• English

Intelligent Transport Systems

Intelligent Transport Systems play an important role in shaping the future ways of mobility and the transport sector. We expect that through the use of ITS applications, transport will become more efficient, safer and greener. The huge potentials and benefits, however, can only be reaped if ITS solutions are put in place and internationally harmonized to the extent.

Long since, UNECE focused on Intelligent Transport System as a valuable technology driven instrument able to boost the future of the transport systems. Hence, the first UNECE Round Table on ITS was organized in 2004 and the first ITS focal point was nominated. At the same time, the Division intensified its work and promotion of ITS inside and outside the United Nations.

UNECE Working Parties undertake to implement the Division's strategies, while — given their competences and mandates — they consider the different aspects of ITS and its compliance with UN legal instruments and technical provisions.

To this end, UNECE Working Parties have been and are dealing with Intelligent Transport Systems. The Working Party on Road Traffic Safety (WP.1), for example, is advancing on liability concerns, Variable Message Signs or safety risks related to driver distraction. The Working Party on Inland Water Transport (SC.3) resolves questions related to River Information Systems (RIS). The Working Party on the Transport of Dangerous Goods (WP.15) examines how Telematics can be used to enhance safety and security and the Working Party on Road Transport (SC.1) drives the Digital tachograph and e-CMR implementation. The World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations (WP.29) promotes ITS matters on-board of vehicles, such as Lane Departure Warnings Systems (LDWS), Advanced Emergency Braking Systems (AEBS) and on-board diagnostics (OBDs).

In 2010, driven by the commitment to further advocate the potential added value of ITS in achieving a sustainable mobility all across transport modes, the UNECE secretariat then launched  a study on the use and best practices in ITS solutions worldwide. Thus, the UNECE secretariat with the active support of the German and Italian Transport Ministries, as well as SINA - Societa Iniziative Nazionali Autostradali, cooperated to build a general view of the ITS deployment and current best practices, as well of areas where UNECE could further promote the use of ITS.

A draft strategic note was subject to a web-based public consultation in March through to July 2011). All comments received from Governments, businesses and academia were thus incorporated in to the final strategic note and in the Road Map on ITS. This forms two of the main chapters of this publication and leads to the  pathway of the UNECE publication Intelligent Transport Systems for sustainable mobility.

The overall goals are:

  • To share information (including best practices) and raise awareness about the values ITS solutions can deliver through the background document.
  • To identify the main gaps in and impediments to the broader use and rapid dissemination of ITS applications irrespective of which organizations, institutions or bodies can or will fill the gap with through the strategic note.
  • To outline the areas and list the ITS activities that UNECE can embark upon either as a continuation of on-going tasks or as new initiatives through the UNECE Road Map on ITS.

Throughout the publication, it will be evident that technological innovation leads legal and institutional change and that governments and policy makers are urged to catch-up with the current trends and even speed up their actions. The core objective of the UNECE strategy on ITS, embodied by this publication, is to lobby for new actions and policies where ITS improve the quality of life and make sustainable mobility available across borders.

27 June 2013
ITU-UNECE event agrees Action Plan for safe, intelligent transport systems

Participants in a workshop jointly organized by ITU and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) have agreed an Action Plan to guide and strengthen the two organizations’ collaboration in leveraging intelligent transport systems (ITS) to enhance road safety in emerging markets.

Each year road accidents claim the lives of 1.2 million people and leave another 20-50 million injured. Developing countries are by far the hardest hit, and the global financial toll of these accidents is estimated at an annual half a trillion US Dollars. Technologies have long contributed to making roads safer through, for example, anti-lock braking systems and airbags. ITS and vehicle communications have the potential to springboard very significant leaps forward in vehicle safety.

The ITU-UNECE workshop, “Intelligent transport systems in emerging markets – drivers for safe and sustainable growth”, was held at ITU Headquarters in Geneva, 27 June 2013. The event took place during the eighth meeting of the Collaboration on ITS Communication Standards at the same venue, on 26 and 28 June 2013; also drawing a number of its participants from attendees of a meeting of UNECE’s Working Party 29 on Vehicle Regulations in the Palais des Nations, 25-28 June 2013.

The workshop opened with welcoming remarks from Malcolm Johnson, Director of the ITU Telecommunication Standardization Bureau, followed by a keynote presentation from Eva Molnar, Director of the UNECE Transport Division. Alongside experts from the ITS and ICT communities, the car industry was well represented by the likes of FIA, Volvo and BMW (see photos of the workshop).

The workshop’s first session offered a “Global ITS update”, looking at ITS technologies’ deployment status in different regions of the world, regulatory frameworks, radiofrequency issues and standards. The second session focused on “ITS in emerging markets” by discussing case studies from India and South Africa, and by pinpointing the key challenges and opportunities.

The workshop’s afternoon sessions took aim at road safety, first discussing the use of “ITS to increase road safety in emerging markets”, followed by an in-depth analysis of means of “Tackling the [driver] distraction challenge”.

