International context

Policy makers in Europe, Japan and the US share the conviction that the application of information and communication technology (ICT) in the field of road transport, commonly referred to as Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) can, as part of an integrated strategy, make a significant contribution to improving energy efficiency and reducing CO2 emissions.

Future research in ICT applications for road transport is enhanced under the EU-US Implementing Agreement between the European Commission DG Information Society & Media (INFSO) and the US Department of Transport (DoT), which established joint working groups to promote cooperation in the domain of cooperative safety and sustainability applications, based on inputs from related research initiatives in both regions, including eCoMove and the US research initiative AERIS (Applications for the Environment: Real-Time Information Synthesis).

In Japan, since 2001 (the peak year), CO2 emission volumes in the transport sector have decreased and fuel efficiency has improved by 30% thanks to an integrated approach involving various measures, such as better fuel efficiency standards, improvement of traffic flow, government incentives and a more efficient use of vehicles (eco-driving)1.

A Cooperation Agreement also exists between the EC DG INFSO and the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) to promote a continuous dialogue as well as coordinated research activities between the two regions. In addition, DG CNECT and MLIT (Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism) also signed a Memorandum of Cooperation concerning Cooperative Systems in the field of intelligent transport systems.

However it is essential to understand which ITS applications are the most effective at reducing CO2 emissions, and in which context (and combination) they have the most beneficial effect, to support their future development and deployment.

A Task Force has thus been established on the definition of a common assessment methodology, in the framework of the EC-METI cooperation first, and now as trilateral effort with the US counterparts under the aegis of the ECOSTAND initiative, which coordinates the joint work progress towards such methodology, and which eCoMove is contributing to.

[1]  Source: seminar Report Making Green Cars a Reality: Policies and Initiatives in the EU and Japan, 25 February 2010, Tokyo