of the key tasks of NAPCORE.
- The DATEX II organisation is open to all stakeholders in the traffic and travel domain that want to participate in the development, maintenance and user support of DATEX II.
- The governance of the DATEX II organisation is controlled by the ”Rules of Procedure of the DATEX II organisation”. DATEX II is a multi-part standard, maintained by CEN Technical Committee 278, Road Transport and Traffic Telematics, see https://www.itsstandards.eu/
- The mature and oldest parts of the CEN DATEX II series CEN 16157 series have been approved as European Standards, the younger parts live as Technical Standard for which is foreseen that they become European Standard in the next years.
The numbers speak for themselves
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The history of DATEX II
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 several years. In the road sector, the DATEX II 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 20 years. The second generation DATEX II specification also pushed the door wide open for all actors in the traffic and travel information sector. The development of DATEX II was initiated in the early 90s because of the need to exchange information between traffic centers of motorway operators. Soon there was the need to open this information to service providers. DATEX I was too limited for this and used outdated technical concepts. Which is why DATEX II was developed in the early years of this millennium.
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 consecutive EU programmes of road operators 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, it 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 II 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 current generation DATEX II it has become the reference for all applications requiring access to dynamic traffic and travel related information in Europe. We are proud to state that DATEX II is now THE information model for road traffic and travel information in Europe.