Galileo Green Lane- easing pressure at the EU´s internal borders

Barcelona, May 14, 2020.- The European GNSS Agency (GSA) in collaboration with the European Commission has developed a mobile solution, the “Galileo Green Lane” APP, to facilitate the free movement of freight, reduce waiting times at EU borders, and prioritize essential goods during the current COVID-19 pandemic response.

The APP uses the positioning services of Galileo and is designed to address the needs of border control authorities and truck drivers, with two intuitive user interfaces.

Real-time visualisation

For border control authorities, the APP provides a real-time visualisation of the situation at border crossings along with regular updates on the traffic flow situation. At the same time, the app provides Member States with a website where they can generate reports automatically, making it easier to comply with EU recommendations.

Several European Union countries have welcomed the opportunity to use “Galileo Green Lane” and the app has been already been tested at border crossings in Hungary and the Czech Republic. Other countries such as France, Greece, Italy, Romania and Spain are about to start testing.

“With the ‘Galileo Green Lane’ APP, the GSA is fulfilling its mission to address economic and societal challenges by leveraging the European GNSS capabilities,” stated Pascal Claudel, Acting Executive Director at the GSA.

For truck drivers, the app provides a real-time visualisation of borders, through an EU-wide map indicating crossing times. This enables logistic companies and drivers to better prepare their routes, having advance knowledge of the waiting time at each border crossing. In addition, the Member States can notify drivers via the app about the type of cargo that can access the priority lane.

When drivers enter a geo-fenced area within a specified distance from a border, they receive a notification produced by the border officers on the current situation at that border. Their location is collected anonymously only when they are approaching the border and it is solely used to update the overall border picture. Crowdsourced information is aggregated, including data from the leading European real-time visibility platform Sixfold.

Stronger Together

The International Road Transport Union (IRU) is helping to raise awareness about the new app among logistic and transport companies across Europe, to ensure the app becomes a resource for all end users.

“Efficient logistics depends on real time border information. We were therefore glad to work closely with GSA and the Galileo Green Lane app initiative from the very beginning and grateful for their understanding that IRU would be the most effective vehicle for promoting the implementation of the app through our members,” said Raluca Marian, General Delegate of IRU’s Permanent Delegation to the EU.

The GSA is coordinating the project with the support of the European Commission, in particular the Directorate-General for Defence Industry and Space (DG DEFIS), the Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport (DG MOVE) regarding needs linked to the Green Lanes, the Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs (DG HOME) gathering the border authorities of the Member States, and the Joint Research Centre (JRC) with its geo-fencing technology development expertise.

The contract for the development and testing of this application has been executed with FoxCom, a Czech software development lab, Sixfold, an Austrian company specialised in data management, and Spacetec Partners from Germany for the App design.

Initial reactions to the “Galileo Green Lane” APP

“While borders were closing and lockdowns looming, we opened Green Lanes to prevent a supply chain crisis. The European countries embraced this concept and made it operational very quickly. The ‘Galileo Green Lane’ app is a direct result of EU coordination in the transport sector, and the Commission stands ready to engage with the Member States further to develop this application into a permanent tool.” Commissioner for Transport, Mrs Adina Vălean

“The EU Space Programme has been fully mobilised to help monitor the impact of the outbreak and it will play an important role in the recovery period. This ‘Galileo Green Lane’ app is a practical example of how the European Union can assist public authorities but also private companies in the Member States to deal with the consequences of this crisis.” European Commission Director-General for Defence Industry and Space (DG DEFIS), Timo Pesonen

“With this app, the GSA is showing once again its agility and responsiveness in addressing emerging challenges, and more specifically in response to the COVID-19 pandemic crisis.” GSA Administrative Board Chair, Jean-Yves Le Gall

“It is pleasure for the Police of the Czech Republic to be involved in testing the ‘Galileo Green Lane’ application at the Czech borders. Smooth transport of goods is absolutely essential for the Czech Republic and we believe that this tool will be soon available EU-wide to help implement Green Lanes in practice.”Czech First deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, Jan Hamáček

We welcome the initiative of the Commission and the European GNSS Agency for the development of the Galileo Green Lane App as a solution to prioritize certain shipments and ensure the critical deliveries. We are very glad to be one of the countries to participate in this pilot phase to test the app at selected border crossing points and make use of this tool. The Galileo Green Lane App is a great example of how the European Union and member states can cooperate in efficient ways in order to deal with the consequences of this crisis”. Mr Nikos Stathopoulos, Secretary General for Transport Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport, Hellenic Republic

“We are pleased to participate in the testing phase of this innovative and important space-based solution, which has the capacity to offload borders and manage efficiently the transfer of critical goods. We also hope that, the extension of the Green Lane application in the EU can further facilitate coordination between border authorities.” Dr. Orsolya Ferencz, Ministerial Commissioner for Space Activities, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary

“Spain will take part in the Galileo Green Lane App test pilot, developed by the GSA, since it is a powerful tool that will allow us to grant relevant information to our international haulers, as well as it will provide our Public Administration with real time data information about the traffic flow in the EU internal land bordersDG for Land Transport from the Spanish Ministry for Transport, Mrs. Mercedes Gómez Álvarez

The COVID-19 crisis proved the necessity to further integrate the EU space programmes Galileo and Copernicus. With ‘Galileo Green Lane’ we demonstrate we are able to make the best out of the EU space programmes. Galileo infrastructure is now supporting one of the EU’s pillars: the free movement of goods within EU.” Member of the European Parliament, Chair of ITRE Committee in the European Parliament, Cristian-Silviu Busoi

“Space applications have provided effective support for the COVID-19 crisis management. Moreover, the European emerging space infrastructure has proved to be reliable and rapidly responsive in assisting authorities and citizens.” President and CEO of the Romanian Space Agency (ROSA), Marius-Ioan Piso

“Green Lanes have been pivotal during Covid-19 crisis for preserving the flow of goods in our internal market and they will be fundamental in the next phase when passengers transport will start again. I am glad to see that EU space infrastructure plays a key role in the well-functioning of our road transports in these difficult circumstances throughout the EU relevant space application Galileo Green Lane app.” Member of the European Parliament, Massimiliano Salini

At this time of great upheaval Galileo has fully demonstrated its usefulness to defend European priorities and its full capacity to be operational whatever the situation. Galileo Green Lane App is one of the successes that proves that space activities are essential in our daily live but also in crisis situations. It reminds us that the UE and the Member States must invest heavily in Space research and technologies in order for this sector to develop and to enable the Union to achieve its strategic autonomy.” Member of the European Parliament, Christophe Grudler

“The ‘Galileo Green Lane’ app is a great example of how space data can be used to reduce CO2 emissions, and to boost productivity and efficiency. This is just one of many examples of how space data can support our common good and make Europe more competitive.” Member of the European Parliament, Damian Boeselager

The ‘Galileo Green Lane’ app is converging networks, technologies and truck location data to provide European supply chains, retailers and logistics service providers with real-time information on expected delivery and delays at European borders. The benefits of knowing where goods are at any given moment are vital to supply chains and benefit business and citizens waiting for the delivery of critical goods.” Sixfold, CEO, Wolfgang Worner

Police in the Czech Republic are actively participating in the testing of the new app and believe that doing so will bring relief to some of the challenges faced by international truck drivers.” First Deputy President of Police of the Czech Republic, Martin Vondrášek

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