Communication among vehicles can reduce traffic accidents, trial shows

September 23, 2013 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Pedestrians, cyclists and car drivers can benefit from methods to acquire and utilize environment data in cooperative ways amongst cars. This is the result of the Ko-FAS research project, which aimed at improving traffic safety through cooperative approaches.

The Ko-FAS project (Kooperative Fahrzeug-Sicherheit, Cooperative vehicle safety) was divided into three sub-projects - Ko-TAG, Ko-PER and Ko-KOMP. The approach of Ko-Tag was to tap transponder technologies for reliable identification and localization of traffic participants. In the project, pedestrians and cyclists were equipped with miniaturized transponder units. Upon receiving an interrogation signal transmitted from the test vehicle's onboard locating system, these transponders sent back information indicating the type of traffic participant wearing the transponder and his the position relative to the vehicle.

The transponder system developed within the Ko-TAG project is based on WiFi standard IEEE 802.11p. In contrast to the system used in a predecessor previous project called, AMULETT, it features extensive synergies with Car-to-x communication.

Further miniaturisation – reducing the tag to the size of a chip – would allow future transponders to be fitted in articles such as a school satchel or a walking stick. The distinctive feature of this technology is that it makes it possible to detect people even when they are not visible to the car driver at the time of the hazard.

Effectiveness studies demonstrated that the transponder system investigated in this project offers high potential for mitigating or even preventing accidents, by warning drivers of hazards much earlier and in a more effective way.

In the Ko-PER project, specialists from carmaker BMW Group researched cooperative perception techniques suitable for use in parallel traffic and at intersections to improve the driver's foresight in traffic.

The aim of the Ko-PER project was to provide the fullest possible traffic detection, based on the cooperative exchange of information between vehicles. At accident hot spots this information can be supplemented with infrastructure- based information. In these various ways it is possible to eliminate the effect of obstructions in both the driver’s and the vehicle sensors’ field of view. Drivers can therefore be alerted to hazards at an early stage, allowing them to take appropriate action.

The Ko-PER