In Car-to-X communication, vehicles and infrastructure are electronically linked to each other. This allows direct communications between vehicles as well as between vehicles and the traffic infrastructure, such as traffic light signals. Car-to-X communication makes a major contribution to intelligent mobility of the future by allowing the driver to look a long way ahead, see things that are hidden, and even peer around the corners. Intelligent driving that saves energy and enhances safety always means anticipating what lies ahead as well. Since the potential of Car-to-X communication can only be fully exploited through mass use, the only real benefit is to be gained by researching this technology in alliance with other partners.
Therefore, BMW together with the city of Frankfurt am Main and a number of well-known universities and research institutes are working on the research project simTD (Safe and Intelligent Mobility – Test Field Germany). For the simTD research project, the BMW Group engineers focused on developing two driver assistance systems based on Car-to-X communication: the Cross Traffic Assistant and the Traffic Sign Assistant. Both assistants are developed to warn the driver early enough for other road users or changing traffic situation, such as speed limits. Because these are the key factors to accidents, the assistants will reduce the total number of those accidents.
After four years of research, one of the world’s biggest field trials for Car-to-X communication has now been completed. Using more than 120 test vehicles, the technology was put to the test for the first time in real traffic conditions on motorways and major highways as well as urban routes in and around Frankfurt am Main.