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SPARC

Project reference: 507859
Funded under: FP6-IST

Secure Propulsion using Advanced Redundant Control [Print to PDF] [Print to RTF]

From 2004-01-01 to 2007-07-31

Project details

Total cost:

EUR 12 598 247

EU contribution:

EUR 6 499 985

Coordinated in:

Germany

Call for proposal:

FP6-2002-IST-1

Funding scheme:

STREP - Specific Targeted Research Project

Virtual co-pilot to reduce road deaths

Vehicles that can foresee dangers and respond automatically to changing road conditions, traffic and driver mistakes could start rolling along Europe’s roads in the near future.

Though still prototypes, the vehicles developed by researchers working in the SPARC project sit on the cusp of a new generation of cars and trucks that promise to improve road safety dramatically.

Using a combination of sensors, automated decision-support systems and innovative control mechanisms, the smart vehicles help counteract the single biggest cause of traffic accidents: driver error.

Correcting human error

Mistakes by drivers – whether brought on by inattention, fatigue, drinking or simply carelessness – are estimated to cause 95% of the 40 000 fatal accidents that occur on Europe’s roads each year.

Preventing or correcting mistakes by drivers is therefore seen as the single most important way of reducing the number of accidents and meeting the EU’s target of cutting the number of road deaths by half over the coming years. The technology developed in the SPARC project would help achieve that once it makes its way onto the market.

Tested in cars and trucks

The SPARC system has so far been deployed in two prototype vehicles: a Mercedes-Benz Actros truck and a small Smart car built by project coordinator DaimlerChrysler.

Unlike most modern vehicles that use mechanical components to control the vehicle, both prototypes were designed with electromechanical systems.

Known as ‘x-by-wire’ or ‘drive-by-wire’, the electronic control system is similar to the technology used to fly aircraft with high precision by turning driver commands into electronic signals that are fed through an onboard computer.

X-by-wire not only gives drivers more control over their vehicles, they also allow automated systems to lend a helping hand.

Virtual co-pilot

A control system that can make decisions constitutes a kind of virtual co-pilot. Using information gathered from several sources – such as cameras, radar, GPS and a human-machine interface – the SPARC system can reliably monitor road conditions and driver behaviour.

It can predict upcoming hazards and respond to them if the driver does not. The system could, for example, slow the car down if the driver is approaching a sharp bend too fast, or pull the truck over to the side of the road if it detects that the driver has fallen asleep.

Cars driving themselves?

Though the system leaves the driver in control for most of the journey, it instantly steps in and takes corrective measures as soon as it detects an imminent risk – be it a braking car in front or an erratic turn of the wheel.

However, much of the technology developed by the researchers in the SPARC project could contribute to the development of vehicles that drive themselves. In theory, fully automated vehicles that take the human driver out of the equation could be even safer still.

Objective

The goal of SPARC is to substantially improve traffic safety and efficiency for heavy goods vehicles usingintelligent x-by-wire technologies in the powertrain. To prove this standardised concept a SW/HW platform will bedeveloped that is scalable down to small passenger cars (sPC) and be integrated therein.Natural motion is described by a vector (direction and velocity). The driver creates the desired motion vector,while being supported by an exchangeable HMI. Additionally a safety assistance and evaluation system (basedon an interactive display information system using satellite navigation systems (GPS) and a smart camera toinspect the environment) creates another motion vector in parallel (the redundant vector).Both vectors are input to the Safety Decision Control System (DCS). The DCS will run on a central redundantcabin-ECU. The DCS will avoid accidents by compensating for driver failure probability (driver incapacity, deadman state) by generating a secure motion vector based on a comparison of both vectors. This secure vector willbe passed onto the extended X-by-Wire powertrain. The switch from reactive active safety to preventive active safety created by the SPARC- vehicles will constitutea breakthrough in road safety technology by pursuing the following main technical objectives:1. Development of an accident-avoiding vehicle using a DCS, which compensates driver failure probability (driverincapacity, dead man state, etc.).2. Extend concept of heavy goods vehicle to full tractor-trailer combination.3. Describe and validate clear SW/HW-interfaces for automotive redundant control systems to combine resultsfrom PReVENT, AIDE and PEIT.4. Validate the scalability of the concept by transferring it from heavy-duty trucks to small passenger cars. Twovalidator vehicles will be built up.5. Describe a harmonised homologation path for scalable SPARC safety system.6. Ensure European technology leadership for intext truncated for the purposes of the ESR

Related information

Open Access

Coordinator

DAIMLER AG
Germany
Mercedesstr. 137
Stuttgart, Germany
Administrative contact: Irmgard HEIBER
Tel.: +49-7111754095
Fax: +49-7111759911
E-mail

Participants

AUSTRIAMICROSYSTEMS AG
Austria
SCHLOSS PREMSTAETTEN, TOBELBADERSTRASSE 30
UNTERPREMSTAETTEN, Austria
Administrative contact: Harald Gall
Tel.: +43-31-365 005953
Fax: +43-31-365 005693
E-mail
ENGINEERING CENTER STEYR GMBH & CO KG
Austria
STEYRER STRASSE 32
ST. VALENTIN, Austria
Administrative contact: Josef Leitner
Tel.: +437435501401
Fax: +437435501404
E-mail
ECOLE POLYTECHNIQUE FEDERALE DE LAUSANNE
Switzerland
ECUBLENS
LAUSANNE, Switzerland
Administrative contact: Roland Siegwart
Tel.: +41 21 6933850
Fax: +41 21 6937807
E-mail
EIDGENOESSISCHE TECHNISCHE HOCHSCHULE ZURICH
Switzerland
TANNENSTRASSE 3
ZUERICH, Switzerland
Administrative contact: Roland Siegwart
Tel.: +41-44-6322358
Fax: +41-86-0792144927
E-mail
CAS MUENCHEN GMBH
Germany
LILLIENTHALSTR. 15
Neubiberg, Germany
Administrative contact: Matthias Schütz
Tel.: +49-896-78053179
Fax: +49-896-78053266
E-mail
SIEMENS AG
Germany
SIEMENSSTRASSE
REGENSBURG, Germany

