Intelligent vehicle communications systems
16 November 2008
The European project GeoNet, a member of the CAR 2 CAR Communication Consortium, of which the Madrid Institute of Advanced Studies IMDEA Networks is also a member, develops intelligent communication systems for vehicles integrated with wireless Internet. Aims: to improve road safety and traffic management and reduce CO2 emissions.
The European Union has just allocated 30 MHz of spectrum in the 5.9 GHz band for road safety and traffic management applications. This band, by means of wireless technologies, will allow communication both between cars and between vehicles of any kind and devices deployed in the vicinity of roads.
This harmonisation of frequencies in Europe constitutes a very significant milestone since it opens up the possibility of real deployments by making the intelligent communications systems for vehicles compatible Europe-wide. It is therefore a first step towards making vehicle communications feasible. According to the vision of the European Commission, the main aim of enabling communication between cars is to improve road safety and traffic management and reduce CO2 emissions. The surplus bandwidth can be utilised by users for entertainment purposes and Internet connections in cars.
The CAR 2 CAR Communication Consortium (C2C-CC) is a private European initiative bringing together the main manufacturers and suppliers of devices for cars. This consortium has just given its first demonstration in Germany of the first prototypes of intelligent communications systems, providing those attending with the opportunity to experience the first road safety applications based on communication between cars, lorries and motorcycles.
This consortium constitutes an unprecedented joint effort between companies and research institutes, the aim of which is to design and standardise a communications architecture that enables interoperability between cars made by different manufacturers, and consequently allows the actual deployment in Europe of road safety and traffic management applications.
Numerous projects funded by the European Union are collaborating actively in the development and evaluation of the ideas proposed in the CAR 2 CAR Consortium. These include the GeoNet project, of which IMDEA Networks is a partner alongside other important institutions and companies in the industry such as NEC Europe and Hitachi Europe (among others), which are playing a pivotal role in the task of providing communications equipment to the European car manufacturers present in the CAR 2 CAR Consortium.
With the GeoNet framework, IMDEA Networks is collaborating with the aforementioned companies in technical developments that enable the integration of vehicle communications with the Internet. This integration will in the future allow users to enjoy the same experience of Internet access, with all the services that it entails, while they are in their vehicles travelling from one place to another.