VIA NOVA

The Netherlands is one of the most densely populated countries in Europe. Despite the excellent road network, the Netherlands is confronted with this density daily. The negative impact of traffic jams and incidents on travel times is expected to grow by 38% over the next 5 years. Expanding the infrastructure does not seem to be an optimal solution for the near future as it would require huge time and investments. One of the immediate solutions could be the effective and efficient utilization of the infrastructure using modern day concepts such as Cooperative Mobility. VIA NOVA will lay the necessary foundations for the next step of technological developments (Cooperative Mobility) needed to overcome the negative impacts of congestion in future.

Background

Cooperative Mobility is all about vehicles communicating directly with the infrastructure, other vehicles and vice versa. The potential with respect to congestion reduction is large because traffic can be managed more directly (and thus more individually) through this new communication functionality. To reach this potential, cooperative mobility relies largely on (big) data already available in modern cars in terms of data from sensors, processors, navigation devices, cameras, etc. The problem is, however, using this data: the quality is not clear and even varies among car-brands and car-types. The project VIA NOVA investigates if modern vehicles could be used as sensors to monitor various conditions such as traffic flow, road conditions and weather conditions such that, information from the vehicles on all these events could be used to effectively manage the use of infrastructure.

To certify the use of vehicles as sensors, one must first determine if the vehicles are capable of identifying such elements using commonly available sensors, if they are, the next question would be on the quality and the quantity of data that would be required from these vehicles. VIA NOVA investigates on both these issues. The goal of the first stage of the project is to identify critical scenarios, investigate if these scenarios could be identified using vehicle data and to provide a proof of concept of the same. The goals of the second stage of the project would be to investigate the quantity and the quality of the signals that are required from the vehicles for effective use in the use cases.

Final Outcomes

The project will result in the development of a generic strategy and toolbox in which the specific quality of the data and needed quantity is related to the potential use within Cooperative Mobility. The outcome will enable users (talking traffic service providers, road administrators, app developers, traffic managers and even OEM’s) to judge whether data from cars can be useful in solving specific traffic-related use cases, the data which will be used, the required data quality and finally the required quantities of data. With this strategy, cooperative mobility can be deployed more effectively.

Current Status

As a part of the first stage of VIA NOVA, a proof of concept to a system that identifies slippery road conditions caused by winter weather conditions was provided. The offline system made use of commonly available vehicle variables/sensors such as longitudinal slip ratios, longitudinal acceleration, ambient temperature to not only identify slippery situations but also deployed Fuzzy Logic to classify the identified surfaces based on the extent of slipperiness.

Next Steps

• Proof of concept for other use cases

• Developing a real-time algorithm for the use cases

• Deployment in an embedded environment.