Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

ESA is helping to make road transport more effective

02.10.2002


Space is the usual business of a space agency, so it may come as a surprise that the European Space Agency (ESA) is giving some attention to road transport.



The agency is designing and building the satellites that will make up the space segment of Galileo, Europe`s own global satellite navigation system. When Galileo becomes fully operational in 2008, road vehicles fitted with special receivers will be able to use signals broadcast by the satellites to determine their positions with unprecedented accuracy. Such information will open up new ways of managing traffic, leading to better road safety, fewer traffic jams and more efficient journeys. Already, ESA is assessing some of the possibilities.
Many cars already have GPS (Global Positioning System) that can tell you how to get to your destination. But what we will be able to have with Galileo is spot-on road traffic management. This is because the future satellite navigation services will be more reliable and much more accurate than the present GPS system.

Metre accuracy can already be achieved with satellite based augmentation systems, such as EGNOS (the European Global Navigation Overlay System), which improves the accuracy and reliability of GPS signals. “Galileo`s novel signal structure in combination with regional augmentations will notch the accuracy up again by an order of magnitude into the centimetre range. We have already tested the technology and are pretty sure that Galileo will achieve this. Galileo will also bring an enormous leap in the availability and reliability of positioning signals. We will be able to do things that have been impossible so far. What seems like science fiction today will be science fact in a few years` time," says Hans Fromm from ESA`s navigation department.



ESA has recently launched a new intelligent car initiative to test out some of these futuristic scenarios. Industry is being invited to send in proposals. The chief aims are to devise and demonstrate ways of using Galileo signals to improve road safety and manage traffic more efficiently. Initially, however, the new ideas will be tested using the EGNOS signal, which is already being broadcast.

Galileo could revolutionise the experience of future car-driving. The car of tomorrow, for example, might be equipped with an inter-car communication system that sends out a signal over a distance of about 100m containing information on the car`s position, direction of travel, speed and any other relevant information. Neighbouring vehicles, similarly equipped, will pick up the signal and automatically take action to continue driving safely. Such "smart" cars would avoid crashes, break softly in front of traffic jams, or wake up a driver who is falling asleep. Ultimately, Galileo`s guaranteed signal will be reliable enough for automated driver assistance. Already several car manufacturers are developing systems that integrate different aspects of a car`s control system with satellite navigation to provide an auto-pilot for cars.

Other possibilities include warning drivers of traffic jams and suggesting alternative routes; providing drivers with accurate and up-to-the-minute information on motorway lane closures and speed restrictions; and guiding drivers to the nearest parking space, hotel, restaurant or other facility. The list is almost endless.

Hans Hermann-Fromm | alfa
Further information:
http://www.esa.int

More articles from Transportation and Logistics:

nachricht New players, standardization and digitalization for more rail freight transport
16.07.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)

nachricht A helping (Sens)Hand
11.04.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Arbeitswirtschaft und Organisation IAO

All articles from Transportation and Logistics >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Quantum gas turns supersolid

Researchers led by Francesca Ferlaino from the University of Innsbruck and the Austrian Academy of Sciences report in Physical Review X on the observation of supersolid behavior in dipolar quantum gases of erbium and dysprosium. In the dysprosium gas these properties are unprecedentedly long-lived. This sets the stage for future investigations into the nature of this exotic phase of matter.

Supersolidity is a paradoxical state where the matter is both crystallized and superfluid. Predicted 50 years ago, such a counter-intuitive phase, featuring...

Im Focus: Explosion on Jupiter-sized star 10 times more powerful than ever seen on our sun

A stellar flare 10 times more powerful than anything seen on our sun has burst from an ultracool star almost the same size as Jupiter

  • Coolest and smallest star to produce a superflare found
  • Star is a tenth of the radius of our Sun
  • Researchers led by University of Warwick could only see...

Im Focus: Quantum simulation more stable than expected

A localization phenomenon boosts the accuracy of solving quantum many-body problems with quantum computers which are otherwise challenging for conventional computers. This brings such digital quantum simulation within reach on quantum devices available today.

Quantum computers promise to solve certain computational problems exponentially faster than any classical machine. “A particularly promising application is the...

Im Focus: Largest, fastest array of microscopic 'traffic cops' for optical communications

The technology could revolutionize how information travels through data centers and artificial intelligence networks

Engineers at the University of California, Berkeley have built a new photonic switch that can control the direction of light passing through optical fibers...

Im Focus: A long-distance relationship in femtoseconds

Physicists observe how electron-hole pairs drift apart at ultrafast speed, but still remain strongly bound.

Modern electronics relies on ultrafast charge motion on ever shorter length scales. Physicists from Regensburg and Gothenburg have now succeeded in resolving a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Revered mathematicians and computer scientists converge with 200 young researchers in Heidelberg!

17.04.2019 | Event News

First dust conference in the Central Asian part of the earth’s dust belt

15.04.2019 | Event News

Fraunhofer FHR at the IEEE Radar Conference 2019 in Boston, USA

09.04.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Marine Skin dives deeper for better monitoring

23.04.2019 | Information Technology

Geomagnetic jerks finally reproduced and explained

23.04.2019 | Earth Sciences

Overlooked molecular machine in cell nucleus may hold key to treating aggressive leukemia

23.04.2019 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>