The well-attended meeting on the 24th of June concluded a productive period for ITxPT. The first half of 2021 has seen an intense activity within committees, working groups, and engagement in external projects like Data4PT – with its support for National Access Points for travel data across the EU – and Rivsilon II, Nordic Way, and others.
Implementation status survey
After a short introduction to the meeting by Secretary General Anders Selling, Pascale Guyot reported about the survey on the ITxPT specification implementation that the organization is currently carrying out. The large-scale survey is open to the public, and ITxPT will share the results later this year.
The accuracy of the survey requires many participants, so if you are a mobility actor and have not yet participated, you can do so here. In addition, please spread the link to other mobility actors to get as broad a base for the survey as possible.
It is essential to get an image of how widely spread the implementations are. Still, it is equally important to know about problems and potential hurdles and blockers that prevent entities from implementing.
The ITxPT secretariat will complement the survey with interviews to go into depths and get feedback from the market. The return on experience from stakeholders will go into the ITxPT specification development and improvement process.
Traffic for London and the iBus2 tender
At the meeting, Simon Reed, head of technology and data on Traffic for London, London’s transport authority, presented the iBus2 tender. The iBus is a reporting system, and now it is time to upgrade it to iBus2.
IBus is a legacy system with proprietary solutions and proprietary data, while iBus2 will be based on a modularized, open architecture where user experience is at the center. One of the significant points is flexibility, to be able to add new features and change the system according to new situations. It is, for example, crucial to improving the ability to reach the passengers with correct information when something goes wrong. That is where the communication systems often fail today.
The tender asks for solutions based on ITxPT to cater for services today and innovation both from Traffic for London and from operators in the future.
The ITxPT roadmap
The roadmap is always central to the ITxPT work, and Secretary General Anders Selling explained how topics get onto the roadmap. First, all members can suggest what should be on the list. Issues can also come from outside the organization through a change request. Then the Requirements Committee works together with the Technical Committee and the Executive Board to decide and prioritize.
The requirements Committee, led by Chairman Guido Di Pasquale, presented their progress and took the opportunity to remind the meeting of some of the most important objectives of the committee:
- Capture customers’ needs
- Drive specifications updates
- Build collaboration between different kinds of organizations.
- Define the ITxPT roadmap – Middle-term vision.
Central for the strategy of the committee work is to always stay in close contact with the members and enhance collaboration and interaction. The objective is to find the functional requirements to pass on to the Technical Committee, which then develops them into specifications. The working groups do much of the work. The committee initiates a new working group for each topic to answer the members’ needs captured in the roadmap.
It is, however, essential for the Requirements Committee not only to look at the current member needs. It must also look ahead to observe market trends to see what is coming down the road.
Restructuring the meeting format
To better anticipate future needs, the Requirements Committee has begun restructuring the meetings and introducing an element of knowledge sharing. Since April, this has been ongoing and includes inviting guests knowledgeable in a specific topic to share their experiences and present their activities. Also, to evaluate how they can interact with ITxPT towards common goals.
Example of presentations:
- On-demand transport presentation by Ruter and Bestmile
- The Rivsilon project
- The standardization landscape – by Technical Committee Chairman Emmanuel de Verdalle
- Galileo and EGNOS benefits for ITxPT – by the European Commission.
Active Requirements Committee Working groups
Right now, there are three active Requirements Committee Working Groups:
- Electric vehicles and charging infrastructure.
- Login services
- Passenger Information Systems
Requirements Committee pre-studies
The pre-studies are a new way of evaluating a topic to find the proper scope and prepare for a new Requirements Committee working group. The first pre-study topic is on-demand transport, and the study had its kick-off on the 3rd of June, preceded by a presentation by Ruter and Bestmile at an earlier Requirements Committee meeting.
The pre-study objective is to define the role of ITxPT in the Demand Responsive Transport (DRT) ecosystem. It will define user scenarios and functional architecture and identify gaps and define what actions ITxPT should take. The pre-study will meet on the first Thursday every month from the first of July until December 2021.
Other topics that might become pre-studies are:
- Multimodal integrated ticketing
- Power management (pre-study or WG)
- Vehicle to IP review (pre-study or WG)
Emmanuel de Verdalle, the Chairman of the Technical Committee, gave a short walkthrough of the committee mission:
- Analyze Requirements Committee outcome
- Open Technical Committee Working Group to prepare the technical outcome from the Requirements Committee deliverables.
- Align the Technical Committee proposal with the Requirements Committee expectation
- Deliver the Technical specifications
He also informed about the introduction of Technical as guidelines for all new technical document development.
The Technical Working Groups that are currently active are:
- Passenger Counting
- Data dictionary
- Electric Vehicle (just starting)
Technical Specification: FMStoIP 2.0.0 Preview Release
The FMStoIP 2.0.0 specifications were the first preview release to be introduced. Therefore, Ole Anders Bae from ITxPT explained the concept to the meeting. A preview release comes connected to some promises:
- The specifications are complete! Same process as an official release
- The specifications may change – but only when necessary!
- All members having started implementation will be consulted!
- Implementations must be updated!
- Only one labeling activity counted.
The FMStoIP update is a significant update with many additions and clarifications. However, it is backward compatible to 99% and will deliver much more on the promise of being interoperable than the previous version. It is out now as a preview release, and ITxPT strongly recommends moving over to the 2.2.0 version since it will solve many issues from the last version.
The Data Dictionary Working Group has been developing mechanisms to streamline maintaining the dictionary and ensure that the Data Centric approach works for everyone.
Since the work with the Data Dictionary will be continuous, the Working Group will transform into an ongoing subcommittee under the Technical Committee. All material from the Data Dictionary is available in the GitHub repository here.
ITxPT is involved in several external projects vital to pave the way for specification development and bring together mobility stakeholders.
- Connecta 3 (Shift2Rail)
- Nordic Way 3
- Rivsilon 2
Upcoming Members Meetings
The preliminary dates for the autumn Members Meetings are:
16th of September
9th of December
Secretary General Anders Selling moderated the well-attended remote meeting, with over a hundred members who had signed up. For the first time hosted from a studio at Lindholmen Science Park in Gothenburg, the forum had an upgraded and more TV-like appearance.
Following the preparation work done by the ITxPT Collaborative Community, the Requirements Committee updated the Roadmap for 2021. The Roadmap update results from the ITxPT members' feedback through a survey sent out before the 10th of December Members Meeting. This news post will touch on some of the most critical aspects of the new Roadmap.
The ITxPT Technical Committee has added two new types of releases for documents/specifications. This article explains the functions and ideas behind the documents.
The Technical Committee and the Technical Work Groups have been productive, and the Board has recently approved an update of TR-001, the new TR-003, and a Preview Release of the S02P04 FMStoIP 2.2.0.
The very productive and well attended Technical Committee meeting on the 26th of August revolved around Working Group 1 - Data-centric - and its subgroups. It was an opportunity for everyone to take part in the discussions and share their views on the solid work done so far.