Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS)
[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.]
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.
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.
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.)
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.
Pike Research forecasts smart city technology market to grow to $20.2B annually in 2020; smart transportation component to be worth $5.5B by 2020
January 22, 2013
In a new report, Pike Research forecasts that the smart city technology market will grow from $6.1 billion annually in 2012 to $20.2 billion in 2020—a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16.2%. Globally, Pike anticipates cumulative investment of more than $117 billion in smart city technologies between 2012 and 2020.
Pike Research analyzes the market in terms of the five “industries” that are core to the development of smart cities: smart energy; smart water; smart transportation; smart buildings; and smart government. The fastest-growing of these industries will be smart transportation, with a CAGR of 19.5% between 2012 and 2020. By 2020, the smart transportation market related to smart cities will be worth $5.5 billion annually.
MacArthur Foundation grant supports Urban Center for Computation and Data
January 20, 2013
A new Chicago-based research center using advanced computational methods to understand the rapid growth of cities will receive a $500,000 grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The funds help launch the Urban Center for Computation and Data (UrbanCCD), an initiative of the Computation Institute (CI) dedicated to data-driven urban research, planning and design.
Announced in December 2012, UrbanCCD was initially funded by a $600,000-grant from the National Science Foundation and unites researchers from several Chicago institutions, city officials and private enterprise with the Computation Institute (CI), a joint initiative between the University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory.
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.
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).
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’s EV+ feature learns frequent destinations and adjusts hybrid powertrain to deliver more electric-only driving
November 08, 2012
Ford has developed EV+, a patent-pending feature that helps hybrids and plug-in hybrids learn frequent destinations, and then deliver more driving time in electric-only mode. EV+ is part of SmartGauge and is a standard feature on the Ford plug-in hybrids, C-MAX Energi and Fusion Energi, along with the hybrid versions of Fusion and C-MAX.
EV+ combines the built-in GPS of Ford SYNC with proprietary software algorithms developed by Ford engineers to learn frequent destinations. Once frequent destinations have been learned—such as home parking locations—EV+ adjusts how the electric power stored in the vehicle’s high-voltage battery is used to power the vehicle. If EV+ determines the vehicle is nearing a frequent destination, it has the capability to remain in electric-only mode.
BMW showcasing urban mobility connectivity applications at ITS World Congress
October 23, 2012
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.
Toyota begins testing optimized urban transport system
October 01, 2012
|Ha:mo Ride EV-sharing station. Click to enlarge.|
Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC), in cooperation with the Toyota City municipal government, transportation companies and others, began testing of an optimized urban transportation system called “Ha:mo” (“harmonious mobility”). The system will select optimal means of transport for users based on the operational status of public transport systems and traffic conditions.
Vehicle-sharing stations are to be installed at four locations within Toyota City, providing a car-sharing service using COMS (“Chotto Odekake Machimade Suisui”, or “smooth, short rides into town”) ultra-compact single-occupant electric vehicles (EVs) manufactured by Toyota Auto Body Co., Ltd. (Earlier post.)
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.
Ford developing a strategy to address urban personal mobility globally; a mobility company, not just an auto company
July 15, 2012
|Rough map of Ford’s Blueprint for Mobility. Click to enlarge.|
Ford Motor Company is mapping out a strategy to address the requirements for personal mobility in the context of the megatrend of increasing global urbanization, both in mature economies as well as in emerging markets. If Ford thinks of itself as a mobility company, rather than just an auto company, said Ford Chairman Bill Ford at the recent, second annual “Go Further with Ford” trend conference, “that really opens up possibilities.”
The Ford chairman had already begun talking about the future of urban personal mobility in the context of ever-increasing congestion at the TED2011 conference in Long Beach. During his keynote address at the 2012 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona earlier this year, he outlined a plan for connected cars to help avoid a potential future of what he called “global gridlock—a never-ending traffic jam that wastes time, energy and resources.” (Earlier post.) At the Go Further with Ford conference, he expanded on a broader vision for personal urban mobility supported by an integrated network of different modes of transportation optimized for cities of the future.
Veolia Transdev and IBM collaborate to improve urban transport in cities
June 27, 2012
Veolia Transdev and IBM are collaborating to develop a smarter mobility solution designed to help cities alleviate road congestion, optimize transportation infrastructures and improve the urban traveler experience. The smarter mobility solution brings together Veolia Transdev’s expertise in the public transit industry and IBM’s expertise in managing big data and advanced analytics. Cities will now have the ability to coordinate and connect services across all of its transportation networks, including subways, trams, buses, vehicular and bicycle traffic, and more.
The first application of the smarter mobility solution is being piloted in the City of Lyon, France—the second largest metropolitan area in France outside of Paris—as part of the city’s project.
Ford developing Traffic Jam Assist, evolving active parking system
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.
Pike Research forecasts continued deployments of Intelligent Transportation Systems despite public sector cutbacks
May 29, 2012
|Smart transport investment by sector, world markets: 2011-2017. Source: Pike Research. Click to enlarge.|
The widespread availability of high-speed networks, both fixed and wireless, along with the ability to embed intelligence in physical objects throughout the urban environment and the diffusion of mobile devices that can send and receive real-time vehicle or infrastructure information, is driving the adoption of smart transportation systems in cities across the developed world and in major emerging economies. According to a recent report from Pike Research, these deployments of Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) are likely to continue to grow even as public infrastructure spending flattens or even declines in many cases.
Pike forecasts that global investment in four key applications—traffic management systems, smart charging for plug-in electric vehicles, public transportation systems, and vehicle-to-vehicle systems—for smart transportation systems will total $13.1 billion between 2011 and 2017, with annual spending on key ITS increasing from just under $770 million in 2011 to almost $3 billion in 2017.
Google’s technology campaign for autonomous driving
May 25, 2012
by Bill Cooke
Search engine giant Google is looking for partners within in the auto industry to help launch one of the most significant applications of artificial technology over the next several years, the self-driving car.
In a keynote address to the SAE 2012 World Congress on 25 April 2012, Anthony Levandowski, Business Lead for Google’s Self Driving Car Project provided an overview of Google’s autonomous vehicle program and requested that the auto industry partner with Google on the implementation. (Levandowski joined Google in 2007 to launch StreetView—Google Maps with Street View lets you explore places around the world through 360-degree street-level imagery.)