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ITS European Congress: Traffic Warning and Information Platform

At the ITS European Congress in Dublin (June 4-7, 2013), Fraunhofer ESK and RUETZ Technologies will be presenting an intelligent traffic warning system based on car-to-x communication technology.

Blinking lights on the roadside warn drivers of the precise location of danger spots such as heavy fog, accidents and traffic congestion. Provided the vehicle is equipped with the car-to-x technology, additional danger warnings are displayed directly on the instrument panel. The system is based on the ezCar2X framework developed by Fraunhofer ESK.

Even with an excellent road and traffic warning infrastructure, the warnings that drivers receive regarding local danger situations are often insufficient or too late. This results in avoidable accidents. When available, today's control systems are positioned at 1 to 2 kilometer intervals and are controlled from a central system. When danger situations suddenly occur, the warnings are thus delayed. In addition, the system can only display those danger situations that are located within the 1 to 2 kilometer interval.

To address this issue, Fraunhofer ESK, RUETZ Technologies and Transver joined forces to develop a system that quickly generates warnings tailored to the driver's situation. Because it relies on a decentralized danger recognition concept, the solution reacts faster and more precise than existing systems. An analysis furthermore revealed that the blinking lights deployed by the research team intuitively increase the driver's awareness level compared to existing traffic control systems.

Merging of vehicle and roadside unit sensor data
The data that the decentralized danger recognition system needs already exists. Vehicle sensors can send data such as the car's position, speed and driving direction to so-called roadside units (RSUs). Infrastructure sensors on the edge of the road simultaneously communicate with the RSUs to send driving condition information such as fog, snow or heavy rain conditions that can affect visibility. Radar technology is used to record the speed and direction of passing vehicles. This flexible combination of infrastructure and vehicle systems results in a cooperative traffic warning system.

The RSUs deployed for the project were developed with the Fraunhofer ESK ARTiS prototyping platform. Communication is carried out using the ETSI ITS-G5 technology developed specifically for car-to-x communication. The overall application is based on the ezCar2x framework developed by Fraunhofer ESK, which enables the rapid prototyping of cooperative driver assistance systems.

Real-time traffic conditions

Depending on the analysis of the traffic situation, drivers receive a location-based warning that is generated in two ways. For vehicles equipped with car-to-x communication, warnings are displayed directly on the instrument panel. In addition, blinking roadside lights warn all drivers of the precise location of danger spots in real-time.

Fraunhofer ESK and RUETZ Technologies will join ITS Germany at its exhibit booth at the 2013 ITS European Congress in Dublin to demonstrate the functionality of the system in accident situations. The new system also serves as a prerequisite for the creation of a fully-networked road infrastructure.

| Fraunhofer Einrichtung
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