Ford has revealed its part in a research program that has started the real-world testing of vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communication systems on European roads. The company is contributing 20 specially equipped S-MAX models to a 120 vehicle fleet that is being used to test 20 experimental driver assistance technologies, as part of the four-year simTD (Safe Intelligent Mobility - Testfield Deutschland) research project. The project’s goal is gain a better understanding of the potential for V2V and V2I communication technologies to improve traffic safety and personal mobility. Many experts believe roads could be made safer and traffic congestion reduced by using mobile communications technology to integrate vehicles with each other and with transport infrastructure.
Although engineers from Ford’s European Research Centre in Aachen, Germany and its simTD project partners have previously tested the developmental technologies in a controlled environment, they will now be tested on public roads in and around Frankfurt in real-world driving conditions. The systems being tested include: Electronic Brake Light, which delivers a message from the lead vehicle to a following vehicle if an emergency braking procedure is carried out, even if this occurs out-of-sight; Obstacle Warning system, which enables a vehicle to inform other road users of the presence, position and type of potentially hazardous obstacles on the road; Traffic Sign Assistant, which remains in continuous contact with traffic management centers to access up-to-date information on variable speed limits, temporary restrictions and diversions; Public Traffic Management, which provides exact traffic prognosis based on comprehensive information; and in-car internet access, which can enable the driver to reserve and pay for parking en-route.
Paul Mascarenas, chief technical officer and vice president of Ford Research and Innovation, commented, “Car-to-car and car-to-infrastructure communications represent the next major advancements in vehicle safety. We are committed to further real-world testing here and around the world, with the goal of implementation in the foreseeable future.” Christian Ress, technical expert for Ford Research and Advanced Engineering, noted, “The vehicles will cover thousands of kilometres in test drives and evaluations to gather valuable research data from every-day driving scenarios.” The EUR53 million (US$65.7 million) simTD project is being funded by several German Federal Ministries.
7 August 2012
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