Traffic Message Channel
Traffic Message Channel (TMC) is a technology for delivering traffic and travel information to drivers. It is typically digitally coded using the FM-RDS system on conventional
FM radiobroadcasts. It can also be transmitted on DAB or satellite radio.It allows silent delivery of high quality accurate, timely and relevant information, in the language chosen by the user and without interrupting normal services.Services, both public and commercial, are now operational in many European countries.When data is integrated directly into a navigation system, this gives the driver the option to take alternative routes to avoid traffic incidents.
How it works
Each traffic incident is sent as a TMC message. One message consists of an event code and a location code in addition to time details.
The message is coded according to the "
Alert C" standard. It contains a list of max 2048 events (1402 pr 01.02.2007) which can be translated by a TMC receiver into the language of the user.
Location code tables are maintained on a national level and assign numbers to locations on the road network. Those location tables are integrated in the maps provided by
NAVTEQand Tele Atlas.
The source of traffic information is typically police, traffic cameras, loops,
floating car dataand others.
TMC-Forum is a non-profit organization. The members are service providers, receiver manufactures, car manufactures, map vendors, broadcasters (public and private), automobile clubs, public authorities and others.It is a forum to discuss traffic information related aspects. Furthermore it maintains the TMC-Standard (ISO 14819).On 11th November 2007 the TMC-Forum and the
TPEG-Forum has merged into TISA(Traveller Information Services Association). TISA has taken over all TMC-Forum activities.
In April 2007 research about RDS-TMC was [http://dev.inversepath.com/rds/cansecwest_2007.pdf presented] at the [http://cansecwest.com CanSecWest] security conference by two Italian security researchers.
The presentation, titled Unusual Car Navigation Tricks, raised the point that RDS-TMC is a wireless cleartext protocol and showed how to build a receiver and transmitter with cheap electronics, capable of injecting false and potentially dangerous messages.
Detailed instructions and schematics have also been posted on Issue #64 of
TMC services in operation
The following countries provide a TMC service:
[http://www.intelematics.com.au/ Intelematics Australia] has commenced broadcasting a national RDS-TMC service focused initially on the Australian capital cities (only available in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane currently), under the consumer brand 'SUNA Traffic Channel'. The service is transmitted by a national commercial FM broadcaster.
[http://www.mydrive.com.au/ Sentinel Content Pty Limited] provides a TMC Service service for Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane and is delivered using webservices and GPRS rather than RDS. It currently provides greater coverage than others and while it does not broadcast an RDS service it does provide navigation vendors with web based traffic services.
Austria, ORFis broadcasting the free service on the radio channels Ö1, "Ö2" (9 regional channels), "Ö3", "Radio Salzburg" and FM4and is supported by the "Federal Ministry for Traffic, Innovation and Technology (BMVIT)". "ASFINAG" is responsible for the location table, currently in version 2.1, in which a lot of new codes have been added for the Euro2008 championship. In total, around 8.000 location codes are present in this table.
Destia Traffic starts broadcasting traffic information in the Baltic region soon.
Belgiumthere are 4 TMC services: "TIC-VL", "BEL TMC" and "4FMTMC" in Flandersand RTBFin Wallonia. All of them are currently open services.
The service "TIC-VL" is broadcast by
VRTon "Radio 2" and is using content from the "Vlaams Verkeerscentrum" [http://www.verkeerscentrum.be] . Coverage of content and transmissions is limited to the Flandersregion.
In the southern part of Belgium,
Wallonia, the service "CLASS.21" is broadcast by RTBFon "Classic 21". The service is from the "Centre PEREX" of the "Ministère de l’Équipement et des Transports (MET)" in collaboration with "TMC4U". Both coverage of transmissions and content is limited to Wallonia.
A third TMC service is "4FMTMC" provided by "Vialis", which is also operating TMC services in the Netherlands. It is broadcast by
4FMin Flanders, but the content contains both the content from the "Vlaams Verkeerscentrum" and "PEREX" and so covers Belgium in total. In future they plan to add information on speed cameras.
