Real time information exchange between cars

In the NordicWay, Coop project, vehicles will gather and share traffic safety information. Ilkka Kotilainen, Project Manager, thinks that high competence in mobile technology in the Nordic countries creates an excellent basis for the service.

Information transfer between vehicles and also the Traffic Management Centre will be tested next year on the E18 road, as the practical pilot phase starts. Cars will gather and pass on information regarding e.g. obstacles on the road, weather conditions, slippery surfaces and accidents.

According to Ilkka Kotilainen, the goal is first and foremost to improve traffic safety. The Coop project to be carried out in Finland is a part of the Nordic NordicWay project. Finnish Transport Agency employee Kotilainen is in charge of the project in Finland, and Risto Kulmala, also from the Agency, coordinates the whole NordicWay project.

– In the future, devices will communicate with each other, and our project is a part of developing the use of internet in instruments. The service will be developed as Nordic cooperation and together with the EU, says Kotilainen.

Nordic standardisation of the NordicWay project means that vehicles will be able to receive the same services even while travelling from Finland to Sweden. Nordic compatibility creates a good basis for European communication about standardising services.

Similar services where vehicles gather information have been made before elsewhere. In Europe, solutions have been based on separate short-range communication stations built along the roads. The Nordic model uses the mobile network, which covers much more area than single routes. The model is also cheaper since new communication stations do not need to be built.

– In the Nordic countries, mobile networks are high quality, and there are cases of network cooperation over borders. Mobile networks will be the primary technology in communicating between vehicles, says Kotilainen.

In the Coop project in Finland, data collection and sharing will be performed through a mobile application that is easy and safe to use. It is hoped that over a thousand users from various road user groups will participate in the pilot.

– We need professional drivers and regular commuters. Enterprises as well as private citizens will have the opportunity to participate in improving the service, says Kotilainen.

The goal of the pilot is to gather realistic information on traffic safety and practical experiences on how different parts of the service and the mobile network function for information sharing. The project is one way of preparing for the automatization of road traffic.

Factbox:

  • Pilot to start in April
  • The ongoing, first phase of the NordicWay, Coop project is to ensure technical readiness.
  • The second phase will begin in April 2016, when a year-long pilot starts on the E18 road network between Helsinki and Turku, including Ring Road I and III.
  • The project will end and the results will be reported by the end of 2017.
  • Participants in the project include public as well as private operators such as Finnish Transport Agency, Finnish Transport Safety Agency Trafi, Nokia HERE, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, and Elisa.