SAFER’s project portfolio has been enriched with a new project within the framework of Horizon 2020, Hi-Drive. Several of SAFER's partners participate and the research and competence centre takes an active role in the project through research on connectivity, testing activities, data management and analysis. Magnus Granström, SAFER’s director, says:
"The project will enable us to find answers to many important research questions to help automated vehicles to be implemented on a larger scale and thereby contribute to societal benefits. Hi-drive builds on the recently finalised project L3Pilot, engaging several SAFER-partners and contributing with valuable knowledge in the field."
Addressing challenges towards the deployment of higher automation
Hi-Drive addresses a number of key challenges, which are currently hindering the progress in vehicle automation. The researchers key aim is to advance the state of the art of automated driving technologies by testing, demonstrating, and evaluating robust high automation functions in a large set of traffic environments, not currently achievable.
Åsa Laveno, Volvo Cars, is representing one of the partners involved in the project:
“The Hi-Drive project addresses the challenges in automated driving, by focusing on how communication and positioning technologies can be used. The aim is to research how to implement V2x communication to improve traffic flow and safety, without interfering with other road-user behaviors. Important research questions are for example how to build trust between participants in the transport system, what data from traffic participants can be combined to reduce complexity in the dynamic driving task and what communication modes and technology that should be used for what data. Reliability and cyber security are other important issues.”
The project will also develop new information about user preferences and reactions including comfort and trust – and eventually, enabling viable business models for automated driving. Connected and secure automation will also provide vehicles and their operators with information beyond the line of sight and on-board sensor capabilities.
The Hi-Drive aims to extend the operational design domains (ODDs) by investigating key technologies in what is called “Enablers”. The enablers shall be implemented in testing activities that will cover almost 30 use cases, ensuring the capability of automation is going beyond what is shown today. The use cases will be tested in diverse driving scenarios including urban traffic and motorways.
Building on the results of the EU-funded project L3Pilot, Hi-Drive extends the data collection across EU borders in variable traffic, weather, and visibility conditions. The Hi-Drive approach to testing and evaluation is systemic. The impacts evaluation takes place on various levels starting from isolated single AD functions, via users, to the transport system level and assessing socio-economic changes.
Evaluation of societal benefits
With the data collected from the tests, direct impacts of automated driving related to individual driver-vehicle behaviour, interaction with other road users, and vehicle behaviour will be evaluated. By means of micro- and macroscopic simulation, these impacts are scaled up to a societal level. Thereby, the impact of AD on transport system level performance indicators such as transport system efficiency, network performance, and the inclusion of those who do not currently have suitable access to mobility, such as senior citizens or the disabled, will be considered. This development is accompanied by the definition of quantified future scenarios, considering different factors that might affect the deployment of AD technology, users’ reactions, mobility patterns, external influences and regulatory measures.
Great engagement from SAFER partners
The SAFER partners engaged in this project are Chalmers University of Technology, Volvo Cars and Volvo Group. The Swedish cluster is unique in that it combines different types of actors in the transport system in a very close geographical and cultural relationship which should maximize speed and efficiency of making progress.
The project has a strong network of European OEM:s, suppliers and research institutes, giving access to significant learnings from all partners. The budget is €37.5 million euro. Hi-Drive has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 101006664. The project will be hosted by SAFER’s research area Safety performance evaluation.