[Due to the increasing size of the archives, each topic page now contains only the prior 365 days of content. Access to older stories is now solely through the Monthly Archive pages or the site search function.]
Mercedes-Benz to introduce smartphone-based Car-to-X technology in production vehicles by year-end
June 17, 2013
Mercedes-Benz will introduce Car-to-X (C2X) communication technology into series production vehicles by the end of the year. Through the use of C2X communication, information on potential road traffic dangers can be passed on to drivers at an early stage so that they can take appropriate action and even help to avoid critical situations arising in the first place, the automaker noted. (Earlier post.)
As part of the initial deployment of the technology, Mercedes will use the Drive Kit Plus, which, in combination with a smartphone and the Digital DriveStyle app developed by Mercedes-Benz, turns the vehicle into a simultaneous transmitter and receiver of information.
Cohda, BMW and Honda in V2V motorcycle study as part of DOT Safety Pilot Model Deployment
June 10, 2013
As part of the US Safety Pilot Model Deployment of connected vehicle technologies (earlier post), the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) will launch a motorcycle study to determine how cars, trucks, buses and motorcycles interact using V2V (Vehicle-to-Vehicle) communications technology.
Two tasks will be conducted in the Safety Pilot Model Deployment Geographic Area as a proof of concept for incorporating motorcycles into the connected vehicle environment: motorcycle communications feasibility testing and motorcycle-to-vehicle performance testing. UMTRI has partnered with two motorcycle manufacturers: Honda and BMW. Australia-based Cohda Wireless is providing the V2V connected vehicle equipment.
NHTSA issues preliminary policy on development of autonomous vehicles to provide guidance to states
May 31, 2013
The US Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued a preliminary policy statement concerning vehicle automation, including its plans for research on related safety issues and recommendations for states related to the testing, licensing, and regulation of “autonomous” or “self-driving” vehicles.
Self-driving vehicles are those in which operation of the vehicle occurs without direct driver input to control the steering, acceleration, and braking and are designed so that the driver is not expected to constantly monitor the roadway while operating in self-driving mode.
Toyota to launch new “Big Data Traffic Information Service” in Japan
May 29, 2013
|T-Probe traffic information (Traffic congestion status shown with color coding). Click to enlarge.|
Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) had developed and will launch in Japan the “Big Data Traffic Information Service”, a new traffic-information service utilizing “big data” including vehicle locations and speeds, road conditions, and other parameters collected and stored via telematics services.
Based on such data, traffic information, statistics and other related information can be provided to local governments and businesses to aid traffic flow improvement, provide map information services, and assist disaster relief measures. Toyota will begin accepting applications from local governments and businesses across Japan to use the service starting 3 June. Concurrently, the existing smart G-BOOK telematics service for smartphones will be upgraded to allow private users access to Big Data Traffic Information Service content.
U-M launches Michigan Mobility Transformation Center; model deployment for testing connected and automated vehicles and systems
May 14, 2013
The University of Michigan announced the establishment of the Michigan Mobility Transformation Center (MTC) as a partnership with government and industry to improve the safety, sustainability and accessibility of the ways that people and goods move from place to place.
A key focus of the MTC will be a model deployment that will allow researchers to test emerging concepts in connected and automated vehicles and vehicle systems in both off-road and on-road settings. The model deployment will build in part on a $25-million study for the US Department of Transportation now underway at UMTRI. (Earlier post.)
DOT to award up to $45M for vehicle-to-infrastructure application projects
May 03, 2013
The US Department of Transportation (DOT) is soliciting (FOA DTFH61-13-RA-00004) applications for cooperative pre-competitive projects designed to enable the successful deployment of vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) crash avoidance and driver information applications in passenger vehicles. Projects will last 60 months; estimated total program funding is up to $45 million.
V2I applications are those applications which vehicle-based sensors and vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications are not considered adequate for development of information, alerts, or warnings for drivers. These V2I applications require additional information from the infrastructure to be enabled. These applications, however, are vehicle-based, in that they are programs resident in the on-board equipment of the vehicle.
Toyota to conduct verification tests of traffic alleviation system in Beijing
April 16, 2013
Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC), Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing (China) Co., Ltd. (TMEC), Beihang University and CenNavi Technologies Co., Ltd. have agreed to begin a joint verification testing project in which data from the Toyota-developed NETSTREAM (NETwork Simulator for TRaffic Efficiency And Mobility) traffic-flow simulator will be used in practical car-based applications to help alleviate traffic congestion in Beijing, China.
Toyota Central R&D Labs (CRDL) began developing NETSTREAM some 15 years ago, with the intention of predicting the introductory effects of intelligent transportation systems (ITS) for reducing traffic congestion, pollution reduction, and preliminary evaluation of traffic measures. In the early NETSTREAM I, CRDL used a block density method to calculate a wide-area traffic flow at high speed.
NXP and Cohda Wireless Sign CAR 2 CAR Communication Consortium memorandum of understanding; RoadLINK units
April 04, 2013
NXP Semiconductors N.V. and Cohda Wireless have signed the CAR 2 CAR Communication Consortium Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). (Earlier post.) The memorandum aims at implementing and deploying harmonized technology for the wireless communication between cars, or between cars and traffic infrastructure, in Europe. NXP and Cohda, a leading specialist in wireless communication for automotive safety applications, are the first automotive electronics suppliers to sign the MoU, following twelve major car manufacturers in October 2012.
