Swedish project developing cloud platform to connect emergency vehicles to AVs

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A recently started Swedish research project is developing a cloud-based traffic control platform that builds on the Drive Sweden Innovation Cloud, and enables smooth and seamless information exchange between emergency service coordinators and automated vehicles.

Automated vehicles (AV) are expected to bring many benefits to the society, including improved safety, reduced congestion, lower emissions, higher productivity, and greater access to mobility. To ensure these benefits, such vehicles need to be able to exchange information with other vehicles in their vicinity. The AD Aware Traffic Control – Emergency Vehicles project is being conducted by Volvo Cars, Carmenta, Ericsson, SOS Alarm, and Research Institutes of Sweden (RISE), and is developing a cloud-based traffic control platform that builds on the Drive Sweden initiative’s existing Innovation Cloud system.

The time to arrival of emergency vehicles is often a matter of life and death. However, it is not uncommon that these vehicles suffer problems with other vehicles and get delayed in traffic. The Swedish project aims to answer that question of whether the introduction of automated vehicles in society will facilitate a quicker and safer arrival of emergency vehicles. It is hoped that the project will result in: a prototype cloud platform for information exchange between automated vehicles and coordinators of emergency vehicles; a public demonstration of the platform and its functionality; and knowledge on societal benefits, as well as important challenges with the platform.

The previously demonstrated AD Aware Traffic Control platform is now being further developed to include cloud-based services for sharing information with emergency vehicle coordinators. In addition to its existing weather, visibility and general traffic situation information, it now also combines real-time emergency vehicle and detailed geospatial information from local road networks and their surroundings to create a shared operational picture of the live traffic situation. A public demonstration of the platform and preliminary project results is planned for the end of June 2018, and will be held in Gothenburg, Sweden. The project is co-funded by the Drive Sweden strategic innovation program, and is expected to end in December.

“We are today responsible for assigning the appropriate vehicle to the right location in an emergency. The introduction of automated vehicles that can share information about themselves, and the route they’re heading, brings great opportunities,” explained Mattias Hindfelt, SOS Alarm’s CIO. “Emergency vehicles can reach their location faster and more efficiently. But the project also poses new challenges in terms of how to ensure that information is shared in a safe and reliable way.”

Azra Habibovic, senior researcher at RISE Viktoria, added, “Building upon our extensive experience in evaluation methodologies, we will plan and conduct the evaluation. In this work, it is important to acknowledge that applicability of the platform is not necessarily limited to automated vehicles only. It could be used as a complement to sirens and lights to provide alerts to drivers of conventional vehicles, which extends the potential of the AD Aware Traffic Control platform beyond the borders of the current project.” 

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International magazine and the Traffic Technology Today website since he joined the company in May 2014. Prior to this he worked on some of the UK's leading consumer magazine titles including Men's Health and Glamour, beginning his career in journalism in 1997 after graduating with a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).

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