The workshop concluded with an Action Plan which directs ITU and UNECE to collaborate with governments, policy makers, regulators, standards development organizations (SDOs), industry, civil society and relevant international and regional organizations, to:

  • Lead with vision in fostering the adoption of best practices and effective policies for using ITS and vehicle communications as means to increase road safety and reduce the number of road traffic accidents worldwide.
  • Standardize, adopt and promote globally harmonized ITS-related vehicle and infrastructure regulation, communication standards and radio spectrum, and accelerate the development and adoption of standards that address the growing dangers of technology-caused driver distraction.
  • Share knowledge, raise awareness and provide education to promote ITS information and education resources suitable for all communities, stakeholders, governments and academia; raising awareness for the crucial role of vehicle communications to increase road safety globally.
  • Shape the agenda, boost partnerships and mobilize expertise in the areas of ITS, vehicle communications, road safety and driver distraction.

The workshop and Action Plan follow the spirit of the 2013 World Telecommunication/Information Society Day held on 17 May and themed ICTs and Improving Road Safety.

The full text of the Action Plan is available here.

Download: PDF


United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE)
Transport in UNECE

UNECE and Intelligent Transport Systems

Part 1 - Background document
1 Introduction
2 Long-term and wide-ranging transport objectives
3 Technical overview of Intelligent Transport Systems
4 Outlook of UNECE action in the field of ITS and current provisions
5 Summary of benefits and challenges in the promotion of ITS

Part 2 - Strategic note
1 Introduction
2 The UNECE Transport Division’s vision, commitment and Road Map for  ITS
3 Transport growth reaches its limits
4 …but ITS can expand the transport sector’s limits
5 What is ITS?
6 ITS can contribute to the solution of global issues
7 Why is ITS not adequately addressed on the policy agenda?
8 Gaps and stumbling blocks in ITS deployment
9 UNECE’s support for ITS
10What’s next?

Part 3 - Road Map
The reasons for the UNECE Road Map on Intelligent Transport System (ITS)
The Road Map: 20 global actions to promote the use of ITS
How will the Road Map and its actions be implemented?

Workshop: "Towards a new transportation culture: technology innovations for safe, efficient and sustainable mobility" (Geneva, 2014)

Joint BELGIUM - UNECE Inland Transport Committee (ITC) workshop on Intelligent Transport Systems: "Towards a new transportation culture: technology innovations for safe, efficient and sustainable mobility"



The Federal Public Service Mobility and Transport of Belgium together with the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) is organizing a workshop on Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS), exploring the topic: “Towards a new transportation culture: technology innovations for safe, efficient and sustainable mobility”. The two-day workshop will take place at the Diamant Conference and Business Centre in Brussels, Belgium, on 17 and 18 November 2014.

This annual flagship workshop follows the UNECE Road Map for promoting ITS, which includes global actions ranging from harmonizing policies to improving road safety and ensuring data security. One of the key actions of the Road Map is to create opportunities for Governments and key stakeholders to exchange views and deepen cooperation on ITS issues. The workshop will bring together ITS experts to discuss how information and communications technology (ICT) based innovations can help create a driving and transportation culture that contributes to safe, efficient and sustainable mobility. Additionally, the workshop will explore how UNECE can reach a harmonized approach for the development and evaluation of cooperative systems and autonomous driving as well as discuss the role of UNECE in harmonizing the messages that are provided through variable message signs.


PDF Workshop Flyer

PDF Program at a glance

PDF Detailed Program

PDF UNECE Road Map in Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS)

Opening speeches
PDF Jacqueline Galant, Minister of Mobility, Belgium
Keynote speeches
PDF Kevin Gay, US DOT
Stock taking
PDF Anders Eugensson, Volvo
PDF Niels Peter Skov Andersen, Car2car Communication Consortium
PDF Peter Rieth, Continental
PDF Risto Oorni, VTT Finland
PDF Tom Gasser, BASt
Harmonizing different levels of automation
PDF Andrzej Maciejewski, Polish Road Administration
PDF Jacob Bangsgaard, FIA Region I
PDF Maria Alfayate, European Commission
PDF Mariusz Wichtowski, Council of Bureaux
PDF Scott McCormick, Connected Vehicle Trade Association
Vehicle-driver interface
PDF Michiel van Ratingen, Euro NCAP
PDF Antony Lagrange, European Commission
PDF Michiaki Sekine, NTSEL
PDF Stefan Deix, CLEPA
PDF Zeljko Jeftic, IRU
PDF Edoardo Gianotti, UNECE
PDF Ellen Townsend, ETSC
PDF Kees Wevers, TN-ITS
PDF Oliver Carsten, University of Leeds
PDF Sven Vlassenroot, The Flanders Institute for Mobility
PDF Antonio Lucas-Alba, University of Zaragoza
PDF Caroline Pourtois, Wallonia region
PDF Peter Van der Perre, ITS Belgium
PDF Vladimir Kryuchkov, ITS Russia
PDF Wolfgang Ernst, European Standard for Variable Message Signs
Extra presentation by Ministry of Transport, France
PDF Jean-François Janin, French Ministry of Transport