The commercial PAYTMC service "BEL TMC" provided by "Be-Mobile" in collaboration with
Proximusand "Touring Mobilis" is mainly based on Floating Car Data. It is broadcast by VRTon Studio Brussel.
"Tritel" creates the location tables by order of the regional communities. Since December 2004 the broadcast messages are according to location table version 1.4b, in which N-roads are added. The latest, currently used, version is 2.3 (from July 2008).
Czech Republic, two services are available. They are in full operation from 1/2006.
A first service, called "DIC PRAHA", is available in
Prague. It is broadcast on Český Rozhlas" – Regina" (92.6 MHz). The service provider is "TSK-PRAHA" (Communication Technical Administration). The content comes from the traffic centre in Prague ("TIC Praha") and consists of closures and restrictions and levels of service in Prague.
A second service, provided by "Teleasist" together with "Global Assistance" is available countrywide, however is not as detailed as DIC Praha in specific areas. It is broadcasted by CRo1 Radiozurnal
TMC developments are coordinated by "CEDA". They are responsible for the location table (current version is 2.41, containing around 6.600 codes).
The free TMC service "DK-TMC" in
Denmarkis operated by "Vejdirektoratet" or "DRD" (Danish Road Directorate). It is broadcasted on DR "P1", "P2", "P3" and "P4".
They are also responsible for the location tables. Since October 2003 version 6.0 of the location database is transmitted, but already a backwards compatible version 7.0 has been certified by the TMC Forum in June 2004. In case of changes they will transmit both the old and the new location code. Nowadays, version 9.0 is used in Denmark which contains around 2.450 problem locations.
Destia starting to broadcast the TMC service in Denmark, according agreements.
The commercial serivce in
Finlandis provided by [http://www.destia.fi/tmc/english Destia] . The service covers biggest cities and roads 1-999. These areas cover the whole country. TMC messages are broadcasted nationally on YLE Radio Suomi channel. Destia uses several information sources to validate traffic data including induction loops, traffic cameras, radio stations, road users and several other partnership companies. The service is encrypted, based on the encryption specifications made by the TMC Forum.
The location table is provided by [http://www.tiehallinto.fi/english FINNRA] , the Finnish Road Administration. The newest location table is version number 1.42 and it is used by Destia’s TMC service. This version of the table contains around 8.100 problem locations.
Both a free public service and a commercial service are available in
The free service is provided by the motorway operators and provides information on their toll-roads. The toll-road operators are "AREA", "ASF", "ATMB", "Cofiroute", "ESCOTA", "SANEF", "SAPN", "SAPRR", "SFTRF" and "SMTPC". The TMC data is on the 107.7 traffic channel so it can only be received along the motorways.
The commercial service "V-Trafic" is provided by "Mediamobile". It is a partnership between TDF,
Renault, "Trafficmaster" and "Cofiroute". The service, which replaces the previous "Visionaute" service, is transmitted on the frequencies of "France Inter" and can be received nationally. It includes the information from the motorways but also on Paris congestion. The service was first open but it is now a pay-service, but it is not encrypted: by using a different location table number they can restrict the use. This method is "TMC Forum" 's Interim encryption method. They have about 60000 customers.
Next to that a service from "ViaMichelin" and "Carte Blanche" is provided, transmitted by the "Towercast" network ("NRJ" group). In September 2005
PSA Peugeot Citroënsigned a partnership with "ViaMichelin" for the use of this info in their navigation systems.
Location tables are released by the government agency "SETRA" and includes about 20000 locations. Since version 0.4 it includes both inside Paris and outside Paris. The latest certified version is 7.1 for France (containing around 13.500 problem locations) and 0.0 for Andorra (containing 62 problem locations).
Germanyboth a public and a commercial service are available. The public service is an open, free service that can be received by the public radio stations.
The other service "TMCpro" is a pay service provided by "T-Systems Traffic", a wholly owned subsidiary of
T-Systems. The service went live at the beginning of 2005 across Germany. The content is provided by "ddg Gesellschaft für Verkehrsdaten mbh", a wholly owned subsidiary of "T-Systems Traffic GmbH". It is an encrypted service, based on the conditional access specifications made by the "TMC Forum".
