On 20th June 2017, the AUTOPILOT consortium partners organised a Special Interest Session (SIS) at the 12th ITS Europe Congress in Strasbourg entitled “Connected and Automated Transport”. Moderated by the AUTOPILOT  coordinator, Mr François Fischer (ERTICO – ITS Europe), the session gathered more than 100 attendees and featured presentations from representatives of the Centre for Research & Technology Hellas, T-Systems, AKKA, TNO, and Technolution.

The session focused on the promise that the Internet of Things (IoT) offers in the transport domain, and mainly on the great potential of IoT to improve automated driving by offering a network of cheap, efficient and pervasive sensors. However, it is important to ensure that the information provided by the sensors is precise and reliable. Cybersecurity and interoperability are further issues that can cause challenges and therefore need to be addressed.

Ms Stella Nikolau (Centre for Research & Technology Hellas) explained how IoT can be harnessed to facilitate pedestrian and bicycle detection and communication via smart devices using an IoT-based platform. One possibility is the use of a combination of wearable, on board and roadside sensors, with short range and direct WiFi communication. Absolute positioning and intention detection can be estimated by a fusion of GPS, kinematics sensors and RSSI measurements. The AUTOPILOT project will make use of all these technologies. Ms Nikolau further emphasised the safety improvements that autonomous vehicles will bring, confirming that autonomous vehicle will be up to 50% safer than non-automated ones.

Then Mr Ralf Willenbrock (T-Systems) provided information on the automated valet parking pilot, which provides drivers with an end-to-end parking experience for seamless driving. Under the AUTOPILOT project, the large scale piloting will be conducted in six pilot sites – in the regions of Vigo (Spain), Versailles (France), Eindhoven (the Netherlands), Tampere (Finland), Livorno (Italy) and Deajeon (Korea). The Automated Valet Parking application will be deployed and evaluated in the pilot sites of Finland, France, Netherlands and Spain. The app used during the pilots provides drivers with an ideal parking process, since it guides drivers from the moment the driver needs somewhere to park until when he or she drives away from the parking space or garage. Public authorities will also find the app useful, as it is easy to implement and can bring increased revenue from parking.

Attendees of the session learned about the reference architecture for IoT platforms in Mr Benoit Baurens (AKKA) presentation. Mr Baurens also gave several examples of open source IoT platforms and spoke about the importance of raising user acceptance of IoT technologies and ensuring information integrity and privacy. IoT systems may still be suspect to attacks, so the systems need to be controlled and safeguarded in their production environments at runtime.

Mr Miodrag Djurica (TNO) focused on AUTOPILOT’s urban driving and car sharing pilot scenarios. In an urban driving context, IoT extends the perception range of an automated vehicle beyond what is provided by its sensors. As such, the vehicle becomes an IoT element, receiving and providing data from/to IoT connected elements, such as traffic lights, cameras and other connected vehicles. In the car sharing pilot, IoT assists users in booking cars and managing their booking through a central car sharing service on a mobile or desktop application.

Last but not least, Mr Paul van Koningsbruggen (Technolution) speculated as to whether or not IoT should be discussed as the carrier for connected and automated transport. The world of the automobile is changing rapidly and it is important to adapt by harnessing the latest technologies. As such, IoT could become a driver for change. Mr van Koningsbruggen also raised questions about how IoT could help reduce bottlenecks and traffic jams, and how it could help overcome barriers in traffic management. A key idea from his presentation was that the exploration of IoT and next generation networks should go hand in hand with the exploration of how IoT can be embedded in next generation road networks.

Presentations from the AUTOPILOT SIS session at the ITS Europe Congress in Strasbourg are now available in the AUTOPILOT Library here.