Leading Spanish consulting and technology company Indra has started the deployment of equipment in Madrid that will be used by the European AutoCITS innovation project pilot, which will test connected and autonomous driving in the metropolitan area of Spain’s capital.
The goal of the AutoCITS project is to allow connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs) to circulate in urban nodes and across different European countries, communicating with traffic control centers (TCCs) and infrastructures, promoting their safe coexistence with other vehicles, and adapting the regulatory framework and traffic rules to accommodate self-driving vehicles.
The project is trialling the technology in Madrid, Lisbon and Paris, as these are the three largest cities in the Atlantic Core Network Corridor, and comprise roads that are regarded as priorities for developing Europe’s transport infrastructure. To achieve this, it will develop intelligent transport services based on cooperative systems (C-ITS) that will enable communication and safe exchange of data between vehicles, users and infrastructures (V2X), using the ITS-G5 European communication standard.
Three C-ITS services have been developed for the pilot in Madrid, which will broaden the CAV’s vision and enable decision making through alerts, including notifications of construction work on the road, traffic jams or adverse weather conditions. These C-ITS services have been integrated in Indra’s proprietary Horus traffic and tunnel management platform, for which a new module has been created to manage the sending of information to the CAVs, as well as to take advantage of the data these vehicles generate, processing these in real time, and providing valuable information for decision making by managers, the vehicles themselves and drivers of conventional vehicles.
The in-cloud Horus platform obtains information from incidents through Spain’s General Traffic Directorate (DGT) information channel using the Datex2 protocol, a European standard for exchanging information among traffic control centers. The first RSU (road side units), that use various ITS-G5 and mobile communication technologies, are already being installed at the pilot site, the bus-HOV lane of the A-6 highway that connects with the M-30 beltway in Madrid.
These devices will transmit information to the two test CAVs when they use the reversible, high-occupancy lane. In addition to the initial deployment, the first tests are being done with an autonomous vehicle in a closed circuit at Indra’s facilities in San Fernando de Henares to verify that information is correctly sent and received. For tests in more urban settings, another two low-speed autonomous vehicles will be used as shuttles to transport passengers on the Instituto Pedro Nunes (IPN) campus.