EU Project Promises Safer Traffic

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A system to avoid traffic jams, accidents and other dangers will be demonstrated at IFA in Berlin by the Coopers (Cooperative Systems for Intelligent Road Safety) project.

The goal is to provide drivers with real-time, up to the minute safety-related information that is tailored to wherever the driver is, according to Alexander Frötscher, who manages the Coopers project.

What makes the system special is that it can collect data from a multitude of sources, including electronic display boards along freeways, traffic radars and the cars themselves, according to Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Architecture and Software Technology (FIRST), which is a part of the project.

For the system to work there needs to be an overall architecture in place: from what the Coopers Project calls Traffic Control Centers, which coordinate all the information, to units in cars that can both feed information back into the system and receive valuable traffic information.

The traffic information is encoded in a format called TPEG (Transport Protocol Expert Group) and can be sent via a several different kinds of networks, including cellular (both 2G and 3G) and digital radio networks.

Visitors at IFA will be able to take a virtual test ride along the Autobahn 100 to see how the system would work, including how traffic information is shown in a car, according to Matthias Schmidt from FIRST. The system is expected to be available in the near future.

The Coopers project consists of 37 participants from 15 E.U. countries, and is funded by the E.U. Commission, from which it has received €9 million (US$13.2 million).

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