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New horizon of safety

In the coming years, the Group will continue its research on accident prevention through vehicles that detect hazards and support the driver when maneuvering.

In 2013, Centro Ricerche Fiat took part in an experimental program - the first real-life trial in Europe - using applications based on cooperative systems and vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication (V2X systems).

Some of the various functions under study were: road construction alert; ambulance or motorcycle approaching; sudden traffic jams; slowdowns caused by slow vehicles; and static and dynamic road signs. This large-scale test, now underway in many European Union member states, is yielding results that are paving the way for the first implementation of these functions in vehicles.

Additional activities to develop and conduct experiments on V2X communication systems have also continued as part of the IoTToI research project, i.e., Internet of Things, road Traffic over Internet. It is funded by the Piedmont Region and coordinated by Magneti Marelli. In December 2013, a demonstration was held in Turin with the aim of proving some of the potential safety benefits. Through the use of cars, Road Side Units (RSU) equipped with V2X and a Traffic Control Center (CCT) for data processing, scenarios were chosen to show that the deployment of V2X can assist drivers through a specially-designed human-machine interface (HMI) by signaling in advance potentially dangerous events that are not yet directly visible. The V2I and V2V demonstration was a success because it provided tangible evidence of the ability of similarly-equipped vehicles to recognize one another. The demonstration also increased understanding about the type of information that can be transmitted, including the unique identifier on the network (UID), the position and velocity. The demo was set up with the collaboration of the IoTToI project partners: Istituto Superiore Mario Boella, Politecnico di Torino, CSystem, Ivrea Sistemi, Hicare Research, and Capetti Elettronica, all of which are leading players in the field of research and new technologies.

While establishing advanced methods, technologies and systems for driver-vehicle interaction that prevent road accidents and reduce polluting emissions, the Group participates in the DRIVE IN2DRIVEr Monitoring: Technologies, Methodologies, and IN-vehicle INnovative systems for a safe and eco-compatible driving project.  This project is in collaboration with universities and other research institutes including (CNR - Istituto Motori, C.R.F S.C.p.A, Medic4all S.p.A., TSEM Research S.r.l., Megaris S.r.l, University of Naples Federico II, Catanzaro University, Suor Orsola Benincasa University of Naples and Salerno University). The project has proven effective due to its multidisciplinary approach, and  is currently developing devices for acquiring data on the driver’s vital signs. For example, one device, Alcohol Interlock, can detect the driver’s blood alcohol content. Other devices can monitor vehicle passenger activity , like In-vehicle Child Monitoring which detects children inside the vehicle, and still others monitor the way the vehicle is being driven or choice of route.

Vehicle-driver interaction is intended to promote more conscious driving by intervening in driver decisions and behaviors.

The Group also participates in the APPS4Safety - Innovative methodologies and technologies for an integrated approach to vehicle safety project with the specific goal of analyzing vehicle safety system performance in relation to collisions that are not evaluated in ratings or type-approval procedures. This will assist in addressing the new 2015-2016 ratings protocols and help set priorities for developing tomorrow’s active and passive safety systems. In addition, statistics gathered from accidents enables us to evaluate new systems to aid in driving, such as AEB Pedestrian (emergency braking in urban or suburban settings). The Group is currently working on solutions of this nature with universities as well as law enforcement agencies.

Lastly, the Group collaborates with other automotive companies to enhance the driving experience and develop future technologies. For example, in 2013 the Centro Ricerche Fiat, within the AdaptIVe and AutoNet2030 project, started the first pre-competitive research partnerships in Europe with BMW, Daimler, Opel, PSA, Renault, Volvo Cars, Volvo Technology, Ford, Bosch, Continental, Delphi, Hitachi and other prestigious European research centers, to create automatic driving systems in different traffic situations.