In addition, NXP and Cohda have announced the introduction of RoadLINK as their new technology brand for marketing a total Car-to-X (C2X) communication and security solution for on-board units and road-side units in Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS). Automotive-ready modules based on RoadLINK are currently being developed by companies including lesswire AG in Germany.
Toshiba launches Visconti3 line of image recognition processors for automotive applications
April 02, 2013
|First device in the new Visconti3 series. Click to enlarge.|
Toshiba Corporation recently launched the third generation of its Visconti series of image recognition processors, Visconti3.
Toshiba initially developed the Visconti series of image recognition processors to advance the creation of camera-based vision systems for automotive applications. The processors recognize traffic lanes, vehicles, pedestrians, traffic signs and more. Both the Visconti2 and 3 series devices incorporate image processing accelerators that detect pedestrians with high level detection ratio in real time.
Honda tests congestion minimization technology on public roads in Indonesia, finds >20% improvement in fuel efficiency
March 21, 2013
|The amount of traffic and pattern of changes in average speed with vehicles equipped with the system. Click to enlarge.|
Honda Motor Co., Ltd. conducted public-road testing of its new traffic congestion minimization technology (earlier post) in Indonesia and verified the effectiveness of the technology in delaying the development of congestion and in improving fuel efficiency by more than 20%. The public-road testing was conducted from September 2012 through February 2013 on a toll road between Ulujami and Pondok Ranji in Jakarta.
Traffic congestion is caused by the disorderly flow of the traffic. Therefore, to minimize congestion, the driver of each vehicle needs to adjust driving behavior to the surrounding vehicles. Honda developed a smartphone app which changes the colors of the smartphone display to help the user to check at a glance whether his/her driving is aligned with surrounding vehicles.
Down to the wire for final round of public voting in DOE Apps for Vehicles challenge
Nearly 40 teams initially submitted ideas for the $50,000 Apps for Vehicles Challenge that seeks to improve safety and fuel efficiency through data innovation. Eight finalists were selected to move on to this second and final phase of the competition based on the business plans and product prototypes they submitted during the first phase.
Freescale introduces new automotive microcontrollers; streamlining body electronics networks and reducing vehicle weight
March 19, 2013
At Electronica China in Shanghai, Freescale Semiconductor introduced a new Qorivva vehicle body gateway network microcontroller (MCU) and two new S12 MagniV end-node devices to address increasing requirements for higher bandiwdth automotive networks, improved data security, increased functional safety and reduction of overall energy consumption.
As the number of electronic control units in a vehicle grows (up to 100 ECUs, requiring some 10 million lines of code, said Brad Loane, Freescale product manager) the amount of connectivity needed also increases. The average vehicle now includes several miles of copper wire—weighing up to 150 lbs (68 kg) or more—for in-vehicle networking. Integrating more functionality within the vehicle’s main ECUs and increasing the intelligence of its satellite nodes (i.e. modules in doors or electric motors) can help reduce the number of ECUs and the amount of associated wiring required, eliminating weight in the vehicle wiring harness and helping improve vehicle fuel economy.
Continental and BMW Group working together to develop freeway-grade highly automated driving
February 27, 2013
Continental and the BMW Group are pooling their development capacities to define the long-term prerequisites for series introduction of highly automated driving on European freeways. In January 2013, the two companies signed an agreement to jointly develop an electronic co-pilot for this purpose. The overarching aim of the research partnership is to pave the way to highly automated driving functions beyond the year 2020.
Continental is a leading suppliers of advanced driver assistance systems; the development of products and systems for automated driving is one of the central themes of its long-term technology strategy. (Earlier post.)
GM announces broad global strategy for embedded 4G LTE; first rollout in 2014 with MY2015 vehicles; AT&T first carrier partner
February 25, 2013
|The demo screen of a research Cadillac ATS equipped with 4G LTE connectivity, first shown at the 2013 Mobile World Congress. Click to enlarge.|
At the 2013 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, General Motors announced a broad global strategy to deliver a new generation of connected cars and trucks with embedded 4G LTE mobile broadband, the largest announced deployment of the technology in the automotive industry to date.
Most MY2015 Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac models available in 2014 in the US and Canada will be the first GM cars, trucks and crossovers with embedded 4G LTE; connectivity will be delivered through AT&T. GM will announce more carrier and supplier relationships in coming months to expand 4G LTE capabilities in markets around the globe. (In January, Audi unveiled the 2013 Audi A3 with 4G LTE wireless connectivity, and will be offering a fully integrated LTE link for Audi connect services in the A3 this year. Earlier post.)
Deutsche Telekom and IBM to integrate Machine-to-Machine communication and Smarter Cities data analysis technology for enhanced city services
February 23, 2013
Deutsche Telekom and IBM are collaborating to provide an integrated solutions portfolio that enables cities to make smarter use of their services through intelligent data capture and analysis. The Smarter Cities solutions will build on IBM’s Smarter Cities expertise (earlier post) and “big data” analysis capabilities combined with Deutsche Telekom’s global Machine-to-Machine (M2M) capabilities, which include M2M solutions integration and advanced network connectivity.
