SOCRATES stands for “System of Cellular RAdio for Traffic Efficiency and Safety”. This paper provides an update on what many consider to be the technology with the greatest potential for successfully achieving the realisation of an Integrated Road Transport Environment (IRTE).
SOCRATES is a complete system: developments within the SOCRATES projects include applications, in-vehicle equipment, information centres and system architecture, as well as communications. However, one of the key areas within the SOCRATES research concerns the potential future communications system and this paper will cover this area in particular. DRIVE Central Office has given the responsibility to the SOCRATES Kernel project to investigate how applications and communications bearers (particularly mobile) may be integrated in an efficient and standardised way. This work area covers the extension of work begun in the DRIVE 1 projects SOCRATES and CIDER on the concept of the “DRIVE Normalised Transmission” or DNT. The DNT is a means to integrate and standardise communications for RTI/ATT/IVHS, to conform to the OSI framework, to make use of available ISO/OSI protocols where possible, and to promote new standardisation activities.
During the concluding stages of the SOCRATES 1 project, within the DRIVE 1 initiative, the partners realised that there was a continuing need for the overall coordination of SOCRATES developments. Plans were being made for the implementation of SOCRATES pilot projects, and the concept emerged of a “Kernel” project which would perform this function of overall coordination.
SOCRATES pilot systems are being implemented in London, Gothenburg and the Hessen region of Germany. The SOCRATES Kernel performs a coordination and liaison role for the establishment of future SOCRATES services in a pan-European context.