European Space Agency

RISING - Road Information System for Next-Generation Cars


Road safety is one of the major concerns in every country. The European Commission has been taking several actions and plans to reduce road accident casualties. As an example, the European Road Safety Charter defined 10 principles where this project RISING fits completely:

  • Principle 1: "take measures to contribute to reducing the number of road deaths"
  • Principle 5: "develop and implement technologies to reduce the consequences of road traffic accidents"

The project "RISING - Road Information System for Next-Generation Cars" aims to contribute to the increase of road safety by providing localized and real-time Traffic and Travel Information to vehicle drivers.


The project goal is to develop and demonstrate a non-proprietary system and language-independent platform for aggregating, provisioning, distribution and delivery of Traffic and Travel Information (TTI) content to vehicle drivers.


The Figure bellow presents an overview of the RISING System.

click for larger image

The RISING system automatically collects TTI content from external content providers such as road operators and monitoring systems. The TTI Content is provisioned into the system and then it is broadcasted through a satellite communication to the hotspots installed along the road. The hotspots uses a Wi-Fi network to send the TTI content as TPEG streams to the in-vehicle Pocket PC device running a TTI Client software application.


The RISING project aims to give a valuable contribution to the area of automotive telematics by using satellite communication integrated with Wi-Fi technology as well as the TPEG protocol supported by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU).


The key issues to be addressed in the project are:

  • Development and Testing of the Content Management Server (CMS), Hotspot and TTI Client subsystems.
  • Integration of the CMS subsystem with the Brisa's content platform.
  • Use of COTS hardware for the RISING hotspots: the creation of a RISING European network will inevitably require the installation of thousands of hotpots on the roads. The main driver for the system is to establish a consumer product. One key element to reach this target is the produce a hotspot with a very low-cost.
  • Development of a business model for this product that seems to have potential in the global market.


European Union is facing an explosion in road traffic which brings consequences such as saturation of industrialized urban regions, environment pollution and unsafe roads due to the augmented traffic congestion.


The increasing numbers in road traffic brings some unpleasant consequences. In 2000, road accidents killed over 40 thousands people in the European Union and injured more than 1.7 million. Transport by road is the most dangerous and the most costly in terms of human lives.


During the next 10 years, the European Union intends to pursue the ambitious goal of reducing the number of deaths on the roads by half with integrated actions taking account of human and technical factors designed to make the trans-European road network a safer network.


The main benefit of the RISING solution is to provide a technology platform that exploits the convergence of wireless and satellite communication to help the broadcast of localized, relevant and time-sensitive traffic information to the vehicle drivers with the main goal of increasing the safety in the roads and highways and reducing the numbers in car accidents.


The RISING system is divided in three subsystems:

  • RISING Content Management Server: responsible for provisioning and distribution of TTI services to the RISING hotspots. It also provides a front-end interface to the content providers (i.e. service broadcasters such as the road operators).
  • RISING Hotspot: responsible for providing and managing a Wi-Fi network that is used to communicate with vehicles in movement. It receives and manages (e.g. caching and content lifecycle mechanisms) the TTI content sent by the CMS subsystem for later broadcast to the TTI Client subsystem.
  • RISING TTI Client: receives the TTI content sent by the Hotspot subsystem, decodes and exhibits it to the vehicle driver based on the user's profile. The TTI Client can be a Pocket PC device that is always looking for Wi-Fi connectivity. So, when a vehicle approaches the RISING hotspot it will receive the TPEG streams containing Travel and Traffic Information.

The Figure below illustrates the RISING system architecture.

click for larger image

The RISING system relies on open standards such as TPEG and Wi-FI. TPEG is a promising standard for traffic information systems and Wi-Fi is being adopted by the automotive industry namely automakers.


In summary, a network of RISING Hotspots is installed on the road. The Hotspots receive traffic information from the CMS subsystem over a DVB-S link and deliver it to the vehicles using an 802.11b network. The TPEG protocol is used to transport the traffic information to the vehicles.


The project started on January 2005 and it has three main phases as follows:

  • Phase 1
    • Requirements Analysis and Design
  • Phase 2
    • Software Development
    • Testing
    • Documentation
    • Integration and Demonstration
  • Phase 3
    • Pilot activities

During the project execution two other work-packages are undertaken:

  • Management
  • Commercial Feasibility Analysis

Three meetings are scheduled to take place in the end of each phase:

  • Phase 1: Baseline Design Review meeting
  • Phase 2: Mid-Term Review meeting
  • Phase 3: Final Review meeting

The pilot activities will take place on a Portuguese motorway under the concession of the Brisa partner.

Current status

Phase 1 was completed and the Baseline Design Review meeting took place in mid June 2005.

Regarding Phase 2 of the project the following goals were achieved:

  • Software Development of the RISING subsystems,
  • Software Verification and Validation,
  • System benchmarking: assessment of the RISING performance including the TPEG Library, CMS and Hotspot subsystems,
  • Field Tests: commissioning of two RISING hotspots on the A1 motorway. A detailed study was carried out to measure the performance of the system for receiving data with cars moving at different speeds,
  • Elaboration of documentation.

The Mid-Term Review meeting took place in mid November 2007 where the following were successfully demonstrated:

  • 1 RISING Hotspot installed and commissioned on the A1 motorway using a hybrid communication solution, i.e. DVB-S satellite link and a GSM network that is used for the return channel or as a fallback channel for the satellite link,
  • 1 RISING Hotspot, located at the A1 motorway, using a GSM communication only,
  • 1 RISING Hotspot, located at the IC2/EN1 national road, using a wired network,
  • The RISING Content Management Server located at WIT-Software premises was able to provision and distribute traffic information for the hotspots.

A car moving along the RISING hotspots received all traffic information on a PDA device running the RISING TTI Client software. Phase 2 was successfully concluded.

Phase 3 of the project is a 2.5 month field trial on Brisa's motorway starting February 2008. Four hotspots will be installed and commissioned using satellite and GSM communications. The TTI Client software will be provided to a group of users that will be using the system on a daily basis. Relevant feedback will be obtained from pilot users and system performance.

WIT-Software and the RISING team would like to thank the remarkable support that ESA User Support Office, ESA/ESTEC, ESA/ESRIN and the Austrian company GCS (Global Communication Systems) has provided us for the commissioning of RISING test sites using satellite communications.

Status date

Tuesday, December 9, 2014 - 17:33