Opel tests vehicle communication in real traffic scenarios

11 Oct 2011

  • simTD: biggest global car-to-x field test to date
  • Opel assumes responsibility for test phase from mid-2012
  • Road weather warning function boosts safety in traffic
Opel News - Opel tests vehicle communication in real traffic scenarios

Rüsselsheim/Friedberg.  In the biggest global field test to date to try out the effectiveness of car-to-x communication in realistic conditions, Opel has joined forces with 17 partners from industry, automotive associations, science and research, the federal state of Hesse and the city of Frankfurt. Car-to-x communication links vehicles and infrastructure electronically. It means vehicles can exchange data among themselves and that information can flow between vehicles and the traffic infrastructure. The foundations for a sustainable increase in traffic efficiency and safety are being laid through the development of car-to-x communication. This is being done under the project headline: “simTD: Safe and intelligent mobility – Test Field Germany.”

The test phase has now begun in Friedberg in the form of an interim report from three of Germany’s national ministries who are supporting the project, including the ministries for the economy and technology (BMWi), for education and research (BMBF) and for traffic, construction and urban development (BMVBS). The research consortium is also being supported by the state of Hesse, the German automotive industry association (VDA) and the Car 2 Car Communication Consortium. The interim report ends the planning and preparation phase. What follows now are improvements ahead of the test phase.

Opel News - Opel tests vehicle communication in real traffic scenarios

Opel assumes the leadership and coordination of this test phase on behalf of all the involved partners. The field tests will commence around the middle of 2012. Such a test on this scale - involving a total of 120 vehicles from all of the partners – is a global first. The coordination, monitoring and analysis of the experimental data are being carried out in close consultation with the University of Wuerzburg and the Technical University of Munich. The universities ensure a good statistical cross-section of drivers and daily routes. The duration of the field test is likely to be around seven months. All test vehicles will be headquartered at their own central base, the Infraserv compound, near Frankfurt-Hoechst.

Road weather warning function

Alongside many other functions, Opel will test the “Road weather warning” during the simTD project in conjunction with others. The director of Electrical development at Opel, Dr Burkhard Milke, said: “Drivers have placed weather warnings and road condition reports on top of their wish list for future automotive communication systems. Such devices represent significant added value for the driver and a boost in traffic safety.”

Four road weather stations that are already providing detailed information, for example for road gritting trucks, are the basis for the trial. The critical parameters being monitored are the dew point and the road surface temperature. The Human-Machine-Interface used by all partners for the test was developed by DFKI – the German research center for artificial intelligence.

Website of the research project simTD: