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Cooperative systems for road safety "Smart Vehicles on Smart Roads"


The key to avoiding road accidents is to extend drivers' time/space horizon in their perception of safety-relevant information, and to improve the precision, reliability and quality of this information. The extent of 'perception' of autonomous vehicle-based systems cannot obviously go beyond the operative range of the sensors. Although effective real time awareness of the vehicle's "surrounding environment" can be achieved, this clearly has limits. Extended coverage is possible only through collaboration between the infrastructure's and the vehicles' sensing abilities. By combining data from roadside sensors and data made available by vehicles in the vicinity, advance knowledge can be gained of potential safety risks, e.g. an icy patch, fog bank, obstacle or accident on the road ahead (but out of sight). The communication of warnings and advice to approaching vehicles (both directly to onboard units and via roadside signals) will provide the extra reaction time necessary to prevent an accident occurring.

One of the main aims of SAFESPOT is to develop a "Safety Margin Assistant" which will extend "in space and time" the safety information available to drivers by:
-using both the infrastructure and vehicles as sources (and destinations) of safety-related information, and definition of an open, flexible and modular communications architecture;
-developing the key enabling technologies: accurate relative localisation, ad-hoc dynamic networking, dynamic local traffic maps;
-developing a new generation of infrastructure-based sensing techniques;
-testing scenario-based applications to evaluate the impacts and end-user acceptability;
-defining the practical implementation of such systems, especially in the interim period when not all vehicles will be equipped;
-evaluating the liability aspects, regulations and standardisation issues which can affect implementation: involvement of public authorities from the early stages will be a key factor for future deployment.

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Strada Torino 50

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Participants (50)