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Swedish cloud platforms paving the way for emergency vehicles

A recently started Swedish research project, AD Aware Traffic Control - Emergency Vehicles, conducted by Volvo Cars, Carmenta, Ericsson, SOS Alarm and RISE, Research Institutes of Sweden is developing a cloud-based traffic control platform that builds on the Drive Sweden Innovation Cloud, and enables smooth and seamless information exchange between coordinators of emergency vehicles and automated vehicles.

Automated vehicles are expected to bring many benefits to the society, including improved safety, reduced congestion, lower emissions, higher productivity, and greater access to mobility. To ensure these benefits, such vehicles need to be able to exchange information with other vehicles in their vicinity. 

The project will result in:

  • A prototype cloud platform for information exchange between automated vehicles and coordinators of emergency vehicles.
  • A public demonstration of the platform and its functionality.
  • Knowledge on societal benefits as well as important challenges with the platform. 

The time to arrival of emergency vehicles is often a matter of life and death. It is, however, not uncommon today that these vehicles get disturbed by other vehicles and delayed in traffic. The question is if the introduction of automated vehicles in our society will facilitate a quicker and safer arrival of emergency vehicles?

This question is addressed in the research project AD Aware Traffic Control - Emergency Vehicles where the previously demonstrated AD Aware Traffic Control platform is being further developed to include cloud-based services for sharing information between emergency vehicle coordinators and automated vehicles. In addition to weather, visibility and general traffic situation information, it now combines also real-time emergency vehicle and detailed geospatial information from local road networks and their surroundings to create a shared operational picture of the traffic situation.

– We are today responsible for assigning the appropriate vehicle to the right location in an emergency. The introduction of automated vehicles that can share information about themselves, and the route they’re heading, brings great opportunities. Emergency vehicles can reach their location faster and more efficient. But the project also poses new challenges in terms of how to ensure that information is shared in a safe and reliable way, says Mattias Hindfelt, CIO SOS Alarm.

In AD Aware Traffic Control cloud platform, the Carmenta TrafficWatchTM is a key component, which is designed to bring situational awareness, supervise traffic environment and control connected vehicles.

– Based on our long experience in providing solutions to emergency response operators combined with a cutting-edge technology for safe operation of connected and automated vehicles, we are proud to provide a solution for seamless integration of automated vehicles and emergency vehicles in real traffic situations, says Björn Berndtsson, CEO Carmenta.

In its role as an active partner in the Drive Sweden strategic innovation program, Ericsson has developed and operates a cloud infrastructure for information sharing between vehicles, infrastructure and users - Drive Sweden Innovation Cloud that is, among others, hosting the Carmenta TrafficWatchTM and communicating with SOS Alarm Cloud as well as Volvo Cars’ Traffic Control Center for Automated Vehicles.

– It is Ericsson’s IoT Accelerator platform that is used here, explains Anders Fagerholt, principal consultant on ITS at Ericsson. When adapted and used for transport applications, the solution is called Connected Urban Transport. It collects data from various sources and facilitates safe and reliable communication with other clouds.

To create a better understanding of technical requirements that AD Aware Traffic Control needs to fulfil, and how it could add value to the society and accelerate acceptance of automated vehicles, a proof-of-concept evaluation will be carried out.

– Building upon our extensive experience in evaluation methodologies, we will plan and conduct the evaluation, says Azra Habibovic, senior researcher at RISE Viktoria. In this work, it is important to acknowledge that applicability of the platform is not necessarily limited to automated vehicles only. It could be used as a complement to sirens and lights to provide alerts to drivers of conventional vehicles, which extends the potential of AD Aware Traffic Control beyond the borders of the current project.

A public demonstration of the platform and preliminary project results is planned for the end of June 2018, and will be held in Gothenburg, Sweden (additional information will be posted on the project site). The project is expected to end in December 2018. It is co-funded by the Drive Sweden strategic innovation program.

Press release from RISE