Volkswagen and Siemens want to further improve road safety, especially at crossroads. To achieve this, new functions have been developed for the local exchange of information between vehicles and digital transport infrastructure. The overall system uses the Car2X technology WLANp (ITS-G5) and is currently undergoing tests on Wolfsburg roads.
In a joint project, the German city of Wolfsburg, Volkswagen and Siemens are currently setting up a test section on a main road in Wolfsburg in which ten traffic signal systems will transmit the traffic light phases in the vicinity via WLANp. Future Car2X vehicles will be able to process that information and inform the driver, for example, when all traffic lights in succession are on green. That way, they can avoid braking or accelerating unnecessarily. In the near future, assistant functions will be able to do this without driver intervention.
The forward-looking traffic light functions in the vehicle improve the flow of traffic in built-up areas. It is hoped that this project will also contribute to road safety in general. To do this, two crossroads in Wolfsburg are being equipped with modern sensor technology to detect pedestrians and cyclists.
To distribute the sensor object data from the traffic infrastructure to the vehicle, the Car2X technology WLANp, to be introduced by Volkswagen next year, will be supplemented with additional messages, which enable cooperative security functions to be implemented. They intervene in situations in which the driver or vehicle cannot recognise the surrounding road users with their own senses/sensors or can only do so at a very late stage. In particular, road users such as pedestrians and cyclists, who are often involved in accidents, should be better protected by this.
From today’s perspective, the use of transport infrastructure, particularly in towns and cities, offers crucial advantages over other Car2X approaches. A number of partners are currently working to expand the existing WLANp standards. With the pilot project in a real traffic environment, this should be completed more quickly.
Cooperative functions can only be effective if the transport infrastructure and all road users are speaking the same language. That is why Volkswagen and Siemens are supporting the European Union’s objective of establishing a binding framework for networked driving across Europe in the near future.