VIENNA, GERMANY – The 19th ITS World Congress, which got under way Oct. 22 in Vienna, Germany, is exploring the latest trends and policies in intelligent vehicle systems. Among the event’s participants is Ford of Europe, which is highlighting a number of research projects aimed at advancing car-to-car and car-to-infrastructure communications as well as intelligent driver assistance systems.
Andreas Ostendorf, Ford of Europe’s vice president of sustainability, environment and safety engineering, will deliver a keynote speech at ITS World Congress. He is expected to provide insight into ongoing research efforts focused on improving safety, fuel efficiency and traffic flow. These research endeavors reflect Ford's future global vision for transportation.
“Car makers have developed independent mobility solutions for today’s vehicles, but we will need to change this paradigm and work together to resolve the mobility issues of the future,” Ostendorf said.
Event visitors will be able to see first-hand some of the innovations that Ford and its partners are developing.
“The automobile is just one element of a transportation ecosystem,” Ostendorf explained. “We need to optimize the entire system to deliver a customer experience that is safer and more efficient.”
Experts from the Ford European Research and Advanced Engineering Europe Centre in Aachen, Germany, are leading and contributing to a number of high-profile research projects. These include:
• simTD (Safe Intelligent Mobility – Testfield Germany) – a joint research project supported by the German government that began in 2008. It is testing car-to-car and car-to-infrastructure communication systems under real-world conditions in a large-scale test environment. Such systems could deliver road safety and efficiency improvements from existing traffic infrastructures, potentially improving traffic flow and reducing CO2 emissions. One hundred and 20 vehicles, including 20 Ford S-MAX cars began daily field operational tests in Frankfurt in July 2012
• DRIVE C2X – a joint research project supported by the European Commission that began in 2011. It is testing the compatibility and scalability of cooperative car-to-car and car-to-infrastructure communication systems under real-world conditions. The DRIVE C2X reference system is used to demonstrate cooperative vehicles in real-world traffic in concert with the Car2Car Communication Consortium and Testfeld Telematik. ITS World Congress visitors can experience these car-to-car functionalities in a Ford S-MAX
• eCoMove (Cooperative Mobility Systems and Services for Energy Efficiency) – a joint consortium of automotive industry, fleet operators and traffic management providers supported by the European Commission that began in 2010. It is targeting improved traffic flow and reductions in CO2 emissions through cooperative systems. Congress visitors can view a Focus demonstrating eCoMove-developed features.
• interactIVe (Accident Avoidance by Active Intervention of Intelligent Vehicles) – a consortium of 29 partners coordinated by Ford and supported by the European Commission that began in 2010. It is testing the performance of implemented driver assistance systems through active intervention. These include autonomous braking and steering in critical situations. The goal is to avoid collisions and mitigate impact severity.
In 2011, Ford Motor Co. spent $5.3 billion (€4.1 billion) on research and development globally in areas including car-to-car communication, driver assistance features, materials development and manufacturing.
“Ford has been highly successful in democratizing active safety and driver assistance systems,” said Ostendorf. “The connected vehicle will enable the next generation of these systems.”
Ford vehicles already offer advanced safety and convenience features including Ford Active Park Assist, which controls vehicle steering for hands-free parking; Lane Keeping Aid, which provides steering input to assist the driver to steer the vehicle back into the lane if an unintentional drift is detected; and Active City Stop, which applies the brakes in emergencies to avoid or mitigate the effects of accidents in slow-moving traffic.