M2M communication technology facilitates the automated exchange of information between terminal equipment such as machines, vehicles and containers or with a central control center—i.e., an “Internet of Things.” By using sensors embedded in a wide array of systems serving the public—such as a traffic lights, public transport vehicles or parking spaces—M2M technology can report on the status of the system being monitored via the Internet in real-time.
IBM and NXP report first results of connected vehicle pilot in Dutch city of Eindhoven
February 22, 2013
IBM and NXP Semiconductors N.V. announced the first results of a smarter traffic pilot conducted in the Dutch city of Eindhoven. The trial demonstrated how the connected car automatically shares braking, acceleration and location data that can be analyzed by the central traffic authority to identify and resolve road network issues.
During the trial, IBM, NXP and its partners equipped 200 participating cars with a device containing the NXP telematics chip “ATOP” that gathers relevant data from the central communication system of the car (CAN-bus). Relevant sensor data that were indicators of potholes or icy roads was collected in-vehicle and transmitted to the cloud-enabled IBM Smarter Traffic Center.
New GPS/IMU fusion system improves the precision of GPS in vehicles in cities by up to 90%; implications for connected vehicles, autonomy and ITS
February 12, 2013
|Integration of GNSS (GPS) antenna of rover receiver and IMU in a platform over the roof of the test vehicle. Source: Martí et al.Click to enlarge.|
Researchers at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) have developed a new system which improves the ability of a GPS to determine a vehicle’s position as compared to that of conventional GPS devices by up to 90%, and which can be installed in any vehicle at a very low cost. Future applications that will benefit from the technology will include cooperative driving, automatic maneuvers for the safety of pedestrians, autonomous vehicles or cooperative collision warning systems, the scientists noted.
The system is a fusion of a GPS (or GNSS, Global Navigation Satellite System) and an Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) integrating three accelerometers and three gyroscopes, based on a context-aided Unscented Kalman filter for navigation in urban conditions. The GPS/IMU system was jointly developed by the Applied Artificial Intelligence Group (GIAA – Grupo de Inteligencia Aplicada Artificial) and the Systems Intelligence Laboratory (LSI – Laboratorio de Sistemas Inteligentes) at UC3M.
Audi showcases future piloted driving technologies at CES; initial focus on traffic jams and parking
January 09, 2013
At the Consumer Electronics show in Las Vegas, Audi AG presented technologies for networking the car with its environment, with a particular focus on future piloted driving and mobile communications. Piloted driving—i.e., the use of drive assistance systems that are able to assume the complete driving task for a limited period of time, if so desired by the driver—will be technically feasible before the decade is out, Audi says.
In congested traffic at speeds up to 60 km/h (37 mph), Audi’s piloted driving helps the driver to steer the car within certain limits. It also accelerates and brakes the vehicle autonomously. In future, piloted driving will also be able to maneuver the vehicle autonomously into and out of parking spaces—such as in tight roadside parking spaces, in garages, or even in parking garages.
Harris Interactive survey for Johnson Controls identifies consumer preferences for connected vehicles
According to a recent online survey conducted for Johnson Controls by Harris Interactive, US vehicle owners want to use their phones and existing apps to safely connect in their vehicles. Consumers want this process to be simple to use and for it to be convenient to download apps from traditional channels.
Johnson Controls says it will utilize the data to influence design and new product development of its future infotainment products. Some of the key findings from the study of more than 2,100 US adults include:
Ford, GM rolling out third-party developer programs for in-vehicle apps
January 08, 2013
Reflecting the rapid evolution of the automobile as an application development platform, both Ford and GM announced programs to support third-party development of in-vehicle applications at CES in Las Vegas. The Ford Developer Program for open mobile apps provides a software development kit (SDK), technical support from Ford engineers and a developer community to enable utilizing the SYNC connectivity system and AppLink application programming interface (API).
General Motors announced its flexible application framework that will allow drivers to add apps and features to their vehicles after the initial purchase. The framework enables new set of vehicle APIs for developers, allowing them to interact with and build upon the infotainment systems in GM vehicles.
TMC unveils Lexus advanced safety research vehicle at CES; elements of autonomous driving, but a focus on better drivers
January 07, 2013
|The Advanced Safety Research Vehicle. Click to enlarge.|
Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) and its Lexus Division unveiled its advanced active safety research vehicle, based on a Lexus LS hybrid, at the International CES today to demonstrate ongoing efforts around automated vehicle safety technologies and explain Toyota’s approach to reducing global traffic fatalities and injuries.
While key components of the research efforts could lead to a fully autonomous car in the future, the vision is not necessarily a car that drives itself. Instead, Toyota and Lexus envision technologies that enhance the skills of the driver, believing a more skillful driver is a safer driver.
Kia Motors integrating Google Maps into 2nd-generation UVO eServices telematics system
January 02, 2013
Kia Motors America (KMA) will work with Google to provide content and search-based solutions enabled by Application Program Interfaces (APIs) for the second-generation of the automaker’s UVO (“Your Voice”) eServices telematics system, introduced in November 2012 at the Los Angeles Auto Show. These new solutions will initially be introduced on the new 2014 Sorento CUV.
The immediate integration of Google solutions will utilize Google Maps and Google Places to acquire driving directions and locate Points of Interest (POIs). KMA and Google say they look forward to continuing to work together to bring innovative navigation solutions to enhance the connected car experience.
Sensor fusion, machine learning, and “big data” featuring in Ford R&D for advanced driver assistance
December 22, 2012
At Ford, Paul Mascarenas, vice president and chief technical officer, has been leading the team researching and developing new technologies for Ford vehicles, particularly in the area of driver assistance and mobile device connectivity. Mascarenas points to the new Fusion sedan as an example of “making the car smarter using attainable and affordable technology and thus helping create a better driver.”
However, he suggests, despite the “unprecedented” level of sensors for its driver assist technologies, machine learning techniques to deliver more electric-only driving on the hybrids, and innovative graphical interfaces to help coach drivers to be as fuel efficient as possible, the Fusion is only scratching the surface of what is possible.
Continental focusing on automated driving as key long-term technology strategy; receives approval to test automated vehicles on Nevada roads
December 20, 2012
|Vehicle automation is set to be rolled out in stages, starting with partially automated driving from 2016; high levels of automation from 2020; and fully automated systems available from 2025. Click to enlarge.|
The development of products and systems for automated driving is one of the central themes of international automotive supplier Continental’s long-term technology strategy. The Continental Executive Board’s strategic and budget planning for the coming year includes all of the necessary elements that need to be implemented step-by-step across the board so that fully-automated driving becomes reality by 2025, said Dr. Elmar Degenhart, Chairman of the Executive Board of Continental, after the end of the company’s recent Strategy Workshop.
As a reflection of this focus, Continental has just received approval from the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to test autonomous vehicles on the state’s public roads. Continental’s testing license is for the company’s highly automated vehicle, and represents the first license granted by the Nevada DMV to an automotive supplier.
DARPA awards up to $20M to NVIDIA to research high-performance, highly energy-efficient embedded processors for autonomous vehicles
December 17, 2012
|DARPA is seeking a major increase in performance per watt for embedded processors. Source: DARPA. Click to enlarge.|
The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) NVIDIA has awarded NVIDIA a contract worth up to $20 million to research embedded processor technologies that could lead to significant improvements in the ability of autonomous vehicles to collect and process data from on-board sensors.
The five-year contract, awarded under DARPA’s Power Efficiency Revolution For Embedded Computing Technologies (PERFECT) program, will fund research for processors that are 75-times more energy-efficient than current embedded solutions. The goal is to enable surveillance and computer vision systems in ground and airborne vehicles to collect and analyze vastly more data than can be processed today in real time.
Autotalks introduces first VLSI for vehicle-to-vehicle communication
December 07, 2012
Autotalks, a fabless semiconductor company developing a novel solution for vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication, recently released the first VLSI (very large scale integration) chip for vehicle-to-vehicle communication.
Dubbed “CRATON”, the VLSI is the result of several years of working closely with leading OEMs and Tier 1s, and was developed based on the performance and quality requirements of vehicle-to-vehicle communication safety applications. Autotalks showcased CRATON at the 19th ITS World Congress, Vienna.
US DOE opens “Apps for Vehicles” challenge; leveraging open data for fuel efficiency and safety
December 06, 2012
The US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Vehicle Technologies Program (VTP) officially opened the Apps for Vehicles Challenge, which is offering $50,000 in prizes for the best business plans, app ideas and product designs that use open vehicle data to improve safety and fuel efficiency through technology innovation. The challenge had been announced earlier at the DOE’s Energy Datapalooza event in October.
In launching the challenge, Pat Davis, Vehicle Technologies Program Manager, noted that existing applications are just beginning to explore the possibilities of open vehicle data, and that OBD (onboard diagnostics port) diagnostic data and other sources of vehicle data have the potential to power significant improvements in vehicle efficiency and safety.
VTTI team proposes optimization algorithm for driverless vehicles at unsignaled intersections
December 05, 2012
|The layout of the proposed multi-agent system (MAS) for driverless vehicles at intersections. Zohdy and Rakha. Click to enlarge.|
Researchers at Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) have developed a heuristic optimization algorithm for driverless vehicles at unsignalized intersections using a multi-agent system (MAS). Their research, presented at the Intelligent Transportation Society World Congress in Vienna in October, won the Best Scientific Paper Award for North America.
The system proposed by Ismail Zohdy, a Ph.D. student in civil engineering at Virginia Tech, and Hesham Rakha, director of the Center for Sustainable Mobility at the transportation institute and professor of civil engineering at the university, models the driverless vehicles as autonomous agents controlled by the intersection controller (manager agent).
BMW presents i3 Concept Coupé battery-electric vehicle at the LA Auto Show; focus on connectivity for driver assistance and intermodal mobility
November 28, 2012
|BMW i3 Concept Coupé. Click to enlarge.|
BMW is unveiling the i3 Concept Coupé study at the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show; the vehicle has been brought out in parallel to the ongoing development process for getting the first battery-electric model from the BMW i brand ready for series production, and demonstrates the potential for conceivably extending the model range, according to the company.