"BAST", the German Federal Highway Research Institute, is releasing location tables. In version 5.1 all major access roads leading to the football arenas which were used in the World Championship in 2006 were added. The current version is 7.01, which contains around 33.000 location codes.
Public service available from 2008-08-01 in Budapest and from 2008-08-20 in the rest of the country. The current version of the location table is 1.0 .
A private service has been announced by
Sam Road, the Iranian company which provides an Automotive navigation system. The service will initially be available only for Sam Road customers. However they have stated an intention for the service become publicly available before 2012.
A public RDS-TMC service free of charge is available in
Italyfrom 1 July 1998. "CCISS" (National Traffic Information Centre) is providing the service. It is broadcast on the RAIFM network, on "Radio 1"; this service covers only the Northern Italy, from Turin to Venice.
Another TMC service is provided by the commercial radio station RTL in cooperation with InfoBlu, transmitted on the national radio station
RTL 102.5. This service is available as Premium Service so you have to use a software enabled receiver. The service covers 90% of the population of Italy, and is still increasing.
The Italian location table, provided by RAI-CCISS, is in its version 2.1 with around 12.500 codes.
The service provider "TMC4U" is delivering a TMC service in
The Netherlands. Currently it is free, but they plan a pay-service including local information. "TMC4U" is a collaboration between "Siemens" and "ANWB". The transmissions are on the radio channels of "SkyRadio", "Radio Veronica", "Radio 1" and "Radio 3".
A second TMC service "ViaTMC" is provided by "Vialis". They are transmitting on the FM channels of "Q-music" (previously "Radio Noordzee"), "BNR Nieuwsradio" and "Radio 538". Information of traffic jams, road works and so on is the same on both channels, but they add information on
speed traps to it independent of each other.
Radio 2 is also sending out TMC-messages, working with data from Vialis.
Location tables come from "AVV Transport Research Centre" and are supplied by "TIC Nederland". The current version is 6.1 which has additions for parking areas / parking lots compared to the 'old' 2003.a version.
Norwaydoes not yet have a TMC-service available. In 2003 there was an experiment with distributing TMC-messages in a limited area (Østfold, Akershus and Oslo). A private actor might start a commercial service during 2008. In June Destia starts to broadcast the TMC service in Norway.
"Statens Vegvesen", the "Norwegian Public Roads Administration (NPRA)", is releasing location tables. The current version is 2.0, containing around 4.600 locations.
A TMC service is available in
Spainon "RNE 3". It is provided by
* SCT as the operator of traffic management in Catalonia Autonomous Community
* DT in the Basque Country Autonomous Community
* DGT (Traffic General Directorate) as the operator for the rest of the country's traffic management.The road network coverage is the motorways, national roads and first level roads that belong to the Autonomous Communities. Next to that, RACC [http://www.racc.es/] is working on urban TMC services, starting with Seville and Barcelona. This will broadcast on "RNE 2".
Location tables are coming from "DGT", "Dirección General de Tráfico". The current version is 2.1 and contains about 7.750 problem locations.
A free service is available in
Sweden. "SRA", the "Swedish Road Administration" or "Vägverket", is responsible for the free service and for making the location tables. The previous version 1.2003 contained about 9800 locations. Since October 2004 version 1.1.2004 is transmitted. After that version 1.2005 and 2.0.2006 were used. Nowadays version 2.1 is in use for broadcasting TMC messages, which contains more than 5000 changes / additions to version 2.0. Version 2.1 adds a lot of new location codes for more 'secondary' roads. New versions are always backward compatible.
Regarding the transmission, Sweden is divided into 8 broadcasting zones in order not to transmit traffic information that is not useful at that location. They cover the European, national and major county highways and contain information about traffic accidents, road works and road weather.The service is broadcasted on
Sveriges RadioP3 radio station and covers 98 percent of Sweden.
The free service will be canceled before 2012, depending on how updates of old devices will be solved.Destia starts to broadcast a pay TMC service in Sweden after the 1 of oct 2008 which will be encrypted,together with the free TMC service.
