By T Murrali:
After the December-January holidays, several corporates greeted the New Year with announcements on innovative projects and proposals related to new and safer mobility. One of the major new initiatives is the joint venture of two global automotive giants, BMW Group and Daimler AG, to provide sustainable urban mobility. They are pooling their mobility services and investing more than Euro One billion to develop and more closely intermesh their offerings into five joint ventures: REACH NOW for multimodal services, CHARGE NOW for charging, FREE NOW for taxi ride-hailing, PARK NOW for parking and SHARE NOW for car-sharing. These five services will merge more closely to form a single mobility service portfolio.
At the 2019 Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, Continental and Vodafone showcased the first results of their innovation partnership and demonstrated how new communication technologies could prevent thousands of accidents every year. The first results confirmed that the state-of-the-art communication technologies such as 5G, cellular vehicle-to-everything (C-V2X) and mobile edge computing can help to protect all road users better. The 5G-ready tests are taking place under real-life conditions at Vodafone’s 5G Mobility Lab in Aldenhoven, Germany. Series production is scheduled for early 2020.
Cameras built into the vehicle and artificial intelligence on the network side (mobile edge computing), which recognise the intentions of pedestrians and cyclists, also provide more protection for pedestrians and cyclists. These technologies can detect, for example, a child who suddenly runs into the road chasing a ball or a person lying on the street. However, the data generated are evaluated intelligently at lightning speed and transmitted in the millisecond range by combining 5G technology with mobile edge computing. Small 5G data centres with short access times close to cell towers allow analyses to be carried out almost in real time with the aid of artificial intelligence. If the situation is actually dangerous, the detected vehicle and other road users in the vicinity are warned. Interesting technologies to contain accidental fatalities!
Yet another initiative to reduce accidents and fatalities, from the OEM side, is of Hyundai Motor Group that announced the development and future commercialisation of the world’s first multi-collision airbag system. The objective is to improve airbag performance in multi-collision accidents in which the primary impact is followed by collisions with secondary objects, such as trees, electrical posts or other vehicles, which occurs in three out of every 10 accidents. Current airbag systems do not offer secondary protection when the initial impact is insufficient to cause them to deploy. However, the multi-collision airbag system allows airbags to deploy effectively upon a secondary impact by calibrating the status of the vehicle and the occupants.
This technology detects occupant position in the cabin following an initial collision. When occupants are forced into unusual positions, the effectiveness of the existing safety technology may be compromised. Multi-collision airbag systems are designed to deploy even faster when initial safety systems may not be effective, providing additional safety when drivers and passengers are most vulnerable. By recalibrating the collision intensity required for deployment, the airbag system responds more promptly during the secondary impact, thereby improving the safety of multi-collision vehicle occupants.
With self-parking, automatic braking, driverless cars not only confining to autonomous but also connected to one another, the Government of Canada is making bold investments to establish Canada as a global leader in cyber security and automotive software for connected and autonomous vehicles. The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, recently announced an investment of $40 million in BlackBerry QNX, a business unit of BlackBerry Limited, to
develop safe and secure software systems for the next generation of connected and autonomous vehicles. Proactive Government action is always solicited.
Is safety confined to preventing accidents on roads? Nope; what about accidents within factory or warehouse where the movement of material handling vehicles, AVG – automated guided vehicles and other types of smaller vehicles ply? Bosch has developed a multi-camera system that can provide a full 360° view around the forklift – even if it is carrying bulky freight. This simplifies the task of picking up and moving loads, even in tight spaces. The system helps the forklift maneuver with precision and makes it possible to estimate distances more accurately while on the move. Drivers can thus execute logistics tasks simply, safely, and efficiently. Bosch originally designed these cameras for passenger cars. They are adapted for the special needs of the logistics market.
See you next month with more Trailblazing Trends . . . .