Mixed vendor environments

 

Introduction 


This project concerns different aspects of supporting mixed vendor environments in urban-ITS. The work is very intertwined, and although work is quite advanced (approaching 200 pages of specifications), it is still under development. It is expected to circulate working drafts during January 2019. It will provide a suite of standards deliverables designed to achieve successful implementation of urban-ITS systems in a mixed vendor environment.

This suite of standards deliverables will support the family of existent standards, and those under development, referencing both common communications protocols and data definitions, that, in combinations, enable Urban-ITS (and ITS in general) to function and be managed, and will reference application standards, and their interdependencies and relationships.

Urban authorities use an increasing array of intelligent transport systems (ITS) to deliver their services. Historically, urban ITS have tended to be single solutions provided to a clear requirements specification by a single supplier. Increasingly, as ITS opportunities become more complex and varied. They involve the integration of multiple products from different vendors, procured at different times and integrated by the urban authority.

The need for a mixture of systems provided by different manufacturers to so-called Mixed Vendor Environments (MVEs) is a growing paradigm, which results primarily from the demand for the introduction of competition in the context of public tenders, and the increasing networking of existing stand-alone solutions to address complex traffic management systems.

The mix of systems of different manufacturers is also, in part, a result from technological change. Established companies are suddenly in competition with new companies that exploit technological changes and offer exclusively, or at a reasonable price, new or improved functionality for sub systems.

However, ITS design is often proprietary and, as a consequence, integration and interoperability can be difficult, time-consuming, and expensive, limiting the ability of urban authorities to deploy innovative solutions to transport problems. In some Member States, national/regional solutions to this problem have been created, and there are also some solutions in specific domains, which have been very beneficial. However, these are not uniform across Europe, compromising the efficiency of the single market.

 

Objectives

The project has three objectives:

1) To produce a ‘Guide’ that provides a high level introduction into the concept of operations (CONOPS) for a mixed vendor environment (MVE); provides a high-level architectural context explanation of an MVE and its operational requirements, and describes the problems and effects are associated with vendor lock-in. It also provides a systematic approach for many aspects of Urban-ITS implementation, and indeed almost all ITS MVE implementation; and provides a methodical guideline with a procedural model, in order to provide assistance to implementers and managers involved with the structure of an MVE and/or with the removal of vendor lock-in.
This deliverable should be considered as the introductory part and should be viewed together with CEN TS MTMT:2019 (PT1706. WI 0278xxx) and CEN TS SSSS:2019(PT1707. WI 0278xxx) as a suite of deliverables that address the issues concerning MVEs.

2) To focus specifically on the area of traffic management systems in an MVE, identifies appropriate standards to use to enable an MVE, and addresses aspects associated with the accommodation of regional traffic standards (RTS) in such mixed vendor environments (RTS-MVE), with particular emphasis on the centre/field systems context.

3) To provide the methodologies and translators to avoid vendor lock-in, introducing suitable methodologies for system architecture design, making appropriate use of standards, and specifications to be used when translator systems are adopted.
Against this background, this Technical Specification is designed to enable ITS architects to develop architectural concepts for mixed-manufacturer systems in order to achieve the migration of existing monolithic single-manufacturer systems, by creating and delivering EU-wide MVE communication specifications. These are designed to actively support the implementation of distributed and open system structures for regionally and nationally networked systems in the transport sector throughout the EU.

 

Scope

This project will result in three deliverables.The following scopes remain indicative and not final, and there may be some variation in the final versions of these scopes:


Intelligent Transport Systems – Urban-ITS– Mixed Vendor Environment Guide

This standard provides a “Concept of Operations (CONOPS) for the introduction and maintenance of a “Mixed Vendor Environment” (MVE) in the domain of urban-ITS. Structured as:

PART I Context and issues to be addressed
Describes the context, background, objective of the MVE Guide, and describes the architectural context.

PART II work concepts
Aspects of system design and architecture are examined and the basic knowledge required for the application of Part III are presented

PART III Practice

Provides system design and procurement on three levels against the background of a procedure model.

  • user level
  • conceptual explanation
  • examples.

PART IV Outlook
Guidance and requirements for the application of MVE for future business.
I have moved this whole text to the start of what is now titled “Context and issues to be addressed”. The reason for this is that in CEN documents the Scope contains only a summary list of what is addressed in the document, and possibly state its limitations.

 

Intelligent transport systems — Urban-ITS — Use of regional traffic standards in a mixed vendor environment
This standard provides a background to the relevance of standards concerning mixed vendor environments in the context of urban-ITS. It describes key mixed vendor environments interfaces.

It defines:

  • Open specifications for sensor systems: existing open specifications and provides common specifications
  • Open specifications for traffic control: existing open specifications and provides common specifications
  • Open specifications for traffic information: existing open specifications and provides common specifications
  • Open specifications for public transport information systems: existing open specifications and provides common specifications
  • Open specifications for distributed C-ITS: existing open specifications and provides common specifications
  • Open specifications for central systems: existing open specifications and provides common specifications

It describes openly plied proprietary standards and extant communications protocols that can be used in mixed vendor environments in the context of urban-ITS.

 

Intelligent Transport Systems – Urban-ITS – Mixed vendor environments Methodologies & Translators
This standard focuses on the principal aspects of urban ITS where vendor lock-in is recognised as a technical and financial problem: primarily centre-to-field communications and traffic management systems. It will cover the following scope:

  • Summary of vendor lock-in challenges, and mitigation and migration options
  • Technical options for interworking multiple vendors' products
  • Review of principal approaches taken to date to implement these options in community frameworks and specifications
  • Translation between frameworks/products
  • Technical and management protocols to achieve interworking, using product/interface adaptation, translation products, replacement/reengineering, and other migration strategies