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European research project shows great potential for networked driving

Berlin, 16 July 2014

“DRIVE C2X” field test: Car-to-x communication system enhances road safety

The “DRIVE C2X” project has conducted a comprehensive examination of networked driving in field tests at European level for the first time. The test results of the project, which is co-financed by the European Union and coordinated by Daimler AG, supply the basis for introducing this technology throughout Europe. In the past months more than 750 car drivers in Finland, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and Germany have tested various applications, such as traffic sign warnings or traffic light assistants.

“The technology of car-to-x communication has proved its soundness in the field trial, both in everyday situations and in the simulation laboratory under extreme conditions”, explained Dr. Ulrich Eichhorn, Managing Director of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA) at the concluding event of “DRIVE C2X” held in Berlin today.

In car-to-x communication road operators, infrastructure, vehicles and drivers, as well as other road users are networked in order to make driving as safe and efficient as possible. This technology, in conjunction with driver assistance systems, informs road users for example about hindrances on the road, vehicles ahead making an emergency stop, or the traffic situation at the next roadworks site etc.

Following the “simTD – Safe and Intelligent Mobility – Test Field Germany” project, in which the suitability for everyday use of cooperative systems on autobahns, main roads and urban routes in and around Frankfurt am Main was tested under real conditions for the first time in 2012, the European project “DRIVE C2X” was now completed.

Conclusion: this new technology can improve road safety and efficiency and lower emissions. Furthermore, the studies revealed a high level of acceptance among users. In the tests all drivers responded as expected to the information and warnings of the system. The functions traffic sign assistant/warning (IVS) and weather warning (WW) displayed the greatest potential for avoiding serious accidents.

Projected to a theoretical installation rate of 100 per cent, the traffic sign assistant/warning function alone could avoid on average 13 per cent of all road accidents. According to the research report presented, the weather warning function would lead to 5 per cent few people being injured in road traffic.

“The demand for such services is already extremely high. We assume that as they become more widespread in vehicles, ever more functions will become useful – especially as regards safety, comfort, efficiency and the flow of traffic”, says Eichhorn. He added that the prerequisite for this was a uniform standard of infrastructure and a broad market launch of the on-board components.

Further information on the project is available at: http://www.drive-c2x.eu

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