UNIVERSITAET STUTTGART
Germany
PFAFFENWALDRING 27
STUTTGART, Germany
Administrative contact: Reinhard Reichel
Tel.: +49-711 685 7090
Fax: +49-711 685 3591
E-mail
GEORG FISCHER VERKEHRSTECHNIK GMBH
Germany
JULIUS-BUEHRER-STRASSE 12
SINGEN, Germany
Administrative contact: Frank Hurst
Tel.: +49-773-1886713
Fax: +49-773-188698713
E-mail
KOEGEL FAHRZEUGWERKE GMBH
Germany
DAIMLERSTRASSE14
ULM, Germany
Administrative contact: Heiner Loop
Tel.: +497319454510
Fax: +497319454495
E-mail
SIMTEC, SIMULATION TECHNOLOGY GMBH
Germany
HERMANN-BLENK-STRASSE 34
BRAUNSCHWEIG, Germany
Administrative contact: Bernd Kaufmann
Tel.: +49-531-215390
Fax: +49-531-215399
E-mail
IQ POWER DEUTSCHLAND GMBH
Germany
INSELKAMMERSTRASSE 2-4
UNTERHACHING, Germany
Administrative contact: Winfried Rickert
Tel.: +49-89-61448320
Fax: +49-89-61448340
E-mail
JULIUS-MAXIMILIANS UNIVERSITAET WUERZBURG
Germany
ROENTGENRING 11
WUERZBURG, Germany
Administrative contact: Hans-Peter Krüger
Tel.: +49-931-312 653
Fax: +49-931-312 616
E-mail
ETAS ENTWICKLUNGS-UND APPLIKATIONWERKZEUGE FUER ELEKTRONISCHE SYSTEME GMBH & CO.KG
Germany
BORSIGSTRASSE 10
STUTTGART, Germany
Administrative contact: Wolfgang Eismann
Tel.: +49-71189661189
Fax: +49-71189661273
E-mail
RUDOLF SCHADOW GMBH
Germany
HOLZHAUSERSTRASSE 26-32
BERLIN, Germany
Administrative contact: Joachim Meyer-Quade
Tel.: +49 30 43999176
Fax: +49 30 43999160
E-mail
DEUTSCHES ZENTRUM FUER LUFT - UND RAUMFAHRT EV
Germany
LILIENTHALPLATZ 7
Braunschweig, Germany
Administrative contact: Reiner Suikat
Tel.: +49-531-2953434
Fax: +49-531-2953402
E-mail
CONTINENTAL TEVES AG & CO. OHG
Germany
GUERICKESTRASSE 7
FRANKFURT AM MAIN, Germany
Administrative contact: Bernward Bayer
Tel.: +49-69-76033710
Fax: +49-69-76033816
E-mail
FREESCALE HALBLEITER DEUTSCHLAND GMBH
Germany
SCHATZBOGEN 7
MUENCHEN, Germany
Administrative contact: Bernd Rucha
Tel.: +49-89-92 10 33 95
Fax: +49-89-92 10 38 20
E-mail
DUERR ASSEMBLY PRODUCTS GMBH
Germany
KOELLNERSTRASSE 122-128
PUETTLINGEN, Germany
Administrative contact: Thomas Tentrup
Tel.: +49-68986925885
Fax: +49-68986925777
E-mail
IRION MANAGEMENT CONSULTING GMBH
Germany
TAEGERMOOSSTRASSE 10
KONSTANZ, Germany
Administrative contact: Joachim K. Irion
Tel.: +49 7531 914784
Fax: +49 7531 24964
E-mail
MANUFACTURE FRANCAISE DES PNEUMATIQUES MICHELIN
France
23 PLACE DES CARMES
CLERMONT FERRAND, France
Administrative contact: Antoine Pinneau
Tel.: +33-4 73107718
Fax: +33-4 73108531
E-mail
KNORR-BREMSE FEKRENDSZEREK KFT
Hungary
MAJOR UTCA 69
BUDAPEST, Hungary
Administrative contact: Bence Csak
Tel.: +36-1-3829-841
Fax: +36-1-3829-810
E-mail
YAMAR ELECTRONICS LTD
Israel
SHIMON HARATSI 17
TEL AVIV, Israel
Administrative contact: Amir Rubin
Tel.: +972-3-5445294
Fax: +972-3-5445279
E-mail
CENTRO RICERCHE FIAT SCPA
Italy
STRADA TORINO 50
ORBASSANO (TO), Italy
Administrative contact: Mauro Montiglio
Tel.: +39-011-9083341
Fax: +39-011-9083699
E-mail
SKF INDUSTRIE S.P.A.
Netherlands
KELVINBAAN 16
Niewegein, Netherlands
Administrative contact: Edward Holweg
Tel.: +31 30 6075882
Fax: +32 30 6075747
E-mail
HALDEX BRAKE PRODUCTS AB
Sweden
Instrumentgatan 15
Landskrona, Sweden
Administrative contact: Sverker Stomrud
Tel.: +46 418 476000
Fax: +46 418 476001
E-mail
Record Number: 71258 / Last updated on: 2014-10-07