European drivers will soon benefit from safety environmental and efficiency improve-ments to their journeys thanks to the collaborative project being demonstrated at this year’s ITS World Congress in Vienna from 22 to 26 October 2012.

Research into how vehicles can communicate with each other and the road infrastructure around them is advanced. Currently  vehicle manufacturers suppliers road infrastructure providers and standards authorities in Europe are working together to bring about the market introduction of these advanced technology systems.

Vienna Driving Demonstration

Congress attendees in Vienna will have the opportunity to see for themselves how cooperative Intel-ligent Transport Systems can assist drivers in real-time and in real-world traffic. A series of example scenarios will be demonstrated in a collaborative project by the CAR 2 CAR Communication Consor-tium representing 58 partners from vehicle manufacturers suppliers and research organisations together with the Testfeld Telematik Consortium representing 14 partners from industry the public sector and road operators. Using sections of the TT Consortium’s 45km test-field route around the motorway junctions A2/A23-A4-S1 in Vienna participants in the demo will experience the interaction between telematic services delivered from road side units to and between intelligent vehicles via an exclusively allocated ITS frequency band for Europe (5.875 GHz – 5.905 GHz). Participants can also experience how intelligent cars as well as motorcycles and utility vehicles can alert one another to potentially dangerous situations such as when road users are obscured or in a blind spot. 

How does it work?

Intelligent vehicles transmit data for example about their position direction and speed as well as simultaneously receiving the same data set from other vehicles or information from road  infrastruc-ture such as the upcoming signal phase and timing of traffic lights. The exchange of data between the vehicles and infrastructure is imperceptible by drivers until a potentially dangerous situation is detected at which moment the drivers concerned will receive an alert.

Driver Benefits

Safety: Among the many valuable applications of this technology are some clear safety bene-fits for road users. The development of passive safety equipment such as seatbelts airbags and crumple zones have all reduced the severity of road traffic accidents but sadly not the frequency. Accident prevention can be enhanced by ensuring drivers are made aware of any potential collision.

The safety benefits of cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems include:

  • informing drivers when they are on a collision course with a nearby vehicle
  • informing drivers of the current speed limit
  • alerting drivers of an approaching and potentially unseen motorcycles or other vehicles when for example changing lanes or approaching a blind intersection
  • alerting drivers to probable red light violations by calculating information – based on driver speed and traffic light phase timing
  • informing drivers of local road conditions such as side winds and possible aqua-planing
  • informing drivers when there is an obstruction on the road ahead such as road works or the end of a traffic jam allowing the driver to reduce their speed in time

Efficiency and environmental performance: Further applications include real-time accurate information about traffic jams route recommendations and information about approaching emergency vehicles to ensure their efficient passage through urban areas and green light optimum speed advisory which can provide a signal phase and timing alert facilitating steady traffic flow and avoiding abrupt speed changes which cause high emissions.

Collaboration & Cooperation for an Interoperability Success Story

Over the last decade the operability and potential benefits of Cooperative Systems have been inves-tigated and thoroughly tested in several national and European research projects. The technical sys-tems allowing vehicles to communicate with infrastructure known as Car2X Technology will be ready for use in the second half of the decade on European roads. Through the hard work and investment in projects such as the CAR 2 CAR Communication Consortium and the Testfeld Telematik Consortium we are moving closer towards the international harmonisation of ITS standards to ensure interoperability across brands and across borders. The success of cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems lies in the deep cooperation between public authorities standards agencies road and infrastructure operators and the component and vehicle industries. We hope to see you in Vienna and you will see we are already there!

For more information contact Dr Karl-Oskar Proskawetz (CAR2CAR Communication Consortium) or Christoph Pollinger (ASFINAG).

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Original Publication Date: Wed 08 Aug 2012