Networking cars and their surroundings to increase road safety: this is the goal of the SEAT project that exploits the Internet Of Things and connectivity.
One of the many key features of the mobility of the future will include the “Internet of Things”, in other words the huge number of network-connected devices which will also open up new opportunities in terms of road safety. This has been demonstrated by SEAT, Telefónica and the Dirección General de Tráfico (DGT, Spanish Ministry of Transport), through a shared project.
SEAT made use of its know-how in connected vehicles, providing cars equipped with the most advanced connected technologies in order to offer those behind the wheel a pleasant, and above all safe, driving experience. The project demonstrated how IoT can increase road safety by preventing potentially hazardous situations in two specific cases: the presence of a cyclist riding along the same road, and a car stopped on the road due to a breakdown or accident.
Connected means safe
The experiment consists in the use of a drone equipped with a camera that sends real-time images of the road to a server, which is in turn connected via the mobile network to the DGT 3.0 platform - a sort of traffic “cloud” that processes the frames and data from the infrastructure and vehicles on the roads in real time. The system recognises the presence of bicycles and other vehicles and sends an alert to the connected SEATs in the vicinity, driving in the same direction in which the obstacle has been detected.
The cars involved in the project are equipped with a Telematic Control Unit (TCU) using C-V2X (Cellular Vehicle to Everything) technology, with software that enables the car itself to communicate with the surrounding environment. The result? Vehicles which find themselves in proximity to a potential hazard receive a warning that allows the driver to be aware of and manage the problem in advance, increasing the level of safety.
5G networks and communication
To make this type of communication between cars and infrastructure possible, it is necessary to deploy 5G networks, able to minimise signal latency. The road tests performed during the course of the project demonstrated the total effectiveness of the system, which is able to provide end-to-end communications in real time.
The DGT 3.0 platform informs connected road users on traffic conditions, diversions, roadworks, traffic restrictions, accidents, and more generally on everything involving traffic and road use, such as the presence of cyclists, potential traffic jams and even difficult weather conditions.
This information is very important in terms of safety – above all on secondary roads – and is handled completely anonymously. The Internet of Things is therefore a fundamental, yet discreet, ally.
Source: SEAT S.A.