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International Transport Forum: Project CROCODILE wins freight award for smart use of data

Transport ministers honour achievement at global summit in Germany | AustriaTech coordinated 13-nation consortium

A project to establish a transnational data-exchange infrastructure to end breakdown of cross-border traffic has won the 2016 Transport Achievement Award in the freight category. The prize is awarded by the International Transport Forum (ITF), a Paris-based intergovernmental organisation and policy think tank with 57 member countries.

Project CROCODILE was launched in 2013 to establish a trans-national framework to collect and exchange data for putting into place concrete improvements for road users – such as dynamic traffic safety information or information on parking space availability for truck drivers. It is co-financed by the European Union’s TEN-T programme.

CROCODILE addresses congestion and traffic gridlocks in border areas of Central and Eastern Europe that are caused by coordination gaps among road operators in a region that comprises several small countries with different languages and has high levels of cross-border traffic from three main trans-European road transport corridors (Baltic-Adriatic, Rhine-Danube and Orient-Eastern Mediterranean).

The CROCODILE consortium consists of partners representing the entire value chain, from raw data to end user services. It involves national ministries and their agencies, road operators and service providers from 13 countries (Austria, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia).

Within the project, partners agreed on a harmonised data exchange specification, installed sensors and cameras on thousands of kilometers of roads, upgraded truck parking facilities, improved traffic management centres, developed and improved several applications and, not least, brought together officials in a move to establish national access points for traffic data exchange. Completed at the end of 2015, CROCODILE 2 will continue and enlarge the activities.

The award jury saw in CROCODILE “a significant achievement in harmonisation of national ITS-related activities in the field of road transport” and praised the project for its “good results regarding institutional collaboration in a context posing significant challenges”.

Martin Böhm of AustriaTech, the Austrian government agency that co-ordinated CROCODILE, said: “This award acknowledges that cooperation and harmonised information exchange is one key to improve the traffic situation in an area with several small countries with different transport network characteristics. We see Crocodile as a starting point and are convinced, that our way is leading towards a safer and more efficient road transport system.”

The Award will be presented on 19 May during the 2016 Summit of transport ministers in Leipzig, Germany, in the presence of ministers from the 57 ITF member countries.

The CROCODLE project will be presented on 19 May from 10h30 to 11h00 at the ITF Open Stage Café, Level +1.

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