The research and development programme activities on ITS (Intelligent Transport Systems) of the Ministy of Transport and Communications in Finland continues in 2004-2007 in the form of the R&D programme on real time transport information AINO.
The goal of AINO is to develop the collection, management and utilisation of real time information in transport and thereby to create prerequisites for concrete ITS services, which will improve the safety, efficiency and sustainability of the transport systems as well as increase the well-being of citizens and the competitiveness of Finnish companies.
The programme has five sub-programmes:
- Public transport information
- Goods transport information
- Transport network status information, and
- Driver support and service framework.
Each sub-programme has a dedicated steering group involving the actors participating in the funding of the projects as well as other actors crucial to the success of the programme, excluding the project partners receiving funding from the programme. The programme management is assisted by the programme co-ordinator and management secretary. The sub-programme steering group leaders and the co-ordinator form the programme working committee, which also acts as the steering group of the service framework sub-programme dealing with generic issues common to several sub-programmes. The programme working committee allocates the programme funds to the sub-programmes and makes also other decisions concerning the whole programme.
ITS Finland acts as the AINO expert network, making initiatives concerning the orientation and content of the calls for project proposals as well as promoting the exploitation of the programme results in service development and provision.
Projects can be proposed into the sub-programmes in periodical open calls for proposals.
The total funding for the years 2004-2007 is estimated to amount to 20 million euros. The funding is provided by the Ministry of Transport and Communications (MinTC) and the transport mode-specific administrations, the municipalities, companies, the National Technology Agency, Finnish Academy and the European Union.
The AINO programme consists of five sub-programmes:
1) Public transport information
The objective of this sub-programme is to increase the attractiveness of public transport by providing real-time information, route guidance and a variety of value-added services in vehicles and at terminals. The services will help provide an optimal travelling experience by giving travellers the sense that they are in control of their trip and that the trip is going smoothly. The real-time systems also support public transport operators' operative fleet management, making public transport services more efficient, inexpensive and reliable. The services being developed in this sub-programme are easy to use and to understand. They also correspond to user requirements, and are accessible also to special groups (e.g. the elderly and persons with reduced mobility) and available through commonly-used existing systems. The services are available for a reasonable price (the service is either included in the price of the trip or available for a small additional fee) and can also be individually tailored in such a way that users are more than happy to pay for them. The services should be of sufficiently high quality (reliable, accessible, up-to-date etc.) and cover a large geographical area and number of transport connections.
2) Goods transport information
The objective of the Goods transport information sub-programme is to improve the management of deliveries and deviations in them, and to promote the use of paperless logistics chains independent of the transport mode or operator. This will help businesses rely on transport as on their own processes and allow logistics to switch to more efficient, paperless operations models. Hopefully the sub-programme will give rise to real-time services that aim to optimise the movement of transport through the supply chain and to modular intelligent electronic systems. Any services developed in this sub-programme should - if possible - be accessible independent of the terminal being used, through standardised data transfer methods and interfaces, with compatible information contents, easily and according to the freight transport telematics architecture. The services should be of sufficiently high quality (reliable, accessible, up-to-date etc.), nationally and internationally compatible, and - if necessary - light enough to realise. The services should also have competitive prices and cover a large geographical area and number of transport modes and connections. <