Like the original BMW i3 Concept (earlier post), the three-door coupe is propelled by an electric motor developed by the BMW Group, which develops a maximum output of 125 kW/170 hp and peak torque of 250 N·m (184 lb-ft). Power delivery to the rear wheels is via a single-speed transmission. The Li-ion battery pack is placed under the floor.
Chevy Spark and Sonic first to offer Eyes Free mode integration with Apple’s Siri
November 27, 2012
Early next year, the Chevrolet Spark (1LT, 2LT) and Sonic LTZ and RS will integrate Apple’s Siri “Eyes Free” voice recognition technology; GM is the first automaker to implement the technology in production vehicles.
Apple had announced in June that it was working with automakers to integrate Siri (which officially still is in Beta) into select voice control systems. Through the cars’ standard Chevrolet MyLink infotainment system, customers with a compatible iPhone running iOS 6 can direct Siri to perform a number of tasks while they keep their eyes on the road and their hands on the wheel.
Mercedes-Benz previews next-generation intelligent safety and driver assistance systems; “sensor fusion”
November 22, 2012
|Mercedes-Benz “Intelligent Drive” systems. Click to enlarge.|
Mercedes-Benz has augmented its driver assistance systems with new functions which are now able to support the driver in a broader range of situations. Using advanced sensor technology, they are able to monitor the area around the vehicle, providing the driver with warnings and support, and reducing driver workload. Mercedes-Benz calls the combination of sensors and systems to support these systems “Intelligent Drive”.
Mercedes-Benz recently previewed its next-generation intelligent safety and driver assistance systems for the next S-Class, which will make its own debut next year, at an “Intelligent Drive” TecDay in Stuttgart.
Two new PEV-specific apps from OnStar targeted at range anxiety and public charging cost
November 17, 2012
|The new EV Waypoint application will plot a waypoint route with recommended charging stations is the route is beyond the range of a single charge. Source: OnStar. Click to enlarge.|
At the GM Electrification Experience—at which GM previewed the Spark EV (earlier post)—OnStar previewed two new apps for drivers of plug-in vehicles (PEVs): one slated for release to address the possible range anxiety of electric vehicles (Spark EV Waypoint), the other, a concept to address the cost of public charging (Park-Tap-Charge) that leverages Near Field Communication (NFC).
Since the Chevrolet Volt extended range electric vehicle launched in late 2010, drivers have been able to manage vehicle charging, including the option to charge during off-peak hours through the OnStar RemoteLink Mobile App. As GM expands its electric vehicle line-up next year with the 2014 Chevy Spark EV, more drivers will be able to manage and control electric-only functions from their phone.
Ford poll finds Europeans want freedom of car ownership, but worry about traffic, cost of driving, environment
November 14, 2012
A new Ford Motor Company-sponsored poll of 6,000 people across Europe found that most Europeans remain committed to car ownership, but have growing concerns about traffic congestion, the cost of driving and the environment. Ford commissioned the survey, conducted by the consultancy The Futures Company, to better understand the opinions and attitudes of Europeans across a range of mobility issues—from car sharing to green driving to the future of the internal combustion engine.
The Ford survey showed the majority of people say life would be “impossible” without a car; however 76% of Europeans say they are affected by stress from traffic congestion and fuel prices. The survey shows 74% use public transport, 37%share cars when making the same journey and 3% use formal car sharing schemes.
NYU-BMW i report explores future urban mobility; sustainability and resilience
November 13, 2012
A new study released by BMW i and New York University (NYU) finds that, in the coming years and decades, fundamental changes in the demographic makeup of cities will profoundly alter the way people travel.
This report, prepared by the Rudin Center for Transportation Policy and Management at NYU’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service with the assistance of Appleseed, a New York City-based consulting firm, examines several aspects of the challenge of urban mobility in the twenty-first century: the growth of the world’s urban population, and changes in the characteristics of that population; emerging patterns of urban mobility; and changes in technology design and connectivity.
Toyota Motor introducing three new automated driver assistance safety systems; begins operations at new ITS Proving Ground
November 12, 2012
|TMC says that its PCS is effective at higher speeds. Click to enlarge.|
Toyota Motor Corporation has developed and will deploy in select upcoming vehicles three new automated driver assistance/safety systems: a Pre-Collision System (PCS) with collision avoidance that is effective at higher speeds; Intelligent Clearance Sonar that uses sonar to detect obstacles hidden from the driver’s view, automatically applying the brakes if the vehicle is at risk of collision; and Drive-start Control to control engine output to mitigate collisions that may occur as a result of erroneous gear shifting or pedal misapplication while the vehicle is stationary or moving at low speed.
TMC also began full-scale operations at its ITS Proving Ground, a new test site—within the grounds of the Higashi-Fuji Technical Center in Susono City, Shizuoka Prefecture—established with the aim of reducing traffic accidents through Intelligent Transport System (ITS) technology. The new 3.5-hectare ITS Proving Ground simulates an urban environment with faithfully replicated roads and traffic signals. The site is equipped with a road-to-vehicle communications system consisting of a vehicle detection system, a pedestrian detection system, a course monitoring system, traffic signals and control devices.
