Rüsselsheim/Brussels. If only five of 1,000 cars cooperatively exchange relevant data, this is sufficient to provide a representative picture of traffic flow. This is one of the interim findings of the DIAMANT field test which Opel is presenting at the ACEA congress “Our future mobility now” from June 22 to 25 in . This year the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association ACEA is celebrating its 20th anniversary and has invited young adults between the ages of 18 and 30 from all over to develop and exchange ideas on the future of traffic and mobility. The goal of the research project DIAMANT (Dynamic Information and Application for Mobility with Adaptive Networks and Telematics infrastructure) within the framework of the initiative “Jam-Free Hesse 2015” is to make traffic safer and reduce rush-hour congestion or even completely eliminate it.
Traffic congestion is omnipresent on the German Autobahn. According to the ADAC (German Automobile Club), last year alone there were 185,000 traffic jams with an aggregate length of around 400,000 kilometers, and the tendency is increasing. Besides losing time, this also results in additional fuel consumption of around 33 million liters and a cost to the national economy of around 300 million euro – every day. “Location-specific traffic information and warnings in real time can help to remedy this, while simultaneously increasing road safety,” explained Nick Reilly, Chairman of the Opel Supervisory board and GM Europe President during a panel discussion. Thanks to DIAMANT this vision could soon be reality. “Our pioneering work is making an important contribution towards protecting the environment. Less congestion means less wasted time, reduced fuel consumption and lower CO2 emissions,” continued Reilly.
With the aid of vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication, congested traffic, road works or other local obstructions can be identified early and drivers warned about possible delays and hazards. DIAMANT is based on two building blocks: sensors in the cars to collect and pass on all of the relevant data, and a traffic management infrastructure consisting of “roadside units” along the road to register all of the information collected and pass it on to the traffic control center. The cars exchange data with each other via local wireless networks in accordance with the new WLAN standard IEEE 802.11p. Reports from the traffic control center can even reach vehicles which are not equipped with the corresponding technology, for example via the radio service or variable-message traffic control signs.
During the one-year DIAMANT test phase, demonstration vehicles were equipped with the necessary technical systems and a trial route in the Rhine-Main region was furnished with the necessary infrastructure. The complete results of this field test are currently being scientifically evaluated and will soon be presented to the public.