IoT technologies can drastically improve the abilities of the self-driving vehicle in better understanding its environment, in addition to the sensors that already exist (camera, radar, lidar, etc.). These were amongst the results of AUTOPILOT, a large-scale pilot project that breaks ground for a new generation of mobility services associated with self-driving vehicles.

The findings of this three-year innovation action, coordinated by ERTICO, concretely pave the way towards a smarter mobility with higher levels of safety (for passengers and pedestrians), efficiency (allowing drivers to avoid traffic congestions and facilitating their parking search) and sustainability (through reducing fuel consumption).

Launched in 2017, AUTOPILOT, devoted to the contribution of the Internet of Things (IoT) to self-driving, brings together an international consortium of 45 partners on 6 trial sites located in Europe and South Korea. The results were revealed in Versailles, during its final event “A glimpse into the future: IoT for Autonomous Driving”.  After three years of work, last 6th of February the AUTOPILOT project celebrated the results achieved.

“The results of AUTOPILOT have confirmed that IoT plays an important role in developing a new generation of mobility services and, more broadly, to understand mobility as a service. This project is contributing to the deployment of the European Commission’s strategy relative to connected and automated cross-border corridors, as well as the objective of reduction to zero fatal road accidents by 2050” ,

says François Fischer, Senior Manager Innovation & Deployment at ERTICO.

IoT at the service of “augmented” mobility

IoT can connect all types of device to the Internet to share information and use added-value. Autonomous vehicles are thus connected to share information from the on-board sensors, as well as from smart phones of pedestrians and cyclists, traffic sensors, parking detectors, etc. Cloud computing services use and combine all this information to enhance the data and provide added-value services to self-driving vehicles.

IoT, for better anticipation of the driving environment

The information from the IoT received by the self-driving vehicle enhances that detected by its sensors, which enables it to better anticipate imminent events and risks present in its environment. The results of the AUTOPILOT project highlight:

  • improved road safety of vehicle passengers and users through detecting pedestrians or cyclists and obstacles (speed bumps, puddles, potholes, etc.);
  • better traffic fluidity: reception by the vehicle of optimised routes to avoid congested zones or to more easily find an available parking place;
  • improvement of driving comfort: adaptation of the speed for smoother navigation and manoeuvring (without sudden braking);
  • reduction in the consumption of power and fuel through optimisation of the journey, notably by reducing the time spent in traffic jams or for looking for a place.

 “ERTICO research, industry and public sector’s partners have moved Automated Driving forwards throughout AUTOPILOT’s implementation, deploying new autonomous vehicles’ applications as well as intelligent Mobility Services”,

says Johanna Tzanidaki, Director of the Innovation & Deployment department at ERTICO.

Towards new business models for autonomous valet-parking and car-sharing services

AUTOPILOT has also enabled identification of commercial opportunities that can be adopted on a large scale in the various European cities that took part in the project. Business models have been developed – based on precise performance indicators – for two types of services: the autonomous valet parking service and car sharing.

The AUTOPILOT operating phase will enable the development of a roadmap per service, to determine the period for the commercialisation of the technology and the regulatory framework necessary to its development, to understand the new markets, etc.

In its role of project coordinator and together with the involved Partners, ERTICO has gladly supported the AUTOPILOT project, which represents a pillar towards Digital Transformation and the European Vision zero’s objectives, and a stepping-stone to demonstrate IoT potential for a new generation of Mobility Services.