Ford, UMTRI launch student contest for vehicle-to-vehicle communications innovation
November 07, 2012
Ford and the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) are partnering on a competition for undergraduate students to develop innovative applications that enhance vehicle safety and sustainability by using vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications. The competition is hosted by UMTRI.
Multidisciplinary teams of students will be encouraged to develop new and innovative applications that benefit all road users and all forms of transit; cars, commercial vehicles, transit buses, motorcycles, bicycles and pedestrians. The competition runs concurrently with the $25-million Safety Pilot Model Deployment in Ann Arbor, Michigan, which is studying wireless communications among vehicles and roadside equipment (V2X) (earlier post) for use in developing future safety measures and technologies. Nearly 3,000 vehicles will participate in the test, which will evaluate this technology in real-world conditions.
Volvo Car Corp. demonstrates autonomous driving in traffic jams; traffic jam assistance system ready for production in 2014
October 23, 2012
As another step toward autonomous driving systems, Volvo Car Corporation is demonstrating a new traffic jam assistance system. The new system, whereby the car automatically follows the vehicle in front in slow-moving queues up to 50 km/h (31 mph), will be ready for production in 2014.
The traffic jam assistance function is an evolution of the current Adaptive Cruise Control and Lane Keeping Aid technology, which was introduced in the all-new Volvo V40 earlier in 2012. The driver activates the traffic jam assistance function by pushing a button. When active, the engine, brakes and steering respond automatically.
BMW showcasing urban mobility connectivity applications at ITS World Congress
The BMW Group is showcasing developments from BMW ConnectedDrive at the ITS World Congress this week in Vienna under the slogan “BMW Urban Mobility”. BMW ConnectedDrive is the BMW Group’s definition of Intelligent Traffic Systems (ITS); the BMW stand at the Congress presents App- and vehicle-based routing functions, safety systems and solutions for mobility on two wheels.
Mobility Assistant. The Mobility Assistant, currently being tested in Berlin as an iPhone app, provides individual, intermodal navigation. When one enters a destination, the mobility assistant will display various routes to allow reaching this destination cost-effectively and quickly—whether travelling by car, using suburban public transport or combining the two modes of travel.
New joint report outlines EU and US cooperation on connected vehicle standards
October 22, 2012
The United States and the European Union (EU) have been working together under a 2009 implementation agreement to develop coordinated research programs to foster international connected vehicle technology and international harmonization of the technology and standards necessary for broad deployment of connected vehicle systems.
To highlight the progress of this bilateral effort, the US Department of Transportation (USDOT) and the European Commission Directorate General for Communication Networks, Content and Technology (CONNECT) have now published the report “International Deployment of Cooperative Intelligent Transportation Systems: Bilateral Efforts of the European Commission and United States Department of Transportation.” The report describes joint accomplishments and future plans in the areas of connected vehicle safety, standards harmonization, sustainability applications, assessment tools, and driver distraction and human-machine interaction (HMI).
ERTOC: optimizing CO2 of shipments down to an individual consignment level
|ERTOC 7.5-tonne demonstrator. Click to enlarge.|
The Efficient and Reliable Transportation of Consignments (ERTOC) project, a two-year research collaboration between Ricardo, GS1 UK, Unipart Logistics, IRIS Technology and Coventry University, has delivered a viable prototype demonstrator. The goal of ERTOC was to develop a standards-based open-architecture data hub to enable freight users and operators to make more informed choices based on the efficiency and increased awareness of the true financial and environmental cost of transporting goods.
The data hub integrates driver behavior monitoring and coaching, consignment tracking and vehicle tracking and fleet management using telematics-based services. Information from each of these functions is provided via a platform-independent, open application program interface (API).
Fujitsu Ten developing compact 3D electronic scan mm-wave radar for automotive applications; delivery in 2014
October 19, 2012
|2D vs. 3D scanning. Click to enlarge.|
Fujitsu Ten Ltd. has developed a compact 77 GHz three-dimensional electronic scan millimeter-wave radar for automotive applications that is capable of detecting an object in three dimensions, including the elevation range in addition to distance and azimuth range. While making further improvements, the company intends to deliver this product to automobile manufacturers from 2014.
This developed product is for frontward detection usage. By sensing the three dimensions—elevation, distance and azimuth—the product can the product can identify obstacles on the road more reliably from further away. The company will describe the new radar unit in a paper at the 19th ITS World Congress.
Honda demonstrating car and motorcycle V2X communication at ITS World Congress 2012
Honda Motor Co., Ltd. will participate in the 19th World ITS Congress from 22–26 October 2012 with a demonstration of automobile and motorcycle V2X communication—how its vehicles can communicate both with each other and with road-side infrastructure to benefit road safety, the environment, driver comfort and convenience. Congress participants can also experience for themselves Honda’s ITS equipped Insight hybrid and an ITS Honda motorcycle (NC700X) by participating in the joint Car2Car and Testfeld Telematic Consortium demonstration around Vienna.
The Honda stand will showcase intelligent transportation system (ITS) technologies and vehicles covering 3 thematic uses: safety ITS, environment ITS and comfort ITS.
