Cars from Mercedes-Benz, Opel and Volvo in Finnish field trials
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland is involved in an extensive
international DRIVE C2X project that tests and develops intelligent transport
solutions. These solutions are aimed at improving safety and efficiency in
road traffic and reducing the carbon footprint of motoring. The project
includes large-scale testing of inter-vehicle communication and communication
between vehicles and the roadside infrastructure system. VTT is testing
intelligent transport systems in slippery and demanding weather conditions in
the city of Tampere, Finland. Collaboration between VTT and Volvo,
Mercedes-Benz and Opel is on the increase.
The DRIVE C2X project is a research project of approximately EUR 19 million,
of which EUR 12.4 million is covered by the EU Commission. The project
promotes development of intelligent transport systems and involves the
participation of the European automobile industry and its subcontractors, as
well as various research institutes. VTT is responsible for the test site
located in Tampere, and participates in DRIVE C2X project steering, data
management, and impact analysis.
“The purpose of the project is to use large-scale field trials to examine the
effects of systems based on inter-vehicle communication and communication
between vehicles and the roadside infrastructure system. Testing in Tampere
focuses on demanding weather conditions and warning of slippery road
surfaces,” explains Harri Koskinen, Senior Scientist at VTT. “VTT
has competence and experience in the analysis of the impacts of intelligent
VTT’s partners in the project include Nokian Tyres and the City of Tampere.
Deeper collaboration with automobile manufacturers
First-stage field trials were completed at the Tampere test site in May 2013.
“We performed the first tests successfully and within the planned schedule. We
are now implementing the second stage where automobile manufacturers are
already involved with their own cars. Our collaboration with Mercedes-Benz,
Opel and Volvo manufacturers has become closer. It seems leading car
manufacturers have confidence in VTT’s competence,” says Koskinen. “We arrange
tests for them in demanding and slippery conditions.”
The second stage, being performed in November-December 2013, tests a system
whereby the driver receives information on slippery road surfaces and traffic
signs over a 22-kilometre stretch of road.
“The measuring points along the road transmit warnings of slippery stretches
and traffic signs – such as right of way, warning triangles and speed limits –
to the vehicle's display device, 400 to 500 metres in advance,” Koskinen says.
“We have 30 drivers here, and collect a huge amount of data from their test
drives for analysis.”
In all, more than 80 drivers will have taken part in the Tampere field trials.
The data collected from the tests will be analysed in spring 2014. “VTT
experts have a leading role in the analysis of this data. The impact analysis
process has only just begun, but preliminary results seem to indicate the
tested systems having a positive impact, not least on road traffic safety,”
says Koskinen. “We’ve been collaborating with automobile manufacturers for a
long time, and this will continue. Russia is also an increasingly interesting
market area for car manufacturers, and weather conditions there are much the
same as we have in Finland."
The results of the DRIVE C2X project will be released in France on 17 July