ITS e-learning Holds First UK On-Site Training Programme in Newcastle

The CAPITAL ITS e-learning project held its first on-site training programme in Great Britain on 17th October during the Transport Technology Forum Conference 2018, at the New City Campus of Newcastle University.

Jointly organised by the IET, the UK Department for Transport (DfT) and Newcastle University, the TTF 2018 looked at the adoption and delivery of ITS and C-ITS by British local authorities.  Building up on previous events in Birmingham (Autumn 2017) and York (Spring 2018), it focused on the 26 C-ITS Pilot Projects supported by the DfT and delivered by local authorities across England.]

The event was an opportunity to showcase the completed CAPITAL training modules and online platform for the first time, and complemented the rest of the day’s agenda by demonstrating areas of C-ITS where gaps in knowledge are currently perceived to exist.

This was the fourth ITS e-learning live training session for CAPITAL, following previous events held in Italy, Finland and Croatia, held in partnership with the conference of the Transport Technology Forum (TTF) organised by the UK Department for Transport (DfT), a member of the CAPITAL consortium. 148 participants from local authorities, private sector, central government, and academia made up a diverse attendance.

Speakers at the conference addressed issues of interest to local authorities such as evaluation of results, procurement, data security, and privacy regulations, and new developments in Europe such as C-Mobile and the UK launch of CAPITAL, the EU-wide online C-ITS learning academy.

A session of the C-ITS City Pool, managed under the C-MobILE project, also provided an opportunity to share experiences from local projects, as well as a forum for local authorities to share information and learn from each other.  Launched in 2015, the C-ITS City Pool acts as a central meeting point between transport authorities already engaged in C-ITS deployment and other cities interested in how C-ITS can improve urban and regional mobility with the aim of raising awareness and support deployment.

In addition to the conference programme, participants were treated to a live demonstration of the Newcastle Connected Corridor operating on Gosforth High Street, where C-ITS connects buses with traffic signals in order to improve bus journeys, reduce congestion on the route, and improve air quality in the city. Expanding on the three-year Compass 4D project led by Newcastle University, the system allows the traffic signals to ‘talk’ to units on board the buses, holding the green light for a few seconds longer if the bus is approaching so the bus can pass through.

Further experience-sharing sessions covered a range of pilot projects from the DfT and what could be learned from them: the Smart Parking project from Coventry, the Asset Management project outline from the London Borough of Croydon, the Connected Information and Technologies project outline from Derbyshire County Council, and the Signal Phase and Timing project outline from Birmingham City.

Autonomous driving was also a hot topic for discussion, with The British Government’s Centre for Connected and Automated Vehicles presenting a session on ‘what does CCAV and future of mobility mean for Local Authorities?’

ITS e-learning meets local authorities

The CAPITAL training session, presented by Monica Giannini (ERTICO), took place during an extended lunch session in the form of a demonstration of part of one module of the online training platform.

For the demonstration, we chose the CAPITAL module #9: Information security, data protection and privacy’ says Monica Giannini. ‘We focused on this course module because it aligns with the key topics discussed today’.

Participants were introduced to Lecture 1 of the course, ‘Data protection and privacy in ITS’ delivered by Jennie Martin from ITS(UK), and were then asked to take part in a quiz. Ten multiple-choice questions were asked via a mobile phone app to participants in the two groups.

The first group averaged two-thirds of correct answers, while the second group hovered just above 50% – showing the need for additional training in ITS & C-ITS for local authorities and national administrations.

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) appeared to be a major source of confusion when it comes to managing privacy issues: only a minority of respondents were aware that processing of personal data by law enforcement for enforcement purposes is governed by a separate text (Directive 2016/680 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data by competent authorities for the purposes of the prevention, investigation, detection or prosecution of criminal offences or the execution of criminal penalties, and on the free movement of such data). Further down, a majority of quiz-takers got it wrong when it comes to the use of personal data as a means of payment for a service.

The audience remained involved throughout the rest of the day as the guests asked questions and reported personal and local experiences.  The remainder of the afternoon provided ‘hot topic’ sessions from selected speakers. These primarily involved security and privacy aspects, including GDPR and cyber-security, expanding on the subjects of the CAPITAL training.

The next CAPITAL on-site training event will take place in the Netherlands in June 2019.

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