Nissan exhibiting prototype NSC-2015 vehicle for autonomous driving application at CEATEC JAPAN 2012
October 01, 2012
The car uses a remote monitoring system that recognizes the surrounding environment through use of an all-around view camera and 4G mobile communications. Different from a system using GPS to determine the car’s location, this system provides a precise recognition of the surrounding environment (even in underground parking lots) and makes use of various smartphone applications.
Volvo Car Corporation intends to lead in field of autonomous driving technology; targeting the next-generation of consumers
September 17, 2012
Volvo Car Corporation intends to gain leadership in the field of autonomous driving as the next major step forward in vehicle safety. Autonomous driving—the self-driving car—gives the human driver the ability safely to do something else besides drive, such as sending text messages or reading a book while the car drives itself. It will also likely be an important capability for attracting the next-generation of auto consumers, says Volvo Car Corporation President and CEO Stefan Jacoby.
The first focus areas in Volvo Car Corporation’s technology development are autonomous driving in slow-moving queues and, for the longer-term, road trains on motorways, as exemplified by the recently concluded SARTRE project. (Earlier post.)
BMW applying predictive driving technology to increase fuel savings
At the same Innovation Day 2012: Efficient Dynamics event at which it introduced its new EfficientDynamics engine family (earlier post), BMW also discussed its approach to Predictive Power Management as an element in its toolkit for fuel savings.
With the aid of navigation-based information, the transmission control and the Foresight Assistant are able to chart the course of the road and the profile of the route, with its hills and descents, as well as the speed limits, and to take these into account for gear selection and vehicle deceleration. Even the turning radius is known to the system before the driver reaches the bend in the road.
Hitachi leading European project on cooperative connected infrastructure for fully electric vehicles
August 31, 2012
|eCo-FEV project concept. Click to enlarge.|
Hitachi Europe Ltd., through its Information and Communication Technologies R&D Laboratory (ICTL), will a project funded by the European Commission aimed at developing an integrated IT electric mobility platform that enables the connection and information exchanges between multiple infrastructure systems—such as road IT infrastructure, Electric Vehicle (EV) backend infrastructure and EV charging infrastructure—that are relevant to the Fully Electric Vehicle (FEV).
Over this platform, multiple advanced electric mobility services are able to be provided to FEV users to improve the energy management efficiency and usability of the FEV, for example, in the context of Smart Cities.
US DOT launches largest-yet road test of V2X connected vehicle crash avoidance technology
August 21, 2012
|Safety Pilot Model Deployment site plan. Source: UMTRI. Click to enlarge.|
The US Department of Transportation (DOT) today launched the largest-yet road test of connected vehicle crash avoidance technology in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Earlier post.) Nearly 3,000 cars, trucks and buses equipped with connected Wi-Fi technology to enable vehicles and infrastructure to communicate with each other in real time to help avoid crashes and improve traffic flow will begin traversing Ann Arbor’s streets as part of the year-long safety pilot project.
Conducted by University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI), the Safety Pilot Model Deployment is a first-of-its-kind test of connected vehicle technology in the real world. The test cars, trucks and buses, most of which have been supplied by volunteer participants, are equipped with vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communication devices (collectively, V2X) that will gather extensive data about system operability and its effectiveness at reducing crashes.
New mobile phone app identifies driver phone use, enabling action to reduce distracted driving
August 14, 2012
A team from Rutgers University and Stevens Institute of Technology have designed and tested a smart phone application that can pinpoint where in the car a cell phone user is sitting—i.e., on the driver’s side or the passenger’s side—and then take steps to reduce distractions if its user is a driver.
For example, it can silently forward incoming calls and texts to message boxes for later retrieval. It could also respond automatically to a caller or texter, saying that the owner is currently driving and will reply later. Or it could offer to put a voice call through if a caller or texter indicates the matter is urgent.
Ford contributing 20 vehicles to simTD V2X trials
August 06, 2012
|Ford is beginning real-world testing of V2X technologies such as Electronic Brake Light (i.e., to alert for an out-of-sight braking event, e.g., smaller car in front of larger van as illustrated) as part of the simTD trials. Click to enlarge.|
Ford Motor Company is contributing 20 specially equipped S-MAX models to the simTD V2X (vehicle-to-x) project now underway in Germany. (Earlier post, earlier post.) The simTD project is fielding a fleet of 120 vehicles to to test 20 experimental driver assistance technologies. The project’s goal is to better understand the potential for car-to-car and car-to-infrastructure communication technologies to improve traffic safety and personal mobility.
The increasing use of car-to-car and car-to-infrastructure technology is part of Ford’s “Blueprint for Mobility,” which was outlined by Executive Chairman Bill Ford during his keynote address at the 2012 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February. (Earlier post.) The “Blueprint for Mobility” details the company’s early thinking on how to tackle the issues of mobility in an increasingly crowded and urbanized planet between now and 2025.
TRL: all European cars to be fitted with autonomous emergency braking
July 31, 2012
The UK’s TRL (Transport Research Laboratory) reports that new regulations soon to be brought in by the European Commission will mean that all new cars will be fitted with autonomous emergency braking technology (AEB). TRL has carried out several analyses of AEBS (Advanced Emergency Braking Systems) and LDWS (Lane Departure Warning Systems) for the European Commission.
