Currently there is a clear separation between road traffic management and freight management. The traffic management objectives are to ensure traffic safety for all road users and utilize the capacity while minimizing the environmental emissions. The freight distribution management objectives are to deliver freight in the most cost efficient way while ensuring the user requirements (where environmental aspect is included). The task of the driver of the vehicle can be separated into two parts, one part fulfilling the traffic management objectives, i.e. the task of driving the vehicle in the traffic. The other part is fulfilling the transportation task, i.e. the task of delivering and picking up goods.
There are clearly mutual benefits in cooperating as the traffic management can plan its transportation infrastructure to give more optimal conditions for the freight vehicles, while at the same time the freight vehicles act accordingly to ensure a safe and efficient environment. Both the infrastructure utilization and the logistics performances will benefit of the cooperation, e.g., in allocation of parking slots for urban delivery or in regulating the flow of dangerous goods through traffic networks. The driver will have advantages as well in carrying out his/her work, thanks to more integrated communications and plans.
This can be achieved through the integration of cooperative Vehicle-to-Infrastructure systems with Intelligent Cargo technologies for improved management of both traffic and supply chains. This requires a definition and standardisation on the sets of information to be exchanged about the traffic, about the vehicle, about the goods and their relation with the vehicle. In this are the EasyWay project, the SMARTFREIGHT project and the EURIDICE project.
The responsibilities of the stakeholders, e.g., traffic manager, supply chain managers, drivers, and the functions to be implemented for each of them need to be defined. This has also been partly done in the three mentioned projects. have developed dedicated information sets. These sets need to be harmonised further.
The actions undertaken in this area should rely on the ITS standards development and adoption plan,, so that the many actors are connected in a more seamless and continuous way (Papadimitratos, et al., 2009). Then the many involved systems must not only understand the information exchanged, but also have ways to actually find and request information through standardized web-service interfaces.
Hence, stable developments in other R&D areas described in previous chapters are required to design stable interoperability solutions between traffic and freight management. This shifts the roadmap targets farther in the future, with the real life pilots expected not earlier than 2018 as shown in the table below.