Live at CeBIT 2009: electronic driver assistance comes of ageâ Pioneering ideas for car-to-car communicationâ âFloating car dataâ enable drivers to receive constantly updated traffic newsâ Creative schoolchildren suggest exciting applications for Galileo
Hannover.Do we have to choose between sitting in traffic jams for hours â or cutting down on our journeys? In order to make our increasingly heavy traffic safer and more energy-efficient, and to regulate traffic flows more effectively, ever more powerful ICT systems are now being deployed by our transport agencies. Computers in cars are nothing new, but in future on-board intelligent IT systems will be able to communicate with other vehicles and vast databases that are continually being updated. CeBIT 2009 (3 â 8 March) will present the latest research findings and application possibilities in Hannover in the display category âTelematics & Navigation, Automotive Solutions and Transport & Logisticsâ.Germanyâs Ministry of Economic Affairs and Technology (BMWi) is committed to the development of an intelligent transport network, and to that end is funding the research initiative âTraffic Management 2010â. The focus is on projects to promote the more efficient use of the existing infrastructure, service-oriented offerings for the public transport sector, and the development of affordable procedures for recording traffic flows. For one day the forum âCeBIT in Motionâ will devote its full attention to Traffic Management 2010, presenting the results of field trials undertaken as part of the research project.Tomorrowâs traffic management technology will enable vehicles to communicate with the overhead gantries carrying road signs over motorways and trunk roads in Germany. The research initiative AKTIV (the German acronym stands for âAdaptive and Cooperative Technologies for Intelligent Transportâ) brings together a number of companies, including PTV in Karlsruhe. Communication boxes mounted in the gantries, known as road-side units, will collect data from passing vehicles and transmit traffic information to car cockpits, which will then be processed by on-board driver assistance systems. For transmitting data over short distances the wireless WLAN standard will be used, which supplements established communication channels such as DAB and UMTS. In the AKTIV project the information is processed by a central data hub. The idea is to provide motorists with clear and standardized information on the gantry displays and on their sat-nav screens. The project has a budget of 18 million euros and is receiving funding of ten million euros from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Floating car data: fast localized information about traffic congestionAnother very promising project goes under the acronym COOPERS, which stands for âCooperative Systems for Intelligent Road Safetyâ. This collaborative venture involves 37 companies, research establishments and universities from 15 EU countries, including the Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Architecture and Software Engineering (FIRST) in Berlin. Here too data gathered from the road network will be merged with data collected from vehicles in order to produce a clear picture of the traffic situation. These so-called âfloating car dataâ make it possible to introduce services that no current navigation device can offer â such as localized warnings of road-works, accidents or cars driving in the wrong direction, not to mention advance notice of adverse weather conditions such as unexpected black ice. All this requires a technological architecture that is capable of analyzing data from a range of different sources, weighting it appropriately and transmitting it over the mobile phone network â across national frontiers. The COOPERS project is funded by the European Union to the extent of approx. nine million euros. Truck navigation software alleviates traffic and road safety problemsIn a current study the German automobile association ADAC calls for new methods of navigation for trucks in order to combat traffic and road safety problems. On display for the first time at CeBIT 2009 will be navigation systems that take account of the specific requirements of truck traffic. The traffic analysts at PTV AG have developed a software program, for example, which automatically routes trucks around â rather than through â residential areas and uses visual and acoustic signals to warn drivers of danger spots.Autonomous driving, as if by magic: live demonstrations at CeBITThe Technical University of Braunschweig caused quite a stir at CeBIT 2008 with a VW Passat that â literally â drove itself. With the aid of stereo cameras, radar sensors and a GPS sat-nav unit, the autonomous vehicle known as âCarolineâ perfectly negotiated every bend on the test track and even managed to avoid obstacles that were suddenly placed in its path. So the dream of stress-free driving may yet become a reality â and in the not-too-distant future. What is currently technically possible in this area can be seen at CeBIT 2009: driverless energy-saving electric vehicles will be in action in Hall 15, while heavy trucks â likewise minus drivers â will be put through their paces on an outdoor track. Other new solutions such as the âcrossing assistantâ will be presented at the âCeBIT in Motionâ forum. In future special cameras will be installed at major road junctions to monitor traffic movements; this information, together with the signal phases of the traffic lights, will then be transmitted wirelessly to every vehicle in the area. An on-board computer will then compare the data received from the cameras with the vehicleâs current speed and distance from the junction. In this way the system helps drivers to avoid critical situations, while also enabling them to save fuel by adjusting their speed to synchronize with the traffic lights at green.Schoolchildren come up with ideas for GalileoConvenient mobility applications are also what the future European satellite navigation system Galileo is all about. Galileo will be superior to existing GPS navigation systems in terms of accuracy, availability and integration potential. The Centre for Transport Studies in Braunschweig (GZVB) has launched an online competition for the current school year, inviting high schools in Lower Saxony to submit their own ideas. The best ideas will be presented at CeBIT 2009. The project enjoys the patronage of Lower Saxonyâs Minister for Economic Affairs, Labour and Transport, Walter Hirche.
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