Launched in September 2017, the TransAID research project (Transition Areas for Infrastructure-Assisted Driving) looks at the upcoming introduction of automated vehicles in the traffic environment, and the keys to their successful coexistence with conventionally driven vehicles.

As self-driving vehicles with various levels of automation are fast becoming a reality, it is increasingly necessary to investigate their impact on traffic safety and efficiency.

The TransAID project aims at developing and demonstrating traffic management procedures to enable a smooth introduction of automated vehicles into the traffic environment, especially in situations or at locations where automated vehicles have to reduce their level of automation due to missing sensor inputs, roadworks, complex traffic situations or other unforeseen factors. These ‘Transition areas’ where a human driver might be required to take the wheel will be a focus of this research.

Simulations will be performed first to find optimal infrastructure-assisted management solutions to control the flow of connected, automated and conventional vehicles at Transitions Areas, and communication protocols developed between automated vehicles and the road infrastructure. The most promising solutions will then be tried with real-world prototypes running in real urban conditions, using the Application Platform for Intelligent Mobility (AIM). AIM includes an ITS reference track, a research intersection equipped with several sensors, various laboratories, mobile infrastructure platforms, test vehicles, and simulation approaches.

The results of these tests will support the development of a set of guidelines for advanced infrastructure-assisted driving, which will include recommendations on infrastructure updates for the next fifteen years in order to guarantee a frictionless rollout of autonomous and connected vehicles in the existing traffic environment.

Led by the Institute of Transportation Systems of the German Aerospace Center (DLR-ITS), TransAID is backed by a consortium of 7 partners from 6 European countries, and will run until August 2020.