COST Action TU1302 satellite positioning performance assessment for road transport (SAPPART)

Automation & RoboticsProjectsSouth-East European INDUSTRIAL Мarket - issue 3/2015

The Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) have a significant potential in the development of ITS and mobility services, expected to deliver many benefits including reducing congestion, increasing capacity and improving safety. The road sector is estimated to represent more than 50% of the GNSS market and 75% when we consider the mobility services on smartphones.

However, the current lack of a pan-European certification process underpinned by agreed standards is impeding the realization of the expected benefits. The main reason for this is the complexity of defining and assessing GNSS performance which is highly influenced by the environment and operational scenario. Although standardization activities have been initiated in Europe on this topic, many scientific issues are still open and require a common agreement.

This Action brings together leading experts in GNSS, ITS and mobility to address the open issues and guarantee the success of the standardization for underpinning certification initiatives. The Action will propose a unified framework for definition and assessment of performance for the GNSS-based positioning terminals. This framework is expected to pave the way for certified terminals, which is expected to result in a significantly accelerated use of GNSS-based ITS and mobility applications.

The overall aims of the Action are threefold:
· To develop a framework for the definition of service levels for the GNSS-based positioning terminals, used in ITS and personal mobility applications, and the associated examination framework for certification purposes;
· To promote high-level educational and training programmes in the fields of GNSS positioning, GNSS-based ITS and personal mobility applications;
· To promote the use of GNSS in general, and EGNOS and Galileo in particular, in ITS and personal mobility domains, for their common long-term development and deployment in Europe.

Under the overall aims, this interdisciplinary Action between road transport, personal mobility and satellite navigations targets the following specific objectives:
· Capitalizing the main results of a number of National, European and International projects of the past 5 years that addressed the use of GNSS in the road sector, most of which involved the participation of the partners of this Action.
· Coordinating European scientists to highlight problems and open issues, strength and weaknesses of GNSS solutions envisaged in different ITS and personal mobility applications.
· Developing a framework for the definition of service levels for the GNSS-based positioning terminals and the associated framework for certification purposes. This will be in form of guidelines and data sets, which will constitute major inputs to the related European standardization activities for GNSS-based mobility and transportation services.
· Linking the academic community and stakeholders to standardization bodies (ETSI, CEN, ISO, national standardization bodies) with the creation of targeted working groups (aim 1).
· Supporting European-related legislation activities.
· Organizing a high-level educational and training programme, with the aim of raising the ITS stakeholders’ awareness and understanding of GNSS-related issues, and reciprocally. Promoting a widespread, advanced and effective use of GNSS in ITS and personal mobility services.

The Action will produce the following deliverables:
1. A White paper on GNSS positioning for personal mobility and road transport: state-of-the-art, advantages and drawbacks, recommendations and guidelines for the GNSS integrators and lead users.

2. A Handbook presenting a methodology to link the GNSS-based positioning terminal service levels to the application Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), taking into account the data processing done by the application itself and the operational conditions. Special care will be given to the pedagogic presentation of the methodology so that it is understandable by GNSS, ITS and mobility services professionals. It will include the definition of the relevant concepts on GNSS performance that are supporting it.

3. Guidelines for generic test procedures for the evaluation of GNSS-based terminal performance, either by field tests, simulations or their combination, compliant with the concepts and the definitions established in the methodology handbook. In annex to this document will be a review of all the main European test and simulation facilities.

4. Data sets from field and simulation tests for GNSS-based positioning terminal performance evaluation.

Potential impact of the Action
The impact of the Action is intended to reduce the main technical hurdles for large scale deployment of GNSS-based ITS and personal mobility applications in Europe. The framework for the definition and assessment of performance for the GNSS-based positioning terminals is expected to pave the way for certified GNSS-receiver units, which is expected to result in a significantly accelerated use of GNSS-based ITS and mobility applications.

ITS and personal mobility services that already today largely benefit from incorporation of the GNSS-based positioning include personal navigation, fleet management, cooperative traffic monitoring,  eCall and dangerous good tracking & tracing applications. Liability-critical applications such as RUC, pay-as-you-drive (PAYD) insurance and Safety-critical applications such as ADAS are likely to grow considerably once the quality level of the positioning reaches appropriate performance and can be certified.

The increased use and improvements in GNSS positioning will bring significant benefits to the society in terms of increased road network level of service and safety, and lower vehicle-related emissions.

Recent studies have shown that the potential cumulative economic impact of the generalized usage of GNSS systems in the road domain, between 2010 and 2013, is estimated at 43 b euro, the main benefits being for the end users, in terms of travel time reduction (20 bln euro) and fuel consumption reduction (8 bln euro). For public institutions, the main gain will be cost savings due to the reduction in injuries and fatalities (8 bln euro).

Finally, due to its wide geographical coverage, the Action will lead to durable European collaborations and complement existing National and European research projects. It will strengthen the EU’s scientific network and industry’s position on the global GNSS-based ITS market, forecast to exceed 100 bln euro per annum by 2025.

The Action, funded by the European Commission, is chaired by Professor Francois Peyret from IFSTTAR (Institut Francais des Sciences et Technologies des Transports de l’Amenagement et des Reseaux), France. The vice-chair is Mr. Pierre-Yves Gillieron from EPFL (Ecole polytechnique federale de Lausanne), Switzerland. The action unifies more than 140 scientists and experts from 23 countries. More information can be seen in