TMC - Traffic Message Channel

What is TMC?

TMC is a traffic information service that continuously broadcasts digitally coded traffic information by FM radio. This enables your navigation system to take traffic congestions, road closures and other problems into consideration and avoid them when necessary.

Which information?

TMC service broadcasts all kind of information relevant for traffic, e.g. accidents, congestion, roadblocks, major road works, dangerous road surface conditions, incidents, weather, parking situation etc.

Which sources?

Source of traffic information transmitted via TMC are mainly sensors and cameras on the roadways, police, floating vehicle data (FVD) networks, road maintenance and road users via automobile clubs. In the future also movement information of mobile phones will be taken into account.

When and how fast?

TMC messages are continuously broadcasted and repeated regularly. Due to the automated processing network, it takes only seconds from the event until it is received in the navigation system, maximum a few minutes.

Which countries?

  • Europe: Introducing TMC, Europe was leading with Germany 1997 being the first country, closely followed by other western European countries. TMC is now covering almost the whole of Western Europe and some eastern European countries.
  • USA and Canada: in most metropolitan areas since 2005
  • Australia: in metropolitan areas since 2007
  • Currently tested in some countries of Asia, Latin America and Africa.

Which stations?

TMC transmission varies by country: being broadcasted by public and / or commercial broadcasting stations as a free or paid traffic information service.

Which quality?

The system for the generation of TMC messages is mature and the quality of transmitted messages is very high. Shortcomings in the quality of received TMC messages can be mostly attributed to bad receivers or poor integration of the receivers (software or hardware).

How many messages?

Several hundred traffic messages can be managed simultaneously using TMC in its current layout. Since the broadcasting service RDS (Radio Data System) is also used for other services besides TMC, broadcasters are able to increase its capacity (at the expense of less utilized other RDS services).

For more information about TMC

- FAQ of the TMC Forum

- Wikipedia

- Federal Ministry of Transport, Building, and Urban Affairs (Germany)

- Federal Highway Research Institute (Germany)

- RNE (public provider of TMC in Spain, Spanish)

- iTIS Holdings (provider of TMC in UK)

- Trafficmaster (provider of TMC in UK)

- Total Traffic Network (provider of TMC in North America, English)

- XM NavTraffic (provider of TMC in North America, English)

- les sociétés d'autoroute (provider of TMC in France, French)

- V-Traffic (provider of TMC in France, French)

- RAI (public provider of TMC in Italy, Italian)

- RTL (provider of TMC in Italy, Italian)

- TMC4U (provider of TMC in the Netherlands, Dutch)

- Vialis (provider of TMC in the Netherlands, Dutch)

- RTBF (provider of TMC in Belgium, French)

- VRT (provider of TMC in Belgium, Dutch)

- DIC PRAHA (provider of TMC in Czech Republic, Czech)

- ORF (public provider of TMC in Austria, German)

- Viasuisse (provider of TMC in Switzerland, English)

- DK-TMC (provider of TMC in Denmark, Danish)

- DESTIA (provider of TMC in Norway, Finland, and Baltic countries, Finnish)

- Vägverket (public provider of TMC in Sweden, English)

- ADAC (Automobile Club, German)

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