BMW has revealed its role in developing driver assistance and traffic management systems for the urban driving environment, which are part of the German ‘UR:BAN’ research initiative. A total of 30 partners, comprising automotive manufacturers and suppliers, electronics, communication technology and software companies, universities, research institutes and cities, have joined forces in the project. The German acronym, UR:BAN, stands for ‘Urban space: user-oriented assistance systems and network management’. The UR:BAN partners’ total budget over the four-year lifetime of the project will be EUR80 million (US$103.3 million), with 50% of the funding being provided by the German Ministry of Economics and Technology within the framework of the German Government’s Third Transport Research Program.
UR:BAN comprises three projects: ‘Cognitive Assistance’, ‘Networked Traffic System’ and ‘The Human Element in Traffic’, with BMW making important contributions to all three schemes. In the Cognitive Assistance sub-project, ‘Protection of Vulnerable Road Users’, BMW is developing an assistance system to protect pedestrians, which assesses the likelihood of a collision between a pedestrian and a vehicle, based on the current situation and the behavior of the pedestrian. In another sub-project, ‘Sensing and Modeling of the Vehicle Environment’, the company is developing high-performance algorithms for environment detection, data fusion and situation assessment.
In the Networked Traffic System sub-project, ‘Smart Road’, BMW and other project partners are developing a green wave/traffic light approach assistance system, which uses advance information about traffic light phasing and the local traffic situation at intersections to ensure energy and emission-efficient driving on urban roads. In the Human Element in Traffic sub-project, ‘Controllability’, the company and its partners from various universities and research institutes will be developing methods for assessing the ability of vehicles in the future to serve as an ‘active helper’ in hazardous situations. Susanne Breitenberger, UR:BAN project manager at BMW AG, commented, “UR:BAN will not only make a significant contribution to increased urban road safety, but through the deployment of an intelligent infrastructure and its integration with intelligent vehicles, it will also optimize traffic efficiency.”
24 September 2012
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