Press Release 67/2008

Cars warn each other of accidents and traffic jams

Live demonstration of inter-vehicle communications on October 22 and 23 in Dudenhofen near Frankfurt/Main, Germany

Wireless communication between cars will help to avoid crashes and traffic jams in the future. Scientists of the research group “Decentralized Systems and Network Services”, man-aged by Prof. Hannes Hartenstein, have together with industrial partners in Europe and the US, developed simulation tools and methods for car-to-car and car-to-infrastructure communication. These tools and methods are now used around the globe.

In the whole world, networking specialists, transportation researchers, the automotive industry, and transportation agencies work heavily on the development of systems and methods that will allow vehicles to directly communicate via radio with each other within certain distances. This Community believes that with inter-vehicle communications some accidents could be avoided and traffic jams could be mitigated which in turn could increase road safety, transport efficiency and environmental friendliness. In a nutshell: car-to-car communication could save lives, money and the environment.

The European “Car 2 Car Communication Consortium”, initiated by various European vehicle manufacturers like Daimler and BMW, presents recent advances on October 22 and 23, 2008, at the Adam Opel Test Center in Dudenhofen near Frankfurt/Main, Germany. In addition to presentations and workshops, there will be a live demonstration of networked vehicles. The benefits of inter-vehicle communications will be demonstrated with various driving maneuvers including 20 vehicles equipped with corresponding communication technology.

“In the future, when a high number of vehicles will permanently transmit their geographic position and other traffic relevant information, one has to ensure that the communication channel is not over-loaded and that critical information can actually be received where and when it is needed. This represents a serious challenge”, says Professor Hannes Hartenstein, head of research group “Decentralized Systems and Network Services” and member of the board of directors of the Steinbuch Centre for Computing (SCC). The group and the associated junior research group “Traffic Telematics” are development members of the “Car 2 Car Communication Consortium” and work together with well-known companies like Daimler AG, INIT GmbH, NEC Europe Ltd., and PTV AG. The state of Baden-Württemberg, the Klaus-Tschira Foundation, INIT GmbH and PTV AG support the research activities of the junior research group on traffic telematics at the Computer Science Department. “Public and private transportation including logistics will benefit by inter-vehicle communication systems, as such technology will allow the required traffic information to be faster and more precisely available to drivers and transportation operators to improve their decision-making process”, says junior research group's head Dr. Jérôme Härri.

The researchers at KIT have together with Mercedes Benz Research & Development North America, Palo Alto, developed simulation tools and methods for car-to-car and car-to-infrastructure communication. These tools and methods are now used around the globe. Various proposed approaches of the team of Professor Hartenstein and Dr. Härri are now discussed in the standardization process. The current focus of research lies on the development of models that can help to develop applications and to perform impact assessments that quantify how inter-vehicle communication will influence road traffic. In addition, IT-security overhead analyses are performed. To achieve these goals, the use of high performance computing systems and of distributed computing is of particular importance since it reduces the time duration of the model building process from several months down to a few days. The simulation methods developed by the KIT researchers and the models computed at the Steinbuch Centre for Computing are also transferred to the EU project PRE-DRIVE-C2X that has the objective to prepare a pan-European field trial for car-to-car communication until 2010.

The Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) is the merger of the Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe, member of the Helmholtz Association, and the Universität Karlsruhe. This merger will give rise to an institution of internationally excellent research and teaching in natural and engineering sciences. In total, the KIT has 8000 employees and an annual budget of 700 million Euros. The KIT focuses on the knowledge triangle of research – teaching – innovation.

The Karlsruhe institution is a leading European energy research center and plays a visible role in nanosciences worldwide. KIT sets new standards in teaching and promotion of young scientists and attracts top scientists from all over the world. More-over, KIT is a leading cooperation partner of industry.

Further Contact:

Prof. Dr. Hannes Hartenstein
Steinbuch Centre for Computing (SCC)
Tel. +49 721/608-8104
Fax: +49 721/32550

Further Information:

sl, October 22, 2008


Monika Landgraf
Head of Corporate Communications, Chief Press Officer
Phone: +49 721 608-41150
Fax: +49 721 608-43658
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