Round Table on ITS for sustainable mobility (Geneva, 2012)

Joint ITU/UNECE Inland Transport Committee (ITC) workshop on
Intelligent Transport Systems in emerging markets - drivers for safe and sustainable growth
27 June 2013, Geneva

The UNECE Inland Transport Committee (ITC) jointly organized a one day workshop with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), in the framework of its "Road Map for promoting ITS - 20 global actions 2012 - 2020" and as the 2013 round-table after the ITS kick-off event on 28 February 2012, that many of you so greatly supported.

The event focused on ITS in emerging markets and its impact on road safety. So this event was another milestone in 2013, during the year of ICT's and the decade of action for road safety, but also a bridge between the 9th ITS European congress in Dublin, 4 - 7 June 2013 and the ITS World Congress in Tokyo, 14 - 18 October 2013. In that sense, the UNECE Inland Transport Committee and ITU played their role as global platforms to advocate ITS.

See also the programme and more information on the workshop.

Should you require more information, please do not hesitate to contact Mr. Robert Nowak (tel: +41 22 917 1267, e-mail: robert.nowak[at]unece.org).

UNECE moderated Executive session at the 8th ITS European Congress (Lyon, 2011)

Programme | Speakers | Video | Photos | Publication
Inter-operability as a supra-national challenge - the EU perspectives
Mr. Fotis Karamitsos
ITS as an efficient tool for governments
Mr. Michael Harting
How innovation is driving mobility – today and for future generations
Mr. Kenji Wani
Road Safety Programme and ITS - lessons learned in Italy
Mr. Antonio Erario
Russia's way in speed management - how technology is saving lives
Mr. Vladimir Kryuchkov
Combining ITS and Logistics - three public-private examples
Mr. Nico Anten
Leapfrogging opportunities and the need for policy direction on ITS
Dr. Paul Vorster
What changes have been brought about in France
Mr. Jean Francois Janin
Name it and solve it - current obstacles to full ITS deployment
Mr. Richard Harris
What needs to be done
Mr. Vincent Blervaque

Video Glonass

Video ITS Russia

UNECE side event on ITS at the International Transport Forum (Leipzig, 2010)


During the 8th ITS European Congress in Lyon, 6-9 June 2011, UNECE was invited to present the Executive session "ITS for adaptive and resilient cities".


UNECE activities on ITS

The UNECE Transport Division has put ITS on its policy agenda. We just closed a public consultation on ITS and are now assessing the received input in order to present the UNECE strategy package on ITS. As one part of this, we will publish the UNECE Road Map on ITS laying down concrete actions to be performed in the future to deploy ITS globally.


About the Executive session

Cities and regions are living. They are subject to multiple influences which will have an effect on their evolution. Social factors, such as housing and employment location, building of leisure centres, behaviour of elderly inhabitants, as well as economic factors, such as price of energy, local and international commerce, result in a need for ITS to monitor these drivers, taking them into account in the management of networks, and influencing their effects on mobility and transportation trends. ITS provides the possibility to react, even in case of unpredictable events. Cities will be resilient only if accessibility is maintained at a high level for all citizens in any circumstances. Whilst protecting the urban legacy, ITS as a part of the urban and regional planning process will allow mobility for all citizens, even during emergency situations.



Mr. Eric-Mark Huitema, Smarter Transportation Leader Europe, IBM, The Netherlands

Ms. Hélène Jacquot-Guimbal, Director General, French Institute of Science and Technology for Transport, Development and Networks – IFSTTAR, France

Mr. Claudy Lebreton, President, Côtes d’Armor County Council / ITS Bretagne, France

Mr. Hans Fiby, Project Manager, ITS Vienna Region, Austria



Mr. Edoardo Gianotti, UNECE focal point on ITS
Mrs. Hélène Jacquot-Guimbal, PhD, IFSTTAR
Mr. Hans Fiby, ITS Vienna region


For more information on the 8th ITS European Congress please visit: http://2011.itsineurope.com

For more more information about the ITS activities of UNECE please contact our Secretariat:
Mr. Edoardo Gianotti or Ms. Dörte Schramm

UNECE side event on ITS at the International Transport Forum (Leipzig, 2010)

The 4th Annual International Russian Congress on ITS, 12 April 2012, Moscow

The World Forum and ITS Deployment

Vehicle Regulations and ITS Deployment

UNECE Keynote speech at the "Fully networked car event", 2 March 2011, Geneva

UNECE Keynote speech at the 5th International Road Federation (IRF) Policy Committee on ITS, 9-10 March 2011, Stockholm

UNECE presentation at the ITU-Radiocommunication Study Group 5 A meeting on ITS, 14 June 2011, Geneva