Due to recent technological developments, cars and other vehicles are today able to detect and alert drivers about dangerous road conditions, such as obstacles, slippery roads or reduced visibility. Sharing such information with other drivers and road operations could considerably improve road safety. The EU Data Task force has therefore launched a proof of concept to define robust and scalable methods for aggregating and sharing data generated by vehicles and infrastructure in order to issue alerts and make them available across national borders and vehicle brands in a decentralised manner.

“The proof of concept will be used to set up a sustainable ecosystem for the exchange of data and validate whether issuing such alerts will have the expected positive impact on road safety,” says Jean Schiltz, Deputy Director Smart Mobility at Luxembourg’s Ministry of the Economy.

Creating data-based information

Jean Schiltz, Luxembourg Ministry of the EconomyFive EU member states – Finland, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Spain – participate in the project, as well as four vehicle manufacturers: BMW, Ford, Mercedes Benz and Volvo. “The car manufacturers will collect data from their respective fleet of vehicles, anonymise it and then make it available to the aggregators,” says Mr Schiltz. “There will be no direct vehicle-to-vehicle or vehicle-to-infrastructure interaction, which considerably reduces cybersecurity risks. It also allows us to test whether users will receive alerts in a timely manner even though the communication between vehicles is indirect.”

Luxembourg and Germany are involved in a bilateral cooperation agreement for the duration of the proof of concept regarding data treatment. Beyond the data relevant for the national territory, the Luxembourg aggregator will also receive vehicle and infrastructure datasets from Germany and analyse them in order to create information that will be made available via the German MDM (Mobilitäts-Daten-Marktplatz) platform. “The collaboration builds on Luxembourg’s strengths in high-quality data transmission, hosting and valorisation services,” Mr Schiltz points out. “Our digital expertise makes the country a competent, trustworthy and robust partner for safety-critical, data-centric applications. We will also gather useful experience that can be further upscaled when Luxembourg’s new high performance computer becomes operational in 2020.”

Our digital expertise makes the country a competent, trustworthy and robust partner for safety-critical, data-centric applications

The data treatment will produce information about events such as exceptional weather conditions, short-term roadworks or people or animals on the road. “It will then be up to participating service creators and distributors – for example HERE Europe, TomTom Traffic and the car manufacturers – to decide what to do with the information: issue warnings, reroute traffic or even dispatch emergency or maintenance services,” says Mr Schiltz. The information thus created will be made available for other potential users via the Luxembourgish Data Platform.

Preparing the future

Luxembourg has several reasons for being part of the task force and proof of concept. “The development of intelligent transport systems (ITS) and smart mobility solutions is a governmental priority. Such solutions are key enablers to improve the specific challenges that the country and the Greater Region are facing in terms of traffic flows and traffic safety,” says Mr Schiltz. He also underlines the country’s openness as a living lab for innovative mobility solutions, clearly shown through the recently opened cross-border digital testbed for automated and connected driving set up in collaboration with France and Germany.

The development of intelligent transport systems (ITS) and smart mobility solutions is a governmental priority

In addition, the proof of concept is well aligned with Luxembourg’s recent strategy for data-driven innovation. “We want to pave the way for the automotive and mobility industry of the future. The digitalisation of mobility also impacts Luxembourg players, and we want to develop national know-how that can be used in partnerships with private companies that are developing the mobility solutions of tomorrow,” Mr Schiltz concludes.