EU-US Cooperative Systems Standards Harmonization Action Plan (HAP)
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The United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA) and the European Commission's Directorate General for Information Society and Media (EC DG INFSO) are pleased to announce the approval of the Harmonization Action Plan for the EC-US Standards Harmonization Working Group (SWG).
The USDOT RITA and DG INFSO previously signed a Joint Declaration of Intent on Research Cooperation in Cooperative Systems. This declaration includes a commitment to develop globally harmonized open standards in order to insure the worldwide interoperability of cooperative systems. The standards harmonization work is carried out through the SWG, which is staffed and co-chaired by representatives of the USDOT and EC. As described in the enclosed plan, the development and adoption of harmonized international standards will:
Recognizing the importance of global cooperation, both the European Commission and the United States welcome the participation of other countries and regions in the work of the Standards Harmonization Working Group, particularly those of the Asia Pacific region.
Approval of the Harmonization Action Plan represents an important milestone along the path to globally harmonized standards.
PurposeIn November 2009 the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) and Directorate General for Information Society and Media (DG INFSO) signed a Joint Declaration of Intent on Research Cooperation. The goal of the declaration is to:
Development and adoption of coordinated harmonized international technical standards contribute to the following benefits:
BackgroundStandards for Cooperative ITS are developed under the auspices of Standards Development Organizations (SDO) including the European Committee for Standardization (CEN), IEEE, European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), International Organization for Standardization (ISO), and SAE International as well as national standardization organizations in countries such as Japan and China. Some standards have already been finalized and published while others are in the development or approval process. The intention of the harmonization activities should be to create globally coordinated and harmonized standards as appropriate.
In order to support the goals established within the Joint Declaration, a Joint Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) Technical Task Force was established under the leadership of USDOT and DG INFSO. The Technical Task Force created a number of working groups, including the ITS Standardization Working Group (SWG), which are staffed and co-chaired by representatives of the USDOT and the European Commission (EC). The ITS Standardization Working Group was initiated with a guiding policy directive to act as supporting partner to the other working groups with respect to standardization issues and to explore and act upon opportunities for harmonizing ITS standards internationally. This working group is led by Wolfgang Hoefs, European Commission, and Steve Sill, USDOT.
The ITS SWG held meetings in 2010 to draft the Harmonization Opportunities Assessment Plan (HOAP). This plan includes three primary activity tracks:
ApproachThe HAP is intended to be an action plan whereby the working group discuss and agree on activities envisioned in the HAP tasks and provide proposals for coordination and harmonization of specific standards without conducting formal analysis. The working group recognizes the efforts many international technical standards bodies have undertaken to harmonize for Cooperative ITS. The working group also recognizes that not everything in this area should or needs to be harmonized. In a high level assessment, the working group will determine if a detailed level analysis can be skipped where other standards groups have made harmonization efforts.
The HAP is intended to be a living document allowing for future additions as deemed appropriate by the ITS Standards Working Group. The HAP includes tasks to:
Track 1: High Level AssessmentAn initial high level review of cooperative system ITS standards (published, under development, or new work items) will be conducted. The purpose of the high level assessment will be to provide the working group with a first order review illustrating which existing technical standards appear to address similar functionalities or scopes. Substantial work has been completed as part of responses to the European Mandate M/453. Building on this work, a document will be created to formalize the high level assessment. The document will include:
Track 2: Detailed Agreement for Harmonization ProceduresTrack 2 provides a statement of principles agreed upon by the ITS SWG. These principles will be published in order for the cooperative systems community to understand how the ITS SWG will proceed in the future.
The following principles for executing cooperative systems standards harmonization are:
Track 3: Gap-Overlap Analysis for Future StandardsAs future technical standards are developed, the SWG will analyze ITS standards – published as well as standards in development and approval process – to determine overlaps or redundancy in scope and content relative to existing cooperative systems standards. Additionally, any gaps found will be documented. This is an on-going effort and can be leveraged off of existing technical standards development work occurring within various SDOs in both the US and EU. The results of the analyses together with proposals for action will be provided to the EU-US Task Force and the relevant SDOs.
Track 4: Facilitate Harmonization of Specific StandardsWhen a potential harmonization opportunity exists, the ITS Standardization Working Group (SWG) will create a Harmonization Task Group (HTG). The HTG will be comprised of appropriate experts who are a subset of the participants on the candidate standards SDO working groups. The ITS SWG will explicitly agree to the HTG membership. This track may require the establishment of research agreements with SDOs.
The ITS SWG will facilitate the HTG meetings as needed. This is likely to include reimbursement for travel expenses and costs of hosting HTG meetings in the US or EU. Additionally, a contractor might be engaged to directly support the HTG, including taking meeting minutes, drafting reports, and/or drafting specific recommendations/draft standards language on behalf of the HTG.
The objective of the HTG is to analyze harmonization opportunities and to recommend to the SDOs to consider changes to standards in order to achieve harmonized standards where appropriate.
Track 5: Planning for the FutureThe ITS HWG will undertake an activity to examine the options available for future technical standards needs, where work has not yet begun, to identify what options might be available for standards that are jointly developed and/or maintained. Options will be determined regarding cooperation of US and EU SDOs, joint publication agreements, intellectual property rights, and such to frame the options that might best meet EU and US governmental needs as well as standards developer and industry needs. This work would consider the current participating SDOs along with the experience and lessons learned from before such as UN WP29.
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