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simTD presents system for largest field test for car-to-X communication

Overview of simTD. Click to enlarge.

The project consortium simTD (Safe Intelligent Mobility—Test Area Germany) presented a car-to-X communication system that it has developed after 3 years of research efforts. The system will support the world’s largest field test of vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication (car-to-X-communication, C2X) on German roads. The test fleet, consisting of 120 vehicles, is currently being equipped, and the roadside communication equipment is being installed, and the required test infrastructure installed. Public/private investment in the project is more than €70 million (US$96 million).

Beginning in spring 2012, the test fleet will be demonstrating the suitability of the simTD system for everyday use under actual road conditions in and around the city of Frankfurt am Main.

On the vehicle side, relevant systems such as certain data buses are connected to an in-vehicle communication platform, the “ITS Vehicle Station”. This station will then transmit relevant data to the other road users and the traffic infrastructure.

Communication channels within simTD. Click to enlarge.

The ITS Vehicle Station is using wireless technology based on the well-known WLAN standard which was specifically developed for this automotive application. Information can either be transferred directly to other vehicles or to ITS Roadside Stations installed along the road. If the communication partner is not located in close vicinity to the sender, other vehicles can transmit or store and forward information.

Moreover, mobile wireless technologies such as UMTS and GPRS are integrated. This can bridge the WLAN connectivity gap (e.g. if roadside infrastructure is lacking) and support many value-added services.

At the presentation of the project in Freidberg, the simTD project partners demonstrated the following functions based on the exchange of car-to-X information:

  • Road Works Information System
  • Obstacle Warning
  • Emergency Vehicle Warning
  • Traffic Sign Assistant
  • Traffic Light Assistant
  • Local Traffic-adapted Signal Control
  • Electronic Brake Light
  • Location Dependent Services
  • Road weather Warning

The partners also presented the simTD simulation laboratory. The lab consists of two sections: the driving simulation and the traffic simulation. Using the driving simulation, the driver’s behavior is monitored when performing safety-critical driving tasks and in situations that are critical for the system. The aim of the traffic simulation is to determine what influence simTD has on traffic as a whole, according to how many vehicles are equipped with the system.

The aim of the simTD research project is to test the functionality, suitability for everyday use and the efficiency of car-to-X communication for the first time under real-life conditions. With car-to-X communication, vehicles and infrastructure are electronically connected. This allows information to be exchanged between vehicles, and also between vehicles and traffic infrastructure, such as light signal systems. Following and oncoming road users can therefore receive information in advance about potential hazards, allowing them to respond appropriately and in good time.

Information on the traffic situation is transmitted to the simTD test center, which can then reliably forecast and accurately control traffic developments. In turn, the information is provided to road users, who can modify their driving routes so that they arrive at their destinations safely and conveniently in the quickest possible time. This also reduces CO2 emissions in road traffic. Vehicle-related data is transmitted exclusively in anonymized form.

The Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi), the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development (BMVBS) provide funding for simTD, because this consortium has the potential to promote a new dimension of foresighted driving, traffic control, and accident avoidance. The ministries are convinced that a commonly agreed standard is essential for the commercial deployment of this technology.

simTD is a joint project initiated by leading German automakers, automotive suppliers, communication companies and research institutes, together with assistance from the public sector. Project partners include: Adam Opel AG; AUDI AG; BMW AG; BMW Forschung und Technik GmbH; Daimler AG; Ford Forschungszentrum Aachen GmbH; Volkswagen AG; Robert Bosch GmbH; Continental; Deutsche Telekom AG; Fraunhofer- Gesellschaft zur Förderung der angewandten Forschung e.V.; Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz GmbH (DFKI); Technische Universität Berlin; Technische Universität München; Hochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft des Saarlandes; Universität Würzburg; Hessisches Landesamt für Straßen- und Verkehrswesen; and Stadt Frankfurt am Main.

The project is also promoted and supported by the federal state of Hesse, the German Association of the Automotive Industry and the Car 2 Car Communication Consortium. BMWi, BMBF and BMVBS support simTD with approximately €40 million, the other project partners contributes approximately €31 million.


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