River Information Services (RIS) for Rhine-Main-Danube will be installed in forthcoming years. The system concept is based on a transponder network embedded in a communication network on shore. The position data of the vessels are compiled to a Tactical Traffic Image (TTI) which is displayed by an Electronic Chart Display and Information System (ECDIS). Positioning technologies used for traffic management systems on inland waterways have to fulfil high requirements regarding accuracy, integrity, and availability. For positioning, DGPS with local reference stations is used.
The advantages of the TTI for the user are increased transport safety, support of the steersman, and monitoring of the transport of dangerous goods. The commercial inland navigation benefits by minimizing the costs of the non-productive time in harbours, by reducing the fuel consumption caused by calculated continuous speed, and by simplifying the logistic flow of multi-modal traffic operations. Around 2008, an upgrade of the existing technology is necessary and new technologies will be evaluated for the later integration into the present Donau River Information System (DoRIS) test-centre in Vienna. The project EPRIS covers the integration of the maritime state-of-the-art system IALA (radio beacon DGPS) and future systems (EGNOS, GALILEO) into the DoRIS test-centre to identify migration paths for innovative positioning and navigation technologies in order to improve the present system concept of RIS.