Traffic controller joins campaign to release management information bases

May 27, 2020

Siemens Mobility—a leader in transport solutions for more than 160 years—has agreed to join the FREEtheMIBS (#FREEtheMIBs) campaign advocating for open sharing of proprietary management information bases (MIBs).

Siemens Mobility is now the second traffic controller manufacturer to make its MIBs available to any interested agency, vendor, or researcher.

Often kept proprietary by each manufacturer, the FREEtheMIBS campaign says MIBs are the common language protocols used in communication between central traffic management systems and ITS devices including traffic signal controllers. Traditionally, by keeping their MIBs proprietary, some manufacturers believe they can extend contracts for years, locking out more cost-effective and innovative equipment that cannot communicate with legacy equipment.  

Tom Stiles, founding partner of #FREEtheMIBs, called the move “a defining moment.” He said, “Having Siemens Mobility join the campaign represents significant momentum in the fight for open standards—and an open, more competitive playing field for the industry.”

“As a company that supports the concept of open architecture and protocols, it makes sense for us to be part of this,” Marcus Welz, CEO of Siemens Mobility’s Intelligent Traffic Systems for North America, said in a statement. “We believe this will provide more seamless communication, foster innovation, and help everyone access stronger safety and mobility applications.”

The #FREEtheMIBs campaign began late last year and has already generated significant traction and attention with advocates from state DOTs, now joining with private sector organizations and transportation leaders to promote open standards.