V2X communication: Results of the research project simTD
With V2X communication, automobiles can not only “feel” and “see”, but now also “hear”. Vehicles and infrastructure are networked using radio technology. Information can be exchanged between vehicles and between vehicles and the transportation infrastructure (for example, alternating traffic signs and traffic light systems) and integrated into traffic management systems. In driver assistance systems, the driver is provided with additional safety and comfort functions.
Applications for traffic control can be implemented based on real-time information. Information about traffic situations is transmitted to traffic centers that can reliably forecast traffic trends and provide the resulting information to traffic participants. Vehicle-specific data is transmitted only in anonymized form. Traffic information is transmitted in encrypted form to protect it from unauthorized access. Society benefits from the introduction of functions based on V2X communication due to the increase in driving and traffic safety. Accidents are prevented, driving times are reduced, and carbon dioxide is saved.
The project simTD – “Safe, Intelligent Mobility, Test Area Germany” was a joint project by leading German automobile manufacturers, automobile suppliers, communications companies and research institutes. The project was supported and funded by the Federal Ministries of Transportation and Energy (BMWi), Education and Research (BMBF), Transportation, Construction and Municipal Development (BMVBS) as well as the state of Hessen, the Automobile Industry Association and the Car 2 Car Communication Consortium.
In the simTD project, the radio standard of V2X communication was further developed. Transmitter and receiver components for vehicles and transportation infrastructure were developed, integrated into the test environment and tested. The radio technology is based on the familiar WLAN standard, which was extended to meet automotive requirements. simTD drove the standardization of the message formats of V2X communication and interfaces to traffic-control systems forward. The test scenarios were submitted to the standardization body ETSI (European Telecommunications Standards Institute) as the basis for development of conformity and interoperability testing.
After a preparation phase for the simTD project over several years, the six-month field testing phase examined 120 automobiles from all German manufacturers and three motorcycles with the technology of V2X communication under real conditions on the roads in the Frankfurt region. Over 100 WLAN stations were set up along the roads. The central task of the simTD field test was to demonstrate suitability in practice.
Along with the field test in the simTD project, trials were also carried out in driving, traffic and accident simulations to evaluate the spheres of effectiveness and resulting potential for functions based on technology of the V2X communication. Building on that knowledge and taking different introduction scenarios into consideration, the economic potential of specific functions was calculated. At full penetration of functions based on V2X communication, an annual economic benefit of up to 6.5 billion euros can be obtained from traffic accidents avoided, and another 4.9 billion euros from the elimination of environmental burden. For the period investigated from 2015 to 2035, a trend in cost/benefit ratio of about 3 to >8 was estimated. The simTD project – “Safe, Intelligent Mobility, Test Area Germany” – demonstrated the practical feasibility of so-called V2X technology. Private business and the government must work together to introduce the technology so that the benefits of the technology based on V2X communication can be achieved even early in the introduction phase.
The German vehicle manufacturers have stated that they will equip their new vehicles with the needed technology step by step starting in 2015 on the way to V2X communication. The first applications will be construction site warnings and traffic situation detection, which an initiative between government and industry is already implementing. Starting in 2015, a roadside cooperation infrastructure will be built for the first applications as part of the “Cooperative ITS Corridor Rotterdam-Frankfurt/M.-Vienna”. In this corridor, all construction site warning trailers will be equipped with appropriate transmitters. The expansion of this corridor throughout Germany is planned. For V2X technology to be effective, public funding should be applied through these initiatives as soon as possible, to start equipping the infrastructure in the relevant areas with the transmitter stations required. This will make Germany a leader in V2X technology.