CEN/TC 278 Intelligent transport systems 



After more than two decades of development, Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) are playing an ever greater role in increasing the efficiency of public and private transport, improving the driving experience and, most importantly, making a major contribution to road safety and reduction of energy consumption and pollution. ITS already controltraffic flow, collect road tolls, provide timely traffic and guidance information, safety advisory information, crash notifications, emergency vehicle prioritization, and 'infotainment'.


  • Well connected to European R&D
  • Cooperation between market players: industries, service providers, governments
  • 33 national members, with over 300 participating experts
  • 158+ ITS standards in use (2019)
  • Established in 1992


CEN / TC 278 liaisons


European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) produces globally-applicable standards for Information and Communications Technologies. ETSI and CEN cooperate in a number of fields where there is a common interest. The strategic coordination is handled by the ITS coordination group (ITS-CG).


ISO/TC 204 Intelligent transport systems
On a global level the corresponding standardization is handled by ISO/TC 204 'Intelligent Transport Systems'. A great deal of standards is developed in conjunction with ISO/TC 204. This cooperation allows for optimal use of available resources and expertise in both organizations. The figure below shows the alignment of the working groups.

 WG overview


CEN/TC 278 and European legislation 


Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) can significantly contribute to a cleaner, safer and more efficient transport system. Consequently, ITS have become the focus of a number of policy and legislative initiatives in Europe. The European Commission has laid down the legal framework in order to accelerate the deployment of these innovative transport technologies across Europe. Furthermore, the European Commission has requested the European Standards Organizations to develop and adopt European standards in support of this legal framework. Not surprisingly there is considerable activity in this area by the standards organizations CEN, CENELEC and ETSI. The following documents are relevant for the standardization work in CEN/TC 278:


  • Directive 2004/52/EC (EFC directive) on the interoperability of electronic road toll systems in the Community
  • Directive 2010/40/EU (ITS directive) on the framework for the deployment of Intelligent Transport Systems in the field of road transport and for interfaces with other modes of transport
  • Commission Decision 2009/750/EC on the definition of the European Electronic Toll Service and its technical elements
  • Mandate M/338 on Electronic Fee Collection in support of Interoperability of electronic road toll systems in Europe
  • Mandate M/453 on Co-operative systems for Intelligent Transport in the field of information and communication technologies to support interoperability of cooperative systems for intelligent transport in Europe
  • Mandate M/546 on Urban ITS on Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) in urban areas in support of Directive 2010/40/EU on the framework for the deployment of Intelligent Transport Systems in the field of road transport and for interfaces with other modes of transport.
  • The EC Rolling plan for ICT standardization provides an overview of the needs for preliminary or complementary ICT standardisation activities to be undertaken in support of EU policy activities.