Safe and efficient road transport, without casualties or serious injuries on European roads, especially in complex urban areas and for vulnerable road users – this is the vision of the EU research project C-MobILE (Accelerating C-ITS Mobility Innovation and depLoyment in Europe). The aim of the 37 project partners is to deploy Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems(C-ITS) across Europe in order to advance automated traffic and transport. In this interview, Michael Schygulla, Senior Project Manager of Global Research at PTV Group, tells us about the project.
Compass: Congestion-free, sustainable and economically viable mobility which minimises the environmental impact of road transport – that sounds fantastic. However, the reality looks somewhat different. How will C-MobILE make this vision a reality?
Michael Schygulla: We will do this by using a range of ITS applications covering all modes of transport and users, all of which will be made available on demand. Some of these applications have already been developed and implemented, while more are on the way. But if we’re to be successful, endless amounts of data will have to be evaluated and processed. And that’s the tricky part.
We already have access to a lot of data, such as traffic data used by traffic management centres. However, there is a lot more data available that we could use, for example floating car data which also provides information on road incidents affecting traffic flow. Such data is becoming more and more relevant, especially in the context of automated or semi-automated vehicles. The challenge is to connect everything intelligently so that the appropriate application is used for each specific situation.
Compass: What could these C-ITS applications look like?
Michael Schygulla: C-ITS applications can be used to solve a range of different transport issues. In the field of communication between vehicles (V2V), road safety could be improved by implementing applications which warn the driver of impending collisions with slower vehicles, motorcycles or other vehicles more vulnerable to accidents, which are approaching or in a blind spot. It will also be important to implement connected systems similar to V2V communication for cooperative control of complex junctions in urban areas. For example, system-based dynamic speed display signs (DSDS) and display panels advising on the best transport modes and travel times (e.g. at major events or in case of traffic congestion) could help increase transport efficiency, while construction warning signs could enhance communication between road infrastructure and vehicles. Another important issue which could be addressed by C-ITS applications is the provision of information relating to parking space availability to truck drivers, and they could also be used to manage driving and rest periods for truck drivers as well.
Compass: And how can you ensure that these and many other applications are used to support road transport throughout Europe?
Michael Schygulla: We aim to develop test methods for evaluating the C-ITS architecture and applications to ensure they benefit road transport networks across Europe. For the tests, there are pilot sites across Europe which we are using. They are the basis for the large-scale deployment of the solutions developed by our project team, and they will be tested in real-world conditions. We also want to show that these services can be made available seamlessly while keeping an eye on the final cost for the user. The test areas include Barcelona, Thessaloniki, Vigo, Newcastle, Copenhagen, Bordeaux, Bilbao and the region of Noord Brabant. But one thing is especially important to us: all of these tested services should be transferable to other cities and regions.
Compass: What work packages are we involved in?
Michael Schygulla: Our PTV Research team is mainly involved in the architecture, system design and validation work packages. As a subcontractor, PTV Truckparking will be involved in the integration and demonstration work package with a focus on the further development and provision of the Truck Parking Europe app.
C-MobILE is an EU Horizon 2020 co-funded project receiving EUR 15 million in EU funding. The aim of the project is to develop and support large-scale deployment of cooperative intelligent transport systems and services across Europe. C-MobILE consists of 37 European partners.
Project management: Marcos Pillado, IDIADA, Spain
Project duration: 01.06.2017 – 30.11.2020