AEB systems work using radar, lidar (laser) or video technology, which sends a signal to warn the driver of a collision about to occur and primes the brakes. Some versions of the technology are also able to deal with collisions likely to occur when vehicles are travelling at a higher speed. These systems will also be able to see if a pedestrian has ventured onto the road and apply the brakes before impact.
GM developing Wi-Fi Direct driver assistance systems for wireless pedestrian and bicyclist detection
July 26, 2012
General Motors researchers are developing a driver assistance feature potentially capable of detecting pedestrians and bicyclists on congested streets or in poor-visibility conditions. The feature relies on Wi-Fi Direct, a peer-to-peer (P2P) wireless standard that can allow mobile devices such as smartphones to communicate directly with each other rather than through a shared access point such as a cell phone tower.
GM researchers have determined Wi-Fi Direct can be integrated with other sensor-based object detection and driver alert systems already available on production vehicles to help detect pedestrians and bicyclists carrying smartphones also equipped with Wi-Fi Direct. GM is looking to develop a complementary app for Wi-Fi Direct-capable smartphones that can be downloaded by frequent road users such as “bike messenger” or “construction worker” that will help Wi-Fi Direct-equipped vehicles identify them.
Battelle, COTA demonstrating connected vehicle applications on buses
July 17, 2012
Engineers from Battelle Memorial Institute, working with the Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) as part of the United States Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) Connected Vehicle research program, have developed and are demonstrating a forward-collision-avoidance system for buses. Battelle is also working on similar connected commercial vehicle safety applications for Class 8 trucks (Connected Commercial Vehicle program).
Forward collision warning is one of five connected vehicle applications Battelle will demonstrate on buses as part of the US Department of Transportation (DOT)-sponsored Connected Vehicle Safety Pilot Model Deployment in Ann Arbor, Michigan, said Battelle transportation researcher and project manager Matt Burt. The Model Deployment will be a large-scale test of various safety applications on a variety of vehicle types driven by members of the public on public roads. (Earlier post.)
Volvo Car Corporation developing new safety systems with autonomous driving support
July 09, 2012
Volvo Car Corp. is developing several new safety systems—factoring in driver behavior in the modern traffic environment—towards achieving its 2020 goal that nobody should be killed or seriously injured in a new Volvo car.
Modern driver behavior has significantly changed from past behavior, Volvo says, noting that surveys from three different research institutes in the US show that modern drivers spend 25 to 30% of their time behind the wheel doing other things, such as focusing on mobile communication. Since these situations affect the driver’s attention on the road, they have to be taken into account when developing new technologies.
Nissan providing residual battery power forecast and use information services to LEAF owners
July 02, 2012
Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. introduced two services through the Nissan LEAF owners’ website and smartphone applications: one that precisely forecasts the LEAF’s remaining battery capacity when it arrives at a destination; and the other called “Minna no Syouhi Denryoku (Energy Usage Database)” (available in Japan and North America).
A dedicated website for Nissan LEAF owners already supplies a route search function which alerts a driver to information on charging spots, time required to drive a given travel route, and driving directions. Recently, owners have requested information regarding energy consumption based on additional variables, such as when a Nissan LEAF travels in areas with a large elevation change, such as up mountains.
Ford developing Traffic Jam Assist, evolving active parking system
June 27, 2012
Ford is developing Traffic Jam Assist, an intelligent driving feature that employs technology from the already-available active park assist, adaptive cruise control, Lane-Keeping Aid and the PowerShift transmission to enable a vehicle to automatically keep pace with other vehicles. Ford is also enhancing the current active park assist system—a Ford technology that enables parallel parking without touching the steering wheel—to offer hands-free perpendicular parking as well.
Ford’s early prototypes of the two driver assistance technologies are designed to interact with a vehicle’s surroundings, reduce driver stress and help reduce traffic gridlock.
euroFOT study demonstrates how driver assistance systems can increase safety and fuel efficiency
June 26, 2012
|euroFOT brought together 28 partners testing 8 functionalities using more than 1,000 vehicles. Source: euroFOT. Click to enlarge.|
The euroFOT consortium published the findings of a four-year study focused on the impact of driver assistance systems in the Europe. The €22-million (US$27.4-million ) European Field Operational Test (euroFOT) project—which began in June 2008 and involved 28 companies and organisations—was led by Aria Etemad from Ford’s European Research Centre in Aachen, Germany.
The study looked at existing technologies and their potential to both enhance safety and reduce environmental impact. euroFOT also revealed a link between these systems and improvements in driver behavior, fuel efficiency and traffic safety, as well as overall cost savings.
GM studying operator behavior in semi-autonomous vehicle operation; increased driver focus on road ahead
June 20, 2012
General Motors and its research partners recently studied how non-driving activities influence driver behavior in self-steering, semi-autonomous vehicles. The researchers are preparing a report on the work, which is still a few months away from publication; however, one key finding is that driver attentiveness can be improved through advanced driver assistance and safety features.
The GM study examined the demands on the driver’s visual attention in hands-on steering and automated steering, both with full-speed range adaptive cruise control engaged. The studies took place in a driving simulator at Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis and with Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) on a GM test track in Michigan.