A TMC service is available in
Switzerland. The broadcaster is SRG SSR idée suisseor "Swiss Broadcasting Corporation" who transmits TMC on "FM chain 1" (general, services) and "FM chain 3" (pop/rock) all over Switzerland.
* In German speaking areas: DRS 1 (G) / DRS 3 (G) / RSR 1 (F) / RSI 1 (I) partly
* In French speaking areas: RSR 1 (F) / RSR 3 (F) / DRS 1 (G) / RSI 1 (I) partly
* In Italian speaking areas: RSI 1 (I) / RSI 3 (I) / DRS 1 (G) / RSR 1 (F)It is "Viasuisse", a daughter company of it, that operates the service.
Location codes are the responsibility of the "Swiss Federal Roads Authority FEDRO" but "B+S Ingenieur (Bundesamt fur Strassen)" makes the location tables. Version 5.5 is the latest version, containing around 10.000 codes, and is backwards compatible.
The private company " [http://www.itisholdings.com/itmc.asp iTIS Holdings] " provides a commercial TMC service "iTMC" in the
United Kingdom. It is broadcast nationally on Classic FM. The price of the service can be included in the price of the car or of the navigation system. This system uses traffic data collected from sensors installed on fleet vehicles known as a Floating Vehicle Data system consisting of approximately 50,000 vehicles. Eddie Stobart haulage have this system installed within 750 vehicles, AA Patrol 3,800, and National Express530.
"RAC Live" operated by "RAC Trafficmaster Telematics" (RTT) a 50-50 joint venture between RAC Motoring Services and "Trafficmaster" also operates a national service. It uses 3 commercial radio broadcasters, GWR, Capital radio and Chrysalis who together ensure reception across mainland Britain. This system uses a road side infrastructure to measures a vehicle's travel time between sensors placed a few miles apart, and uses number plate recognition technology.
Both providers are responsible for their own location tables. The current location table version of "ITIS" is 5.1. The current location table version of "Trafficmaster" is 3.1 .
Within the United Kingdom TMC services are only offered as pay services. As such they are currently always carried by commercial radio stations rather than by the BBC, a public service broadcaster. The BBC is required by its charter to be free from both political and commercial influence and is therefore unable to carry a pay service unavailable to all.
United States of America and Canada
United States of America, XM Satellite Radiostarted transmitting TMC messages all over the US already whereas Sirius Satellite Radioannounced it. Also Clear Channeland Tele Atlashave a TMC service, using FM-RDS in 77 US cities and three Canadian metropolitan areas. [cite press release
title = Traffic Data Goes High Def with Clear Channel Radio
publisher = Clear Channel Radio
date = 2007-07-09
url = http://www.clearchannel.com/Radio/PressRelease.aspx?PressReleaseID=1992
accessdate = 2008-04-14 ]
Other planned services
It is also planned in
Portugaland Hungary(test broadcast to be [http://www.kosarmagazin.hu/elozetes/?newswf2_id=366&newswf2_action= expected] for the second-half of 2008). In Irelandand Luxembourgno service is currently planned. In Polanda private radio station did some tests but "General Directorate for National Roads and Motorways" (GDDKIA) didn't decide yet on a real implementation. In Dubaithe location table version 1.2 has been certified. In Turkeyit is planned but not in usage yet.
Chinathey are currently investigating on which technology their traffic information system will be based. The main choice is between the Japanese system VICS and the European "TMC". A TMC Location table version 1.0 has been certified already.
Intelligent transportation system
** [http://www.tisa.org TISA New Official Website of the TMC and TPEG Forum successor]
** [http://www.tmcforum.com TMC Forum]
** [http://www.rds.org.uk/episode/2_4.htm RDS-TMC Standards]
** [http://www.rds.org.uk/rds98/rdsbooks.htm RDS: "The Radio Data System", "The Broadcasters Guide to RDS"]
** [http://www.sbd.co.uk/assets/rds_tmc_whitepaper.pdf SBD Whitepaper: Best practice recommendations for implementing RDS TMC services]
