AMULETT research project
A child suddenly runs out into the road from between two parked cars – it’s every driver’s nightmare scenario. BMW Group Research and Technology, in collaboration with leading research institutes in Germany, has developed a system that can take the heat out of such situations thanks to so-called Car-2-X Communication. The research project AMULETT (the German acronym for “Active mobile accident avoidance and mitigation of accident effects through co-operative data acquisition and tracking technology”) involves vehicles communicating with a personal safety radio transponder carried, for example, by a pedestrian. Thanks to co-operative sensor systems between the car and the transponder, even hidden pedestrians can be recognised.
The vehicle exchanges data with the “Amulett”, an active RFID-like (Radio Frequency Identification) element, which could in future be integrated into a schoolbag, a mobile phone or a walking stick. How it works. Essentially, the car emits a “who are you?” message known as an interrogation impulse. The transponder transmits an identification message that enables its position to be fixed. Even more importantly, it identifies its carrier as a vulnerable road user. It works even if the carrier is obscured, say by a parked car or a hedge. The Amulett identifying code frequently changes at random, so the user remains anonymous, in compliance with data protection laws.
The test vehicle identifies the electromagnetic waves using a multiantenna system in a frequency band of 2,4 GHz. A signal processing unit computes angle of arrival and identification. Using essentially the same principle as echo sounding, the distance between the pedestrian and the vehicle is calculated on the basis of the signal’s travelling time between the interrogation from the car and the response from the transponder. If this all adds up to an impending collision, the system (above) warns the driver – and, in future emergency braking may be triggered. According to BMW, statistics show that, in two out of five of all fatal pedestrian accidents, the driver does not see the person until just before the impact. The picture looks even grimmer in the case of children. Funded by the Bavarian state government, the project’s partners include Continental Safety Engineering, the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits, the Institute for High Frequency Engineering at Munich’s Technical University, and ZENTEC GmbH. For more information, visit www.projekt-amulett.de. – Source: BMW