SOCRATES: Pan-European Transport Telematics Using Cellular Radio
CATLING I and HARRIS R, Ian Catling Consultancy, UK
The SOCRATES (System Of Cellular RAdio for Travel Efficiency and Safety) concept is the provision of transport telematics services based on the efficient use of cellular radio to provide two- way commtmications between information centres and vehicles wit
The SOCRATES (System Of Cellular RAdio for Travel Efficiency and Safety) concept is the provision of transport telematics services based on the efficient use of cellular radio to provide two- way commtmications between information centres and vehicles with transport telematics equipment. SOCRATES is the only pan-European transport telematics service offering two-way communication for a range of applications and services.
Many applications will depend upon the widespread availability of two-way communication between vehicles and control centres; cellular radio offers a potential pan-European infrastructure which should provide an economically efficient basis for the Integrated Road Transport Environment (IRTE) and should provide for many of the ITS (Intelligent Transport Systems) applications within it. Thus the SOCRATES concept provides a platform for a range of ITS services.
The initial applications supported by SOCRATES are:
- dynamic route guidance;
- driver information;
- parking information;
- public transport information;
- emergency services; and
- fleet management.
At the centre of the ITS applications considered in the IRTE is the concept of a traffic information and control centre. The SOCRATES information centre (SIC) is more sophisticated than the conventional traffic control centre of today, because it uses the communication facilities of the IRTE to monitor traffic flows and speeds in real time to an accuracy which is not possible with current systems. The output fiom the use of modelling will be used for generating route guidance information.
Using SOCRATES, computers in vehicles receive detailed up-to-the-minute information about traffic conditions. Drivers receive guidance on the best routes and relevant information to help them complete their journeys; SOCRATES services will integrate with pubfic transport and parking information in order to help to use the complete transport infrastructure most efficiently; other services available using SOCRATES will include an emergency call facility and fleet management applications.
In order to support these services the developments within the SOCRATES projects have included applications, in-vehicle equipment, information centres and system architecture, as well as communications. Under the central coordination of the SOCRATES Kernel project these features have been tested in SOCRATES pilot systems in London, Gothenburg and the Hessen region of Germany.
Section 2 of this paper describes these projects and the planned future development in the Fourth Framework Programme of Research and Development.
Section 3 describes the current status of a number of commercial developments which are likely to lead to the successful implementation of SOCRATES services in the next few years
Association for European Transport