HERE mapping, navigation and location services, owned by Nokia, has secured a contract from Finnish traffic agencies to lead a pilot project to allow vehicles to safely communicate hazards to others on the road.
Scheduled to be initiated next year, the project will assess the capability of current and emerging mobile network and location cloud technologies to support the timely communication of critical safety information, such as black ice or an animal on the road, sudden traffic build-up, or an accident.
Initially, drivers will voluntarily share notifications about safety hazards and changing road conditions initially via a smartphone in order to test the capability of the proposed technology architecture.
“There will be enormous amounts of data generated by a car’s on-board sensors that can be collected, analysed and shared with others on the road.”
The project, called ‘Coop’, is aimed at checking whether this architecture would later also support low-latency communication, via a cloud of data generated by a vehicle’s on-board sensors and the surrounding road infrastructure to other vehicles and smart devices on the road.
By 2020, there will be around 33 million vehicles sold annually with built-in connectivity, generating more than 163 million terabytes of data each year via their on-board cameras and sensors, according to a recent forecast from SBD, an automotive technology research firm.
The data, shared across the road network using 4G / LTE and future 5G network technologies, could be used by vehicles to give awareness of road conditions beyond the reach of their sensors, as well as allow the driver or the vehicle itself to better plan driving maneuvers.
HERE has been given the task of implementing the project by the Finnish Transport Agency (FTA) and Trafi, the Finnish Transport Safety Agency.
In the implementation phase, HERE will work together with traffic information management service company Infotripla.
The project will be the first to put into operation a road hazard warning messaging system as described in the intelligent transportation systems (ITS) directive set out by the European Union (EU).
HERE Digital Transportation Infrastructure programme head George Filley said: “With this project, we will explore how technology within our reach today could make driving safer as cars get connected.
“There will be enormous amounts of data generated by a car’s on-board sensors that can be collected, analysed and shared with others on the road.
“An important piece of the puzzle is to figure out how to provide relevant, low-latency information to the right people at the right time, and that is a problem we believe we can solve.”
The company said that the project does not require the deployment of any additional roadside infrastructure, such as Dedicated Short Range Communications (DSRC) equipment.
The project’s first phase will focus on ensuring the technical maturity of the system, while the second phase will begin in the first half of 2016 on the E18 highway, on the main road between Helsinki and Turku, as well as the Ring I and Ring III highways in the Greater Helsinki area.
The project is expected to be completed by the end of 2017.