Caution, Traffic light is turning red! How cooperative systems support foresighted driving.

At the IAA Cars, two European projects make accessible how traffic participants will benefit from C2X communication in near future.

Frankfurt/Main. For drivers, it is an every-day, well-known traffic situation, nevertheless it considerably challenges their capacity of reaction and decision behaviour: The driver approaches a traffic light, but will he be able to pass it in green phase?  Shall he keep the speed consistent or slow down? At the 65th International Automotive Show Cars (IAA PKW), the European projects DRIVE C2X and COMeSafety2 show how cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems (C-ITS) will prospectively support the driver in comparable situations: with traffic information and relevant assisting him in foresighted driving.

For the first time, IAA visitors can experience first-hand how the connected vehicle affects the mobility of the future and how it contributes to enhanced traffic safety, efficiency and driving comfort. With the assistance of a real-life traffic scenario, DRIVE C2X and COMeSafety2 impressively present how drivers benefit from C2X communication: the optimal speed to pass a traffic light in a green phase is displayed to them on a human machine interface. In the same way they receive safety-relevant warnings, for example that a motorcycle is approaching which could be overlooked easier than other vehicle types due to its narrow outline, or that an emergency vehicle is approaching requiring the building of a rescue lane quickly. “In all these instances, targeted traffic information support the driver in reacting adequately regarding the situation”, explains Dr. Markus Straßberger, Project Coordinator of COMeSafety2. 

With these objectives, the European vehicle manufacturers currently invest intensively in research and development of cooperative systems for stepwise market introduction in near future. At this point of time so called ITS stations will be implemented in vehicles and traffic infrastructure. They automatically connect to a local ad hoc network using mobile communications and a specifically modified wireless lan and exchange traffic relevant data among each other. 

In terms of standardised message sets, vehicles inform for example about their position, speed, driving direction and vehicle type. Meanwhile road side units in traffic infrastructure provide data for example about the signal phases of traffic lights or current speed limits. Based on analysing these data, cooperative systems establish a comprehensive, highly topical picture of the traffic situation. They can generate traffic information and relevant warnings for the driver and the driving situation he is involved in. Examples are situations in which a broken down vehicle or other obstacles are blocking his route, a vehicle in front of him is suddenly braking or road works cause closure or diversion.  The availability of this information additionally contributes significantly to the enhancement of traffic efficiency. Traffic flows can be guided more effectively and the energy management in vehicles can act predictively, e.g. by optimizing the intervals of start/stop automatism or the strategy of recovering braking energy. The privacy of the traffic participant is protected by using changing pseudonyms in the communication protocols and the certificate hierarchy.

COMeSafety2 is a so called supportive action of the European Commission which has mandated the standardisation of cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems and Services (C-ITS) to the international standardisation organisations ETSI and CEN in 2009. These activities aim at developing the minimum set of standards which guarantees the interoperability of cooperative systems across borders and brands, meaning that vehicles and traffic infrastructure are talking in the same language.  This minimum set of standards will be published during 2013. Herewith an important step towards the market introduction of cooperative systems is performed. In the same way the large-scale field operational tests having taken place in the framework of the European project DRIVE C2X all over Europe have essentially contributed to the standardisation of cooperative systems. In DRIVE C2X, the reference system of the C2X communication has been developed and tested. “DRIVE C2X offers the unique opportunity to set European-wide standards and herewith to take an important step towards market introduction”, comments Matthias Schulze, project Coordinator of the European project DRIVE C2X.

For questions you are welcome to contact:

Tanja Kessel
Managing Director
Phone +49 30 3670 235-101
tanja.kessel@eict.de

Related links:

EU project DRIVE C2X: http://www.drive-c2x.eu/project
EU project COMeSafety2: http://www.comesafety.org/

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