D20.21a Technology Implementation Plan
In Europe, many traffic accidents occur as a result of inappropriate vehicle speed (eg in curves) or insufficient headway. Accelerated deployment of intelligent vehicle systems is important to aid the driver in keeping safe speed and distance. As part of the PReVENT functional field “Safe Speed and Safe Following” the SASPENCE project aimed to develop and evaluate an innovative system to assist the driver in avoiding these accident situations. The project focused on developing low-cost enhanced vehicle “intelligence” through a novel combination of “smart” components already available in the cars of today or the near future.
The system comprised sensors (long range radar and lane recognition camera), detailed map information, DGPS and algorithms fusing this information to localise the vehicle and provide detailed information about its environment. A reference manoeuvre computed the ideal speed for a given situation and compared this with the driver’s actual speed. Warnings were delivered to the driver through selected haptic, visual and audible channels. The system was evaluated using a combination of simulation and test drives with members of the public.
The systems were generally well accepted by potential customers, who saw benefits in using the system and were prepared to pay to own such systems. HMI implementation was seen to be an important factor in system acceptance. Some negative aspects should be considered in further acceptance tests. Further studies also showed that the products had potential to show favourable return on investments.
Results were used to formulate a strategy for exploitation. The SASPENCE output can be exploited through further research and has already been disseminated extensively through conference papers and show presentations, and has been used within PReVENT in the INSAFES and PREVAL projects. The commercial exploitation strategy comprised three steps which span the period 2008-2014+:
Short-term benefits could be gained by introduction of those components that are already (or nearly) market-ready. For example, active accelerator pedal, vibrating seatbelt, or visual displays could all be used in combination with other driver assistance functions. In the medium term, modules such as the curve warning could be introduced to enhance existing technologies (eg ACC) to help moderate speed approaching curves. This might use a simplified version of the reference manoeuvre. In the longer term, a fully-integrated system might be realised, including collision and curve warning. This might include components such as long range radar, lane recognition systems and DGPS positioning, with perhaps a combination of active accelerator pedal, vibrating seatbelt and instrument panel HMI.
Finally it has been noted that the course of safety systems development is hard to predict, but because the SASPENCE system has been conceived in modular form, this allows elements to be easily integrated within other driver assistance systems that may be developed in the future.