Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Research on the road to intelligent cars

10.03.2006
For Europe’s 300 million drivers and other vulnerable road users, new Information and Communication Technologies-based technology cannot come fast enough. Concerted effort from researchers aims to fast track intelligent-car technology for improved road safety to ultimately save lives.

Although safety is improving on European roads, every year over 40,000 people die on Europe’s roads and 1.4 million accidents occur. Clearly, there is still plenty of work to be done if the EU is to halve road fatalities to under 25 000 by 2010, a target fixed in September 2001.


Maxime Flament, Ertico Credit: Terry Brisco

Although intelligent ICT-based systems already exist, their market take-up has been very slow. Reasons for this include legal and institutional barriers, competition among car-makers, the relatively high cost of intelligent systems, lack of customer demand, and above all a general lack of information on and awareness of the potential benefits of such systems.

Partly to counter this, the PReVENT integrated project is devoting 55 million euro to the safety of drivers, passengers and pedestrians. Including over 50 partners, it is made up of sub-projects covering specific road traffic and accident situations.

“What we have are car-safety systems that can support the driver in critical situations,” says Maxime Flament PReVENT manager from ERTICO. In essence, the preventive safety applications help a driver to avoid or mitigate accidents by sensing the nature and significance of the danger, while taking into account the driver’s own state. But this technology must not take control away from drivers, which would restrict user-acceptance.

Take for instance, the MAPS&ADAS sub-project that is creating safety-enhanced digital maps for a variety of other applications other than just route guidance. “We use digital maps as a predictive sensor,” says Vincent Blervaque, project coordinator from ERTICO. “They complement other vehicle speed and position sensors such as lasers and video cameras, which have limited range, to extend the driver horizon at least 300 to 500 metres ahead. For example, a driver can be alerted to what is coming after the next road curve or intersection.”

He expects applications developed under this project will be common in cars within five years, adding that there is lots of interest worldwide from car manufacturers. Better map information could also be used to reduce fuel consumption.

INTERSAFE, the biggest PReVENT sub-project, focuses on traffic safety at intersections. The areas where roads meet are especially dangerous for road users, resulting in 35 per cent to 40 per cent of traffic accidents and 70 per cent of all fatal accidents. In Germany alone, intersections account for 350,000 accidents annually.

“We focused on building an intersection driver warning, using advanced sensors, new vehicle localisation algorithms and communication between the vehicle and road infrastructure,” says project coordinator Kay Fürstenberg, Director of Research at Ibeo, a laser sensors specialist. The resulting intersection assistant warns driver of an impending collision or informs them about the situation at the intersection.

The system has been tested on real roads and helps the driver in three main areas: turning left, crossing traffic, and when drivers miss or ignore stop signs or red lights.

“It is a new idea to use sensors in a vehicle or in infrastructure that talks to cars. For instance traffic lights, which are in constant communication with a car’s onboard computer, can transmit extra details about local traffic,” he adds.

The APALACI sub-project has put together pre-crash and collision-mitigation applications. These include systems to prepare a car’s brakes and to pre-tension seat belts when a collision is imminent. Demonstrator cars also feature LATERAL SAFE sub-project with wing mirrors that flash small warning lights when sensors detect a dangerous object in the car’s blind spots. Partner Volvo already produces cars with the first generation of this clever system.

Also notable are rear-view mirrors with warning lights for when the car strays out of its lane or risks a lateral collision. They call on a range of cameras and radars, able to assess objects at a range of distances.

“The challenge for intelligent safety systems is to avoid false alarms, so that users quickly come to trust them,” says Mattias Schulze, PReVENT coordinator from DaimlerChrysler R&T.

Time-to-market is becoming a crucial issue for the kind of car-safety systems being developed under PReVENT; a process that many traffic experts hope will be accelerated by the recent launch of the European Commission’s Intelligent Car Initiative to boost the uptake of such new technologies.

Tara Morris | alfa
Further information:
http://istresults.cordis.lu/index.cfm/section/news/tpl/article/BrowsingType/Features/ID/81015

More articles from Automotive Engineering:

nachricht 3D scans for the automotive industry
16.01.2017 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg

nachricht Improvement of the operating range and increasing of the reliability of integrated circuits
09.11.2016 | Technologie Lizenz-Büro (TLB) der Baden-Württembergischen Hochschulen GmbH

All articles from Automotive Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Helmholtz International Fellow Award for Sarah Amalia Teichmann

20.01.2017 | Awards Funding

An innovative high-performance material: biofibers made from green lacewing silk

20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery

20.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>