Today, the entire test fleet for one of the world’s biggest car-to-x communication field tests took to the roads of Germany.
Car-to-x identifies both car-to-car communications as well as car-to-infrastructure communications.
Under the umbrella of the sim (Safe and Intelligent Mobility – Test Field Germany) research project, 17 partners are working on systems integration and information sharing to make road use safer, more efficient and less stressful.
Communication technologies are being deployed that multiply the range which a vehicle’s sensors are able to monitor many times over, so that risks can be identified and drivers alerted as soon as possible.
“In recent years, driving has already become much safer thanks to advanced electronic driver assistance systems based on cameras, radar and infrared sensors that monitor a vehicle’s surroundings. Car-to-x communication goes one step further, allowing us to see round corners, as it were, and consequently to drive even more foresightedly. This brings us a significant step closer to making the roads even safer,” explained Dr. Peter E. Rieth, Senior Vice President Systems & Technology in Continental’s Chassis & Safety Division.
As part of sim, international automotive supplier Continental has developed the Communication Control Unit (CCU) which enables information to be shared over different channels such as UMTS or automotive WLAN. Positioning and time synchronization data can also be accessed via GPS.
Together, the Communication Control Unit and a Vehicle Application Unit, which was developed by project partner Bosch within the sim project, form the ITS (Intelligent Transportation Systems) vehicle station that is installed in all sim test vehicles. The main challenge during development was to standardize the communication processes outside the vehicle to create a common basis for sharing cross-vehicle information.
For the Vehicle Application Unit, Continental collaborated on the definition, specification, development and trialing of the cooperative ITS applications and supplied the software components for the Road Works Information System, the Congestion Warning, Advanced Route Guidance and the use of Internet-Based Services.
These applications enable traffic information to be displayed to the driver, such as warnings about the end of a traffic jam hidden round a bend, the position and length of a section of roadworks and the traffic situation in that section. Navigation routes can also be changed dynamically according to the prevailing traffic situation.
Finally, as part of systems integration – one of six sim subprojects – vehicle, communications and traffic technologies were connected to form a fully-integrated system during months of trials in the lab, and testing and optimization at a private test track and on the road.
Continental is developing the M2XPro sensor and the Intelligent Antenna Module, two components that will create an inexpensive car-to-x system. The M2XPro sensor (Motion information 2 X Provider) can determine precisely which traffic lane a vehicle is located in through the fusion of driving dynamics sensors with GPS data. The sensor uses an intelligent fusion algorithm to provide other control units with a vehicle’s motion information together with a precise time base – a key requirement for car-to-x communication.
The M2XPro can also calculate the actual car-to-x functions so no additional control unit is needed. When combined with Continental’s Intelligent Antenna Module, precise vehicle data can be made available to all the vehicle’s own systems and also transmitted to the surrounding infrastructure.
In one unit, the Intelligent Antenna Module integrates the antennas for wireless communication between vehicle and infrastructure, the antennas for the vehicle interior and the corresponding transmission and reception electronics. As a result, the module enables the use of applications such as telephone, radio, GPS and WLAN, as well as future vehicle-to-vehicle communication.
“The further development of this car-to-x system means that we will be able to go into full production in a few years’ time,” continued Dr. Klumpp, “which again underlines our systems expertise in the development of innovative safety technologies.”
sim project partners are as follows: Adam Opel AG, AUDI AG, BMW AG, BMW Forschung und Technik GmbH, Daimler AG (simTD project management), 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, Hessen Mobil – Straßen- und Verkehrsmanagement and the city of Frankfurt am Main.