Timeframe: Already here
By Lucas Weiss and Stefan Schwillinsky, AustriaTech, Image source/Copyright: ASFINAG
Truck drivers in Europe often face the challenge of finding an appropriate parking facility and therefore frequently use unsafe and not secured parking areas (like e.g. hard shoulders) which brings high risks of accidents and potential thefts. Moreover, rules on working time and maximum driving times, breaks and minimum rest periods must be complied.
Therefore, one of the top priorities in the ITS Action Plan and the ITS Directive 2010/40/EU is to secure parking facilities for trucks and commercial vehicles. Truck drivers in Europe need to have suitable information on safe and secure parking places. The revised 2013 TEN-T guidelines aim to develop appropriate safe and secure parking areas on the road transport infrastructure of the core network every 100km.
The European Commission adopted specifications (delegated Regulation (EU) N°. 885/2013) in order to facilitate the support the exchange of data and to ensure EU-wide accessible information providing an up-to-date inventory of safe and secure parking spaces for trucks along the main European transport corridors to enable the provision of services.
In recent years and at present various EU funded projects (Connected Europe Facility) address the deployment of Intelligent Truck Parking (among other things), like e.g. CROCODILE or URSA MAJOR. There are various efforts to find the ideal combination of technology (like e.g. RF, microwave, laser, infrared, ultrasonic, camera, Inductive loops, piezo detectors …) for parking spots occupancy, entrance and exit detection on different demonstration sites within Europe. Other topics are the continuous calibration (auto) process, quality criteria and, of course, the exchange of data to ensure EU-wide accessible information.
The implementation status varies in the different member states and the current deployment is manifold. From manual updating (i.e. staff monitors and updates the occupancy of the parking facilities on the motorways and the information is provided via overhead signs, updated notification boards along the routes as well as in addition, on website, app and webcams) to (semi-)automatic approaches via e.g. camera technology.
In the delegated Regulation (EU) No 885/2013 it is foreseen that public or private parking operators and service providers shall share and exchange data related to safe and secure parking areas through a national or international access point. Therefore, the European Commission provides a European Access Point for Truck Parking Data to enable continuity of services throughout the EU, based on DATEX II format. Currently only static data is supported by the Access Point and each member state is responsible for updates, maintenance and data quality.