AKKA got involved in the AORTA project at the beginning of 2021. They conduct research projects with partners on automated rescue lanes for emergency vehicles in road traffic. To ensure the practicability of the research project, a pilot vehicle equipped with autonomous functions is to be tested on the “Nordtangente” in Kaiserslautern in three years. The Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure is funding the project with around 4.5 million euros.
In emergencies such as road accidents and disasters, every second count and a fast and correctly formed emergency lane can bring life-saving time advantages. Emergency services and associations estimate that four minutes earlier arrival of emergency services increases the chances of survival by up to 40% in severe injuries and acute health problems such as heart attacks and strokes. A correctly and timely formed emergency lane is challenging to implement without all road users’ foresighted and prudent actions. By automating the response of cars to an emergency vehicle request, the AORTA project shortens the arrival time of emergency services at the scene.
Forming an emergency lane often leads to a stressful situation for road users. Thanks to the bird’s eye view of the AORTA system, this situation can occur more safely and with less stress, as recommendations are sent to the drivers involved. AKKA contributes its excellent expert competency in the development of autonomous driving functions. A cutting-edge sensor solution, being new in the automotive sector, creates the possibility to detect the immediate vehicle surroundings with an accuracy of up to one centimetre, manoeuvring drivers through the rescue lane with high precision. Accelerating innovation, AKKA has already tested the first autonomous driving vehicles on open roads in 2012.
“As innovation drivers, our experts are working on solutions for the future with a focus on digital, electric, and autonomous transformation. I am convinced that we can make our traffic safer through outstanding engineering solutions. Saving lives through artificial intelligence – I fully support this goal of the AORTA project.
We look forward to working with the project partners,” says Derrick Zechmair, the CEO of AKKA Deutschland
In January, the research and development project AORTA (Automated Formation of Emergency Lanes in Complex Scenarios through Intelligent Networking) was launched. A consortium of eleven research institutions, public institutions, and industry partners lead by the Technical University of Kaiserslautern is studying and testing the automated formation of an emergency lane in AORTA.
The project goal is to integrate infrastructure, sensor technology, communication, vehicle technology, and display functions, enabling coordinated decision-making levels of various degrees of abstraction from the operations control centre to the automated driving manoeuvre on a small or large scale. A decentralized data platform is being developed, integrating an artificial intelligence that makes cooperative driving tasks and communicates them to the vehicles. It requires static and dynamic information from connected cars, digital road infrastructure, and sensors along the route of emergency vehicles. The solution is to design a compatible extension to existing and future automation solutions of vehicle manufacturers. It is based on current standards so that no modification on the vehicle side is necessary to integrate participating vehicles.
Dr Fedor Schreiber, leader of the Automation Tech Line at AKKA Research, said, “On the part of AKKA Research, we are contributing our many years of R&D expertise with autonomous driving, such as in the Link&Go or AUTOPILOT project. We are responsible for the high-performance embedded system, which, combined with the novel sensor solution and the multidimensional algorithm, should enable precise manoeuvring of the vehicle. Furthermore, we are responsible for the integration into an autonomous pilot vehicle as well as the implementation of a suitable demonstration to validate the overall concept.”