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A current, well recognised societal problem is the frequent failure of road transportation networks, resulting from traffic incidents, system overloading and lack of optimised support systems. The aim of this Action is to unite and align groups across Europe from computer science, engineering and transport studies into a world leading research community that will develop new ways of designing Road Transportation Support (RTS) systems based on the ideas of autonomic systems. If used as a platform on which to implement leading edge RTS technologies, such systems have the potential to deliver savings in the cost of system configuration, maintenance, and infrastructure, while potentially improving network efficiency and reducing the chances of human error. Using an autonomic approach to RTS is a novel and very ambitious idea requiring interdisciplinary community building, hence the need for COST, and a European dimension. This Action will bring together disparate strands of research into an integrated discipline, putting Europe at the leading edge of autonomic transportation system development. Additionally it will have the wider benefit of producing a transformative change within the field of autonomic systems itself that will translate to other application areas such as energy management.


Embedded software support systems such as those in transportation are now so complex that the need for a step change in the way they are engineered is apparent. In addition to aiming for conventional properties such as dependability, future systems need to be embedded with selfmanaging properties. Technologies and research expertise exists to underpin this step change, but are distributed throughout several disciplines. Launching the network will immediately bring attention to this issue through these disciplines, and forge a new community with the capability to meet this challenge.
The expected, tangible outcomes of the Action will be a sound foundation for ARTS technical infrastructure (common vocabularies, subject area classifications, shared technical platforms, new advanced algorithms, benchmarks etc) which will be produced through network activities such as workshops and short term scientific missions. Thus, the Action is initially aimed at scientific and technological advances, but these are seen as key to the delivery of satisfying economic and societal needs in the future.

Complementarity with other research programmes
This Action is unique in that it does not aim to advance the state of the art of RTS technologies, but in the engineering of the technologies themselves using autonomic principles. In this it will not duplicate results from current or ongoing projects, but it will draw on them. This includes road transport research and development programmes at national, European and global level, such as the EU projects EasyWay, E-FRAME, EMOTION, COOPERS and the EU NoE NEARCTIS. Likewise, it will utilise results from EU projects in advanced ICT, and major collaborative efforts such as in Organic Computing and Organic Traffic Control (DFG Special Priority Programme Organic Traffic Control project:
It will complement and interact with other existing European and National networks and Groups.
For instance, it will complement the imminent “ERA-NET road II” programme “Mobility: Getting the most out of Intelligent Infrastructure”. This activity will inform the Action’s members of the challenges faced by National Road Administrations in embracing new techniques to get the most out of the existing road network. While this programme is aimed at improving the implementation of intelligent infrastructure technologies in a relatively evolutionary and short term way, this Action’s aims are longer term and more revolutionary in nature.

Main/primary objectives
The aim of the Action is to unite and align groups from transport studies, computer science and engineering into a world leading research community that will develop radically new ways of designing road transportation support systems based on the ideas of autonomic systems.

Secondary objectives
In order to achieve the aims, the Action’s objectives will be to:

1. Assemble and integrate a critical mass of expertise and researchers from academia (transport studies, computer science and engineering) and stakeholders (manufacturers, consultants,suppliers, and transport authorities) with at least 50 members by the end of the Action, forming a research infrastructure within Europe on which to base collaborative research

proposals and future research programmes in ARTS, and supported by sustainable community platforms such as workshop series, mail lists, professional network tools, and web sites;

2. Identify and classify the specific role of autonomic systems within current applications and research areas within transportation systems, connecting up relevant industry and university research across Europe, and to disseminate to industry and user communities the impact and potential benefit of ARTS;

3. Coordinate research and development in determining an understanding of the technical, legal and institutional challenges to be overcome before the full benefits of ARTS can be achieved, and forming the framework from which these problems will be solved;

4. Produce a detailed assessment and quantification of the potential benefits of ARTS systems, especially related to its potential for lessening the environmental impact of road traffic while maximising the sustainable aspects of support systems.

The criteria for success of the Action will be as follows. By the end of the Action, there will exist an interdisciplinary, coherent academic community in ARTS covering at least 20 European countries, with a global profile sufficient to lead world research into, and development of, autonomic transportation support systems. The community will contain a body of early stage ITS researchers, with a penetrating understanding of the potential and underlying science of autonomic systems. The Action will have developed a road map setting out:

  1. The scope of the ARTS area
  2. The state of the art in ARTS research
  3. A catalogue of current applications and guidelines for good practice
  4. The main challenges to be overcome to enable the exploitation of ARTS and
  5. The landmarks to be met along the way. The legacy of the Action will include the road map, as well as books / special issue journals on ARTS that combines work from participants at the workshops. The number of joint publications, and collaborative grant proposals submitted by consortia of Action members, will act as a further indicator of success.

How will the objectives be achieved?
The Action will start with members from several European institutions. To increase membership, create a larger community, and raise its profile, the engineering of autonomic road traffic support systems will be set as a grand challenge among those researching in the enabling scientific areas for autonomic systems, throughout the subject areas of computing and engineering. It will engage and involve academics, technology developers and manufacturers, as well as end users, through the

(a) Workshops, Conference Events, Themed Challenges and/or Competitions will bring together research groups from different disciplines (e.g. Transport Studies, Computer Science, Autonomic computer systems, Control theory) to understand the appropriateness of various paradigms, share results and compare techniques. The events will publicise the Action to researchers within the wider communities, and inspire them to focus on the challenge of building ARTS systems. This will unite theorists with applications experts to investigate the feasibility of solutions to problems, and disseminate across European research groups the progress and state of the art in subareas. The co-ordination of series of such events will eventually lead to the evolution of a pervasive vocabulary of terms, techniques and standardisation of scientific methods, together with the exchange of standard interfaces, demonstrator technology and platforms between research groups that will accelerate research and lead to more robust means of validation.

(b) Short Term Scientific Missions will be aimed at bringing together traffic experts with autonomic systems specialists in order to develop proof of concept applications and demonstrator systems. This type of action will particularly benefit younger researchers or PhD students researching in autonomic systems, who would be able to access application expertise in a host institution, in order to help develop and/or validate their research theme.

(c) Summer/Training Schools will be aimed at attracting new, early career researchers into the area, and training them in the cross-disciplinary understanding required to develop as a successful researcher in the area.

(d) Gap bridging stakeholder seminars will be arranged (for example at established industrial symposia) with leading researchers demonstrating the potential of autonomic systems.
Academic events will lead to the creation of a set of portable, small-scale road transport
support applications, embodying aspects of autonomic behaviour. At the stakeholder events the demonstrators will be used to show the potential of ARTS technology to stakeholders and users in particular. Hence these seminars will feature practical demonstrations, in order to show concrete benefits and encourage the commercial adoption of the technology.


Target groups and End Users