** [http://www.rds.org.uk/episode/rdstmcbrochure.htm TMC: What is it all about?]
** [http://www.navigatiehosting.nl/TMC/tmczenderframelinks.htm Map and overview of TMC-transmitters in Europe]
** [http://dev.inversepath.com/rds/cansecwest_2007.pdf Injecting Traffic Information Signals]
[http://www.irt.de/IRT/FuE/id/inhalt-tmc.htm TMC Service Germany (public service) technical data]
** [http://www.t-traffic.de/t_traffic/info/tmcpro/index.html TMC Service TMCpro Germany (T-mobile Traffic)]
** [http://184.108.40.206/ORF/steiermark.html Frequencies ORF]
** [http://www.bs-ing.ch/corvette/map_frame.htm TMC Service Switzerland: B+S Ingenieur]
** [http://www.viasuisse.ch/?lang=en-US TMC Service Switzerland Viasuisse website]
** [http://www.verkeerscentrum.be/verkeersinfo/default TMC Service Belgium (Flanders)]
** [http://www.radio2.be/nieuw/info/frequenties/nieuwfrequenties.htm Frequencies Radio 2 (Flanders)]
** [http://routes.wallonie.be/trafiroutes/Redirect.do?form=framed/carte TMC Service Belgium (Wallonia)]
** [http://www.rtbf.be/rtbf_2000/bin/view_something.cgi?id=0151236_pagefiche Frequencies Classic 21]
** [http://www.vv.se/tmc TMC Service Sweden]
** [http://www.anwb.nl/servlet/Satellite?pagename=OpenMarket/ANWB_verkeer/Verkeersinformatie_nederland TMC Service Netherlands - ANWB]
** [http://www.traphic.nl TMC Service Netherlands - Vialis]
** [http://www.tmc4u.nl TMC4U]
** [http://www.v-trafic.com TMC Service France – V-Traffic Mediamobile]
** [http://www.radiofrance.fr/chaines/france-inter01/laradio/frequences/frequences_result.php Frequencies France Inter]
** [http://www.viamichelin.com/viamichelin/fra/tpl/psg/presse/doc/ViaMichelin-DP-traffic-2111.pdf ViaMichelin/PSA partnership]
** [http://www.dgt.es/trafico/estado_circulacion/estadoCarreteras.htm TMC Service Spain - DGT]
** [http://www.bcn.es/transit/nv2/transit.htm?idioma=s - Barcelona]
** [http://www.trajano.com/mapa_estado_trafico.html Sevilla]
** [http://www.vejdirektoratet.dk TMC Service Denmark]
** [http://www.dr.dk/p3/frekvenser.asp Frequencies P3]
** [http://www.dr.dk/p4/frekvenser.asp Frequencies P4]
** [http://www.destiatraffic.com TMC Service Nordic and Baltic countries - Destia Traffic]
** [http://www.destia.fi/tmc/engligh/ TMC Service Finland - Destia]
** [http://www.tiehallinto.fi/alk/english/ TMC Service Finland]
** [http://www.tiehallinto.fi/servlet/page?_pageid=75&_dad=julia&_schema=PORTAL30&kieli=en&menu=8304&_pageid=71&kieli=en&linkki=14504&julkaisu=5360 Tiehallinto TMC]
** [http://www.radio.rai.it/cciss/databasetmc.cfm TMC Service Italy RAI]
** [http://www.rtl.it/tmc_cosa.asp TMC Service Italy RTL]
** [http://www.vegvesen.no/servlet/Satellite?cid=1157615710756&pagename=vegvesen%2FSVVartikkel%2FSVVartikkelMedRelatert&c=SVVartikkel TMC Service Norway]
** [http://www.itisholdings.com TMC Service UK ITIS]
** [http://www.trafficmaster.co.uk/ TMC Service UK TrafficMaster]
** [http://www.classicfm.com/article.asp?id=215504&page=3 Classic FM Transmitter Listings]
** [http://www.pocketgpsworld.com/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=55886 ITIS Public Forum]
* Czech Republic
** [http://www.connect-project.org/fileadmin/download/RDS-TMC_Workshop_Oct_2005/Development_of_RDS-TMC_in_the_Czech_Republic.ppt Presentation on TMC in Czech Republic]
** [http://www.rds-tmc.cz/index_en.html RDS-TMC website Czech Republic]
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