French auto maker Groupe Renault has produced 1,000 Mégane cars equipped with cooperative intelligent transportation system (C-ITS) technology to enable the start of the active trial phase of the European Union’s SCOOP project.
The EU-funded SCOOP pilot project is trialing the deployment of C-ITS equipment and will be testing future vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) connectivity systems under real-world driving conditions. The testing program is being carried out by a range of partners in France, including the French Ministry for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition, regional authorities, infrastructure operators, universities and research centers. Renault is working within the SCOOP program to test the new technology on its Mégane vehicles and is currently in the process of recruiting forward-looking fleet partners to be part of this next-generation project.
The fleet of SCOOP-enabled Méganes uses technology that will be fitted to future connected and autonomous vehicles, including sensors and computers that gather and analyze a variety of vehicle data. These include: speed, steering wheel angle, possible weather-related tire grip problems, windscreen wiper operation, and the deployment of airbags. If a problem is detected, the car’s onboard computer automatically sends a warning message to other SCOOP-enabled vehicles and to roadside units positioned along motorway, which notify emergency services if a major incident is detected. In the pre-deployment phase, the units will be installed along 1,243 miles (2,000km) of roads in the greater Paris region, along the A4 motorway, in the Isère department in eastern France, on the Bordeaux ring road, and routes in Brittany.
The onboard computer unit, which issues the warning messages, uses a high-performance wireless communication protocol that harnesses latest-generation ITS G5 technology, operating on a dedicated frequency (5.9GHz). These systems have been developed for moving objects and offer a range of up to 3,280ft (1,000m). The protocol systematically verifies the authenticity of each message and operates quickly in real-time to avoid any collisions, while also guaranteeing that data is processed and held anonymously to protect users’ privacy.
“Our main goal is to offer our fleet customers cars that are safer on the roads and improve the flow of traffic,” explained Christine Tissot, Renault’s SCOOP project manager. “These vehicles ‘talk’ to each other and warn each other in real time of any hazards, slow traffic or accidents on the road ahead. Infrastructure companies such as French motorway operator SANEF also send information to compatible cars about traffic, roadworks, speed limits, accidents and upcoming hazards.”