C-Roads: cooperative communication in transport was the topic of a workshop held on Thursday April 7 at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering. The subject of the discussion was how to ensure direct communication between vehicles themselves and between vehicles and traffic infrastructure.
"It is not very likely that the number of cars on the roads will decrease in the future. One way of ensuring safe and smooth transport flow in cities is having cars communicating with one another in traffic," said Petr Kašpar from the Faculty of Electrical Engineering in the workshop’s opening speech. Petr Kašpar is head of the Smart Parking and ICT and Infrastructure work groups of the university-wide project SmartCAMPUS, which deals with the possibilities of implementing and connecting modern technologies.
The topic of cooperative communication in traffic was discussed by Jiří Vítek, Zdeněk Minařík, Jiří Brož and Lubomír Tříska from O2.
"C-ITS technologies, i.e., cooperative intelligent transport systems and services, are making headway in the transport industry," said Jiří Vítek, who is in charge of transport innovations at O2.
C-ITS technologies are utilized in the European project C-Roads, This project was based on an idea which came into existence in the Czech Republic approx. eight years ago. Over time, other countries came on board with the plan to enable communication between vehicles and the traffic infrastructure. This gave rise to the C-Roads project, which is currently standardized in a number of European countries.
C-ITS works on a simple principle of cars communicating with one another and at the same time cars communicating with the traffic infrastructure.
"In stage one, the goal of this communication is to increase the level of safety on roads in the sense that the system will inform drivers about the occurrence of a non-standard situation," said Jiří Vítek.
An example of a non-standard situation may be, for example, an ambulance driving through the city. An ambulance which needs priority in getting through an intersection sends a message through the ITS-G5 communication technology and the message is received by all vehicles equipped with a communication On-Board Unit, which then notifies the drivers through their infotainment systems and cell phones of the location of the ambulance. The message is also received by the Road Side Unit (RSU), i.e., a stationary unit on the road capable of repeating the signal to other vehicles. To enable communication over long distances, it uses LTE technology, which will be replaced by 5G technology.
"The system utilizes the vehicles' On-Board Units, the Road Side Unit on the road, and works based on the ITS-G5 and LTE communication technologies," summarized Jiří Vítek, who further added that new cars are equipped with the system for C-ITS straight from the manufacturer, although older vehicles car be retrofitted with this technology as well.
The important thing is that the entire communication system of the C-Roads project is guaranteed by the government and standardized across Europe.
Apart from improving transport safety, the C-Roads project also has a positive impact on the environment by way of ensuring smooth traffic flow. One of its goals is also to prepare conditions for the development of autonomous transport.