Adapting Driving Behavior to the Traffic Situation

Mar 2019

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Vehicles are already networked in many respects today. But very soon, they will also interact and become part of a cooperative, networked, and automated mobility system. This interaction is the field of application of cooperative intelligent transport systems (C-ITS). The new technology will enable vehicles to “talk” to one another, to the road infrastructure, and to other road users—about hazardous situations, roadwork, and the control of traffic light phases, for example—that will make road traffic safer, cleaner, and more efficient.

The new regulations adopted by the European Commission in March 2019 for the introduction of C-ITS are, by its own account, a further step in modernizing the European mobility sector, and, at the same time, preparing for carbon neutrality in the second half of this century. Further, they contribute to achieving the EU’s long-term goal of reducing the number of deaths and serious injuries in road traffic to close to zero by 2050 (“Vision Zero”). Starting as soon as this year, vehicles, road signs, and highways will be equipped with the necessary technology in order to send standardized messages to all road users.

The minimum requirements for interoperability between the various cooperative systems used are defined in the specifications. Interoperability makes it possible for all C-ITS stations equipped with it to exchange messages with other stations securely in an open network. From the perspective of the EU Commission, digital connectivity between vehicles as well as between vehicles and traffic infrastructure may contribute to a considerable improvement in road traffic safety and transport efficiency as well as traveling comfort. This is because it helps drivers make the correct decisions and adapt their driving behavior to the traffic situation.

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