Euro projects aim to avoid all crashes

The European Union is spending no less than 50 million euros on a whole series of research projects aimed at reducing road accidents, with the eventual aim to develop an “Uncrashable” car.



Within the PreVENT programme is WILLWARN, which uses wireless communication with other vehicles to alert drivers about potentially dangerous situations ahead. MAPS&ADAS reads satellite navigation maps to track approaching hazards such as bends, dips and intersections while SASPENCE looks at safe driving distances and speed and LATERALSAFE brings active sensing to the blind spot.

In APALACI, sensors monitor the street or road immediately around the vehicle, and collect as much information as possible before any possible collision takes place and initiate safety strategies. These could include: controlled braking manoeuvres, controlled activation of occupant restraint systems or pre-arming airbags. It has also resulted in a “Start Inhibit System” for trucks that surveys the blind spot immediately in front of the truck and protects pedestrians or cyclists by preventing dangerous manoeuvres. It has been tested in the Fiat Stilo, the Volvo FH12 truck, the Alfa Romeo 156 and Mercedes E350 using laser sensors, radar, software decision assistance and a variety of other technologies.

COMPOSE, on the other hand, can apply the brakes if a pedestrian steps onto the road, or extends the bumper and raise the bonnet to enhance occupant protection. The systems were tested in the BMW 545i and the Volvo FH12 truck.

“The teams developed sophisticated algorithms to track all these elements in the landscape,” explained Matthias Schulze, coordinator of PReVENT and Senior Manager for ITS & Services at Daimler AG. “But they require enormous computer power to keep track of all the various elements, so this work is aimed at basic research”.

For more information: http://cordis.europa.eu/ictresults/index.cfm/section/news/tpl/article/BrowsingType/Features/ID/89648

Author
Tom Shelley

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