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Strategic Platform for Intelligent Traffic Systems

Project Manager: Dr. ir. Geert Heijenk / Prof. dr. ir. Bram Nauta
Faculty Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science - EEMCS
Tel.: +31-53-4895693 / +31-53-4892655
Email: geert.heijenk@utwente.nl / b.nauta@utwente.nl



To realise the targets set by the Dutch government with respect to mobility in 2020, intelligent traffic systems (ITS) play an essential role, since they contribute to minimising traffic congestion, the need of extra roads and infrastructure and optimal fuel consumption. The Netherlands has a unique set of innovative companies which are working on solutions that can help to address these problems and at the same time create sustainable value for the Dutch economy. The whole value chain from chips (NXP, Catena) to consumer products (TomTom) and professional products (GreenCat) with embedded software (Logica, TASK24, Fourtress) as well as infrastructure and back offices (Logica, TomTom). We have TNO and top universities (TU Eindhoven, TU Delft, Universiteit Twente and Universiteit Leiden), all with leading positions in their area and very good knowledge of parts of the proposed solution. These parties now form a unique consortium covering the whole value chain and comprising both a substantial amount of small and medium size enterprises as well as world leaders in this domain.

Triggered by the economic crisis, these companies and institutions join forces and roadmaps in the SPITS High Tech Top Project, with the goal to bridge the stalemate between the government and industry in creating an infrastructure for cooperative applications.

SPITS is the Strategic Platform for Intelligent Traffic Systems: SPITS will create an open, scalable, real-time, distributed, sustainable, secure and affordable platform for cooperative ITS applications, evolving from existing infotainment systems.

Starting from knowledge on existing Onboard Units (e.g. navigation systems, car radios), combined with knowledge developed in European and other programs, SPITS aims to:

  • Build the next generation Onboard Units that are open and easily configurable for OEM specific requirements. They will also be (hardware) upgradeable, which will allow innovation during the lifetime of the system (i.e. lifetime of the car) and lead to faster adoption of new technologies.
  • Adapt existing Roadside Units to support cooperative technology and to supply local information about all traffic
  • Build the next generation of Back Offices, that can offer services to either Onboard Units or Roadside Units, and that can realise remote service life cycle management

In order for cooperative systems to have impact, a minimal penetration rate of these systems is crucial:

It is our vision that the best strategy to achieve cooperative driving, is to open existing onboard infotainment units sold in the automotive sector for ITS purposes.

The (hardware) upgradeable approach by nature covers both short and medium term innovation and is set up such that solutions can be introduced step by step.

SPITS is deeply embedded into the HTAS “Driving Guidance” focus area and the Point One roadmap on Transport, Logistics and Security and Nano-electronics. By accelerating and combining innovation activities in the consortium, SPITS’ unique open and upgradeable platform will:

  • Make large scale intelligent traffic solutions possible in the near future;
  • Have a huge impact on society in traffic mobility, safety and environment;
  • Give The Netherlands a worldwide competitive edge in the fast growing automotive area of intelligent traffic systems. Although strongly affected by the downturn, all companies have strong positions in their markets and will, enabled by SPITS, be able to capitalize on this program when the economy recovers;
  • Create a new “innovation ecosystem” where Dutch companies are leading in the full value chain.

All key innovations (as well as industrialization) strengthen the Dutch economy in a domain where strong worldwide growth is expected.

SPITS is a unique opportunity for The Netherlands to set the worldwide pace for new automotive products markets and opportunities.

Project duration: 2 years / July 2009 – July 2011
Project budget: 62.8 M-€ / 23.9 M-€ funding
Number of person/years: 415 fte
Project Coordinator: NXP
Participants: NXP, TomTom, Logica, TNO, Catena, GreenCat, TASK24, Fourtress, TUD, TU/e, UT, Univ. Leiden, Peek Traffic
Project budget CTIT: 483 k-€ / 241 k-€ funding
Number of person/years CTIT: 3.2 fte
Involved groups: Design and Analysis of Communication Systems (DACS), Integrated Circuit Design (ICD)