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Specialist/Testing Task Force 585:
Specifications for definition of the Multi-Channel Operation (MCO) for support of Day 2 and beyond related Safety and Traffic efficiency services

Who we are:


Team leader:
Team Members:

What we do

The objective of this action is to extend the ETSI ITS Release-1 set of C-ITS specifications with a consistent set of interoperable Multi-Channel Operation (MCO) specifications, forming the bases of a Release-2 set of norms and standards to facilitate the growing amount of C-ITS and Automation requirements and increase of information exchange between C-ITS stations as required for handling the Day-2 and beyond road traffic services.

This action will focus on the extensions for the existing ITS specifications developed in response to European mandates M/453 (C-ITS systems) and M/546 (Urban ITS), in accordance with ITS Actions 1 3, 7, 9 and 19 of the 2019 Rolling Plan for ICT Standardisation.

This action will develop a set of specifications considering the currently available or being developed short-range technologies identified as ITS-G5 and LTE-V2X as part of an MCO communication approach supporting safety and traffic efficiency related information exchange making use of the spectrum according to spectrum efficiency requirements.

This action will realize these improvements based on ongoing European projects, on the Interoperability requirements as given by the ITS Directive 2010/40/EU *1* , the EC Decision 2008/671/EC *2* on safety related ITS and the CEPT report 71 *3*. Overall, the C-ITS requirements will be set as far as possible in an access layer technology agnostic way.

For more details, see our Terms of Reference

Why we do it

The Release 1 ITS specifications TR 101 607 *4*  support the initial deployment of Day-1 services and applications focused on providing road safety warnings based on the exchange of a limited amount of information while ensuring the privacy of the road users. Currently Day-2 and beyond developments of VRU, C-ACC and Platooning services and CPM, MCM and POTI awareness increasing facilities have started leading to market introduction of Day-2 services in the coming years. Features which will be integrated in to vehicles, motorcycles, trucks, public transport, emergency vehicles and VRU equipment.
These services are supporting business cases of interest. For Platooning, as an example, there is the EU H2020 project ENSEMBLE which aims to realize the initial deployment of the interoperable Platooning service in which all European Truck manufacturers and supply chain are participating to realize the required interoperability and to create the related Business environment. The realisation of an interoperable Multi-Channel Operation (MCO) environment is essential to ensure that these services can be implemented to realise a business impact the market expects and a social economic impact by increase safety and traffic efficiency, and contribution to the decrease of CO2 emission as identified. The development of the MCO approach will boost the development of these and next generation C-ITS and Transport Automation services by defining the access to the available spectrum in a coexisting and interoperable manner. Additionally, it will enable the support of more stakeholders, such as Urban Rail and Agriculture Automation making use of the interoperable technology and broaden the deployment of the envisioned systems.

Without proper standards in place (standards that need to cover communication aspects from the application to the physical layer) there is a great chance that a plethora of non-standardised proprietary solutions will appear on the market with obvious consequences that no interoperability and no conformity will lead with increased risk of road fatalities and no improvement of traffic efficiency. In addition, there might be integration problems and consequently the risk of reinvestment in the related deployed infrastructure and market products at a later stage in order to upgrade or re-engineer the deployed solutions to the required standards with obvious consequences in terms of costs and moreover no trust into the systems by the end users.

How we do it

ETSI will perform this work by the creation of an ETSI STF, reporting the milestones and providing the draft deliverables to ETSI TC ITS, according to the planned meeting agenda and additional dates agreed by the TC ITS Chairman. TC ITS WG2 will perform an active role in steering and contributing to this work. A significant contribution from the other TC ITS WGs especially from WG3 and WG4 as well as from TC ERM TG37 is expected.

Coordination with various other stakeholders will be necessary, under TC ITS supervision, to achieve the best outcome of this work and the widest possible collection of views amongst all parties concerned.  ITSCG will be involved in the process as well.

The STF will liaise with other SDO’s such as SAE, IEEE, CEN/ISO, 3GPP and those other players involved in the domain of C-ITS to assure the development of a consistent set of specifications. It will also liaise with C2C-CC, the C-ROADS platform, 5GAA, and other stakeholders. In addition, it is expected to interact also with relevant H2020 projects such as ENSEMBLE, Concorda, C-ROADS’s, InterCor, PROSPECT, XCYCLE, Imagine, AutoPilot, C-Mobile and SafetyCube. 


Deliverable ID Standard number/version Working title Scope/Remarks
D1 TR 103 439 V1.1.1* Intelligent Transport System (ITS); Multi-Channel Operation Study Including the Multi-Channel Operational requirements; system limitations; possible methods; Analysis of the impact on existing standards will be performed and included in an informative annex.
D2 TS 103 696 V1.1.1* Intelligent Transport System (ITS); Communication Architecture for Multi-Channel Operation (MCO) A specification specifying the ITS Architectural extensions to enable Multi-Channel Operation (MCO) operation.
D3 TS 103 697 V1.1.1* Intelligent Transport System (ITS); Multi-Channel Operation (MCO) for ITS Definition of the MCO requirements; definition of the functional MCO architecture; definition of the channel management mechanisms and related interfaces.
D4 TS 103 141 V1.1.1* Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS); Facilities layer function; Communication Congestion Control Definition of the MCO congestion control requirements and mechanisms; define the specify the related interfaces and message handling specifications.
D5 TS 102 636-8-1 V1.1.1* Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS); Communications; GeoNetworking: Part 8: Transport Protocols for Multi-Channel Operation (MCO): Sub-Part 1: Basic Transport Protocol Definition and specification of the GeoNetworking extensions for MCO to enable multi-channel operation.
D6 TS 103 695 V1.1.1* Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS); Access Layer specification for Multi-Channel Operation (MCO) in the 5GHz frequency band A specification specifying the access layer extensions for MCO to enable multi-channel operation.

Time plan


How to contact us

To contact us, please send an email to

*1* European Parliament and Council, Directive 2010/40/EU, 7th July 2010, “DIRECTIVE 2010/40/EU OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 7 July 2010 on the framework for the deployment of Intelligent Transport Systems in the field of road transport and for interfaces with other modes of transport”
*2* 2008/671/EC: Commission Decision of 5 August 2008 on the harmonised use of radio spectrum in the 5875 - 5905 MHz frequency band for safety-related applications of Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) (notified under document number C(2008) 4145) (Text with EEA relevance):
*3* Report from CEPT to the European Commission in response to the Mandate to study the extension of the Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) safety-related band at 5.9 GHz :
*4* ETSI TR 101 607: Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS); Cooperative ITS (C-ITS); Release 1:

This information is based upon STF working assumptions.

The views expressed do not necessarily represent the position of ETSI in this context.