Cooperative ITS


We depend heavily on transport in our everyday lives. Yet continuously increasing road traffic generates serious problems in terms of congestion, safety and environmental impact. Fortunately, information and communication technologies offer new advanced solutions to today's transport problems.

Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) embrace a wide variety of communications-related applications intended to increase travel safety, minimise environmental impact, improve traffic management and maximise the benefits of transportation to both commercial users and the general public.

Stand-alone driver assistance can help drivers to i.a. maintain a safe speed and distance, drive within the lane, avoid overtaking in critical situations and safely pass intersections and thus have positive effects on safety and traffic management. However, benefits could be further magnified if individual vehicles were able to continuously communicate with each other or with the road infrastructure.

Over recent years, the emphasis in intelligent vehicle research has turned to Cooperative ITS in which the vehicles communicate with each other and/or with the infrastructure. Cooperative ITS can greatly increase the quality and reliability of information available about the vehicles, their location and the road environment. Cooperative ITS improve existing and will lead to new services for the road users, which, in turn, will bring major social and economic benefits and lead to greater transport efficiency and increased safety.

Our Role & Activities

Who is involved in ITS standardization work?

The mission of ETSI's Technical Committee Intelligent Transport Systems (TC ITS) is the creation and maintenance of standards and specifications for the use of information and communications technologies in future transport systems. Standardization is focused on wireless communications for Cooperative ITS, with a priority on the safety of life through the reduction of road fatalities and injuries, traffic efficiency with reduction of transport time and economic consequences, and polluting emissions. Connected vehicles will improve electronic toll collection and navigation systems, e.g. real-time maps that take account the current traffic situation derived from the Cooperative ITS network. 

As a consequence, the work of TC ITS is supported by a large variety of companies who  actively contribute to the standardization work. These include car makers like Volkswagen, Daimler and Renault along with automotive supply industry representatives such as NEC, Continental, Hitachi and Renesas. Equally, there are silicon vendors like Freescale, Cohda Wireless and Autotalks, network operators including T-Mobile, Telecom Italia and  Orange, research bodies like Eurecom, Fraunhofer and INRIA as well as test houses such as AT4Wireless.

Intensive links are maintained with the European Commission whose ITS related activities such as the iMobility initiative aim to stimulate the deployment of Cooperative ITS. The European Commission Mandate M/453 in the field of information and communication technologies to support the interoperability of Co-operative Systems for Intelligent Transport in the European Community stresses this importance.

Due to the international nature of this work ETSI cooperates closely with other international standardization organizations such as ISO, CEN, IEEE, SAE, ARIB, TTA, IETF and ITU in order to achieve internationally deployed and harmonised standards on ITS, essential to achieve worldwide interoperability.


ETSI standards on cooperative ITS related to the European Commission Mandate M/453 in the public domain are accessible via the ETSI standards search. Via this interface you can also subscribe for alerts on updates of ETSI standards.

For work in progress see the ETSI Work Programme on the Portal.