Technical approach

CITRUS develops, deploys, tests and operates a companion app for truck drivers, based on the cellular C-ITS approach. Information that is directly relevant truck drivers will be geo-broadcasted over cellular networks (e.g. LTE). This avoids the use of costly, dedicated ITS-G5 communication capabilities. This pragmatic solution towards rapid C-ITS deployment of services supports the CITRUS use cases. Network throughput and delay is handled in an appropriate and cost efficient way. At the same time, the project enables ITS service providers to approach C-ITS as a natural evolution of their current ITS services. This avoids additional costs to the logistics sector to invest in dedicated on-board units or equipment.

This approach is also in line with the latest developments in C-ITS research, as underlined in the German flagship project Converge. Within Converge, a (hybrid) architecture based on the concept of a Geo Messaging Service enabling C-ITS communication using both cellular networks and ITS-G5 as wireless carriers was presented.

CITRUS focuses on a swift and cost effective first deployment of C-ITS in Flanders. The Day-one services will maximally build on available and mature (communication) technologies while countering interoperability issues related to ITS-G5 based solutions (i.e. separate, isolated deployments in pilots all over Europe). The chosen LTE-based approach perfectly matches with such a scenario, as it will drive and support the smooth creation of a broader C-ITS ecosystem in Flanders, Belgium. This supports a scalable and stable expansion in terms of users and services, while enabling additional services providers to easily step in.

The validation of this approach in a fully operational deployment is a major goal of this study plus pilot deployment. CITRUS also will produce valuable insights in the business-related aspects connected to the (complex) value chain of C-ITS, and in technical directions for further, sustainable and interoperable deployment of C-ITS solutions; as such it will lay the foundation for a broader roll-out and uptake of C-ITS applications in Flanders, and Belgium.