sujet

One step closer to driverless cars – in the Nordics

2.10.2015

We are now testing the traffic light assistant in the Nordic countries working on the communication between a total of 48 signal systems and a few selected cars. The goal is to make travel easier for everyday drivers, blind people, public transport and heavy transport. The possibilities are many.

Tests during 2016
As soon as the technology is set up at the traffic lights, the tests will begin. This will be done with a handful of cars selected by the NPRA (The Norwegian Public Roads Administration), with the help of a specially developed app.

What will be tested?
The app will inform the driver when the car approaches a traffic signal, and will also provide the recommended driving speed up to the traffic light. When a vehicle is approaching an intersections equipped with traffic lights, the app will be able to obtain status information of the traffic lights; if it is red, yellow or green, and how much time is left until the color change. A recommendation to exceed the speed limit will not be given by the app.

The purpose of the tests is to show if the system have an effect on the cars' emissions by avoiding unnecessary stops. In addition, we also hope that the driver will have a more comfortable ride with less stress.

Several automakers have already made attempts to link this information to the vehicle's adaptive cruise control; which adjusts the vehicles’ speed automatically to avoid a complete stop at traffic lights.

One important part of the test is to see how fast the app receives updated information from the traffic light. If the app receives updated information fast enough, the risk of running a red light can be prevented, and road safety will increase.

Why?
Traffic is always changing. With the increased use of motor vehicles, we are more reliant on technology to ensure our safety, rather than relying on man's actions.
In addition to achieving a better traffic management with fewer unnecessary stops, the aim must be to safeguard passengers.

The information will eventually be available to all so that software developers and car manufacturers have the opportunity to create new and smart applications that can be used for traffic development.

 

Similar tests in other European cities
The "Traffic light assistant" system is already installed in some European cities, for instance Berlin and Verona,
where automakers was in collaboration to test and implement the technology.

The unique thing about the project in Trondheim is the desire to make traffic signal data accessible via open source. Provided that the tests are successful, it will be easy for developers to come up with new and innovative solutions.