On 23.05.2019, DLR in Braunschweig hosted the closing event for the project “Digitaler Knoten 4.0”. Of course the OECON colleagues were represented as project partners and presented their work and results.
Official press release on the project
Automated does not apply automatically – DLR and partners develop solutions for the road traffic of the future
In the future, when automated and non-automated vehicles meet in traffic, completely new situations arise for all road users. The German Aerospace Center (DLR) and its partners in the project Digitaler Knoten 4.0 (DK 4.0) have explored new ways of communicating vehicles, cyclists, pedestrians and even traffic lights at inner-city intersections. The project was completed on May 23, 2019 with driving demonstrations in real traffic.
“Networked and automated vehicles, in combination with a digital transport infrastructure, offer great potential to make the interaction of road users at urban intersections more efficient and safer,” says project leader Robert Kaul from the DLR Institute of Transportation Systems. “The challenge for automated and connected driving lies in the complexity and dynamics of mixed traffic at urban intersections: automated and non-automated vehicles meet cyclists and pedestrians,” continues Kaul.
Cooperation and interaction between all road users
In project DK 4.0 the research partners investigated the networked, efficient and safe organization of such mixed traffic situations. For this purpose, solutions were developed in simulations and at intersections of the digital test field AIM (Application Platform Intelligent Mobility) of the DLR in the city of Braunschweig, which network the differently equipped road users. The researchers also explored concepts for cooperation and interaction within mixed traffic, as well as core technologies for “smart” intersection infrastructures, which provide real-time information to all road users after evaluation. The results developed in the project can be used as blueprints for future urban transport hubs.
Two solutions for left turners
“The developed concepts were tested in simulation as well as in real traffic with the application platform Intelligent Mobility, our digital test field,” explains Kaul. For example, the scientists studied the communication between an automated vehicle and the traffic light at an intersection. Particular interest was in the left turn, since there is the greatest potential for conflict here at intersections. In automated left turn, the participating research vehicles cooperate via vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication in order to quickly find a safe trafficable gap through oncoming traffic. On the basis of sensor data of the infrastructure, which provides a good overview, or from the smartphones of pedestrians and cyclists, the so-called “unprotected road users”, the automation system is informed early on the whereabouts. So a safe passage can be planned. The information is transmitted via a special WLAN or network standard.
In order to improve traffic flow and safety at inner-city intersections, project DK 4.0 also implemented a novel cooperative intersection control concept for turning. With the help of pre-signaling and pre-sorting in a crossing access, it was ensured that automated and non-automated vehicles can cross the crossing area efficiently and safely.
About the project
The “Digitaler Knoten 4.0” project was funded by the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) with a total of 5.8 million euros from the research program for automation and networking in road traffic.
In addition to the DLR as consortium leader AVL Software and Functions GmbH, NORDSYS GmbH, OECON Products & Services GmbH, the OFFIS – Institute for Computer Science, SCHLOTHAUER & WAUER GmbH, the Technical University of Braunschweig with the Lower Saxony Research Center for Automotive Engineering (NFF) and the Volkswagen AG im Project represented.