1 April 2019

Successful InterCor project paves the way for connected and cooperative driving

This week, participants from four European countries successfully tested innovative cooperative ITS services in real traffic conditions and across borders. This TESTFEST was the fourth and final test event of a three-year project of 30 million euros, co-financed by the European Union under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) program, InterCor. Previous TESTFESTS have been held in The Netherlands, France and the United Kingdom. This final TESTFEST was organized by the Government of Flanders in Belgium.

The purpose of these so-called C-ITS services is to prevent human traffic errors in order to reduce the percentage of road casualties in Europe. But the road to the self-driving car is still long. In the coming 10-20 years we will be in a hybrid situation in which cars have different levels of autonomy. This means that the road infrastructure must be smarter and must feed the current vehicles with information about, for example, the traffic situation and road traffic rules. The Intercor project focuses on the roll-out of C-ITS services in Europe via two communication systems (connected and cooperative) that can provide advice to the driver both separately and in a hybrid solution. This will ensure that cars will soon speak the same electronic language everywhere so that they can be provided with information across national borders.

The InterCor TestFest in Belgium

During the InterCor TestFest in Belgium, we facilitated the technical infrastructure for the Government of Flanders. Roadside units are placed alongside the road to send information to the vehicles about real-time road and traffic conditions (such as speed recommendations, obstacles and the status of traffic lights). Thanks to cooperative technology using ITS-G5 (WiFi-11p) communication, the on-board unit in the vehicle receives the information directly from the roadside units via an antenna on the roof of the car. The traffic information originates from various data feeds that are connected to our Cooperative Services application (CCSP) on our FlowSense platform in the cloud that routes the messages to the road side units. The other way around, vehicles regularly send their status to FlowSense. To test communication with connected road users, the same ETSI standardised messages are also sent via our FlowSense Platform and via the mobile network (4G) to an app on a mobile phone in the car, such as our GreenFlow app.

Promising results

InterCor has demonstrated that connected and cooperative communication are complementary to each other and are cross-border interoperable. For the rollout a scenario could be that cooperative technology such as roadside units are placed at busy intersections or transition zones, while connected technology suffice in quieter places. Both technologies also serve as each other’s backup. In any case, there is no need to wait for a 5G network, as this would cause unnecessary delay in reducing fatalities and serious injuries on the road.

We are proud of our participation in the InterCor TestFest and that we have demonstrated the technology readiness of C-ITS services across national borders. We look forward to rolling out this technology on a larger scale. Thanks to our participation in European research projects such as TransAID, MAVEN and C-Mobile, we are developing new and relevant practical use cases, together with governments, the automotive industry and technology partners.

InterCor project

InterCor is a 3 year project of 30 million Euros co-financed by the European Union under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) Programme; it will enable vehicles and the related road infrastructure to communicate data through cellular, ITS-G5 or a combination of cellular and ITS-G5 (hybrid) networks on road corridors through the Netherlands, Belgium, UK and France to achieve safer, more efficient and more convenient mobility for people and goods. For further information, visit http://intercor-project.eu/