Intelligent cars alert each other to hazards

Oct 12, 2011

The largest field test for vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication worldwide is about to get under way. Scientists, auto makers, communication companies and public-sector institutions have teamed up to develop a system that allows cars to share information on traffic conditions and impending hazards. Researchers from the Technische Universitaet Muenchen, Germany, are currently devising the test scenarios that 120 vehicles will use to put the system dubbed simTD through its paces on Germany's roads next spring.

Notice traffic blocks before they are visible. Recognize risky situations before they get out of hand. Reach your destination on time, safe and relaxed. The "Safe and Intelligent Mobility – Test Field Germany (simTD)" research project is pursuing these aims. The idea is to electronically network vehicles and infrastructure by means of car-to-X communication. A fleet of 120 vehicles fitted with the system developed by the simTD consortium is about to demonstrate how this works in practice on the highways, rural and urban roads in and to the north of Frankfurt am Main over several months. "Over the past few years a multitude of car-to-X technologies have been developed. The common standard should now allow us to investigate how drivers adopt this technology in everyday scenarios and to what extent we can improve road safety, prevent congestion and reduce CO2 emissions," as Prof. Fritz Busch, TUM Chair for Traffic Engineering and Control outlines.

The simTD–System is using wireless technology that was specifically developed for this automotive field of application. The technology is based on the well-known WLAN standard. Information can either be transferred directly to other vehicles or to Roadside Stations installed along the road. If the communication partner is not located in close vicinity to the sender, other vehicles can transmit or store and forward information.

The vehicles transmit information on the to the control station, which can then predict and manage traffic developments. A display provides drivers with recommendations on the best route. The system also assists drivers at intersections or traffic lights by providing a timely display of the right lane for the next turn, or the optimum speed to ride a "wave of green traffic lights."

The system also alerts drivers to imminent hazards. An emergency braking lamp in the display, for instance, warns the driver if a vehicle ahead brakes heavily – well before the driver is physically able to react to the situation. Where rescue services are responding to an incident, the system shows the direction and the lane taken by the emergency vehicles, enabling the driver to know precisely where they are. If obstacles, such as lost cargo, are blocking the road, drivers receive timely advice on alternative routes.

What kind of formations, at what times, and which routes do the individual vehicles in the test fleet have to take to produce reliable results? Scientists from the TU München are looking at all these questions. Their remit is to prepare the and subsequently to analyze the huge amounts of data produced. Together with the University of Würzburg, they also run the simTD simulation laboratory. Here, the traffic engineers from the TUM simulate what impact the introduction of the technology would have on the entire traffic in the test area if a certain proportion of cars were fitted with this technology. The Würzburg-based traffic psychologists are using a driving simulator to investigate driver behavior particularly where safety concerns prevent certain scenarios from being tested on the road.

The Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi), the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development (BMVBS) provide funding for simTD, because this consortium has the potential to promote a new dimension of foresighted driving, traffic control, and accident avoidance. The ministries are convinced that a commonly agreed standard is essential for the commercial deployment of this pace-setting technology. "With the simTD-system, we are presenting a trend-setting technology that will allow vehicles from leading German manufacturers to network with one another and with the infrastructure," explains project coordinator Dr. Christian Weiss."Car-to-X communication will make driving safer, more convenient and more efficient. The results of the simTD project represent an important component for the mobility of the future."

Explore further: Researchers propose network-based evaluation tool to assess relief operations feasibility

Provided by Technische Universitaet Muenchen

5 /5 (2 votes)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

When cars talk to one another

Feb 08, 2011

Networking vehicles with one another and with the infrastructure gives the driver information on the situation beyond his or her field of vision and warns the driver about accidents or traffic jams. Researchers ...

Cell phone signals help manage traffic

Sep 26, 2011

In a pilot project in Texas, Siemens is developing intelligent transportation technology for the fast and orderly evacuation of citizens. In this project, traffic light timing systems register traffic flow ...

Someday 'talking cars' may save lives

Jan 27, 2011

Could "talking cars" save lives? Auto companies are developing safety systems using advanced WiFi signals and GPS systems that could allow vehicles to communicate with each other on the road. The cars could then send messages ...

Software gets smart cars talking

Feb 11, 2008

New technology allowing a group of vehicles to exchange data automatically with each other and with traffic control centres could pave the way for a more efficient and safer European road network.

Preventing traffic accidents before they happen?

Nov 05, 2008

(PhysOrg.com) -- A new automotive safety systems built by European researchers will alert drivers to potential hazards by using information from the car, other road users and the roadside infrastructure to predict and prevent ...

Recommended for you

Large streams of data warn cars, banks and oil drillers

8 hours ago

Better warning systems that alert motorists to a collision, make banks aware of the risk of losses on bad customers, and tell oil companies about potential problems with new drilling. This is the aim of AMIDST, the EU project ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

pokerdice1
not rated yet Oct 13, 2011
And better yet, do increase efforts to get the driver out of the loop, except in failure of guidance systems. In that case the human driver takes over long enough to pull over.

More news stories

IBM posts lower 1Q earnings amid hardware slump

IBM's first-quarter earnings fell and revenue came in below Wall Street's expectations amid an ongoing decline in its hardware business, one that was exasperated by weaker demand in China and emerging markets.

Microsoft CEO is driving data-culture mindset

(Phys.org) —Microsoft's future strategy: is all about leveraging data, from different sources, coming together using one cohesive Microsoft architecture. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella on Tuesday, both in ...

Quantenna promises 10-gigabit Wi-Fi by next year

(Phys.org) —Quantenna Communications has announced that it has plans for releasing a chipset that will be capable of delivering 10Gbps WiFi to/from routers, bridges and computers by sometime next year. ...

Down's chromosome cause genome-wide disruption

The extra copy of Chromosome 21 that causes Down's syndrome throws a spanner into the workings of all the other chromosomes as well, said a study published Wednesday that surprised its authors.

Researchers see hospitalization records as additional tool

Comparing hospitalization records with data reported to local boards of health presents a more accurate way to monitor how well communities track disease outbreaks, according to a paper published April 16 in the journal PLOS ON ...

Ebola virus in Africa outbreak is a new strain

The Ebola virus that has killed scores of people in Guinea this year is a new strain—evidence that the disease did not spread there from outbreaks in some other African nations, scientists report.