Networking among vehicles and their interconnection with the environment make it possible to obtain a detailed and far-reaching image of the surrounding area. Potential dangers can thus be identified early or can be reported to following traffic, if necessary. If a vehicle crosses a bridge and notices via its ESP sensors that the road is slippery, it can transmit a corresponding alert to other road users. The recipients of such a message then check whether it is relevant for their own route and alert the driver, if necessary. The driver is thus prepared for the upcoming situation and can adjust the speed on time.
Alternatively, such a warning about a dangerous traffic situation could also be relayed by the vehicle to the responsible road maintenance depot, which records the information and makes it available to other road users via a Cloud service. The service subscribers automatically receive an alert when they approach the location. In addition, the road maintenance depot’s winter service vehicle is automatically notified to change its route in order to deal with the dangerous situation.
Traffic jams arising at short notice can also be detected and reported automatically by analyzing speed and braking behavior, particularly in the communication among several vehicles. Acceleration sensors in the vehicles can also detect accidents and report them automatically, including alerting emergency services and the police. Corresponding emergency call systems based on Wi-Fi are already available in some cars, but are limited to the function of reporting such events to emergency services and are currently unable to alert vehicles behind them or request support. An impending vehicle malfunction can also be indicated to the driver with the help of warning signals, but it can also be prevented directly by automatically identifying a nearby service garage that has free capacities and adjusting the planned route and the driving style on the way to the garage accordingly. The garage is automatically informed about the vehicle’s estimated time of arrival and about the symptoms. Depending on how serious the matter is, a replacement vehicle can also be ordered directly from a rental company and the trip can be continued with as little delay and impediment for the rest of the traffic as possible.
The information exchanged between vehicles can furthermore be used for predictive and cooperative operation strategies aimed at reducing energy consumption as well as exhaust, noise, and light emissions. A more detailed knowledge of the traffic light phases in the area of a vehicle’s position and the planned route can thus be balanced such that the driver can be informed about the optimal speed that will allow him to take advantage of phased traffic lights. If several alternative routes are available, the expected traffic light phases as well as real-time traffic information can also be included in route planning. Coordinated acceleration and braking phases between vehicles following each other can reduce the emissions and fuel consumption of the individual vehicles. If there is a lot of traffic, they can also reduce the likelihood of traffic jams, increase the flow of traffic, and thus locally improve energy efficiency.
Individual mobility in urban agglomerations is becoming an ever greater challenge since the rising numbers of road users are pushing the existing infrastructure to its limits. Regional public transport can be a good alternative, but is not flexible enough yet. Integrated services in a completely interconnected world make it possible to offer individually customized mobility concepts and to bring together people who are traveling the same sections of a trip. An example: users can use their smartphones to access a specific Cloud service. Here they can select their destination and then a mobility service can be planned and provided based upon available modes of transport and optimization criteria. The trip can start in a classical manner by taking the bus to the nearest train station. However, this bus is running according to a needs-based schedule on an individually created route, i.e., it adapts to the concrete needs while also taking into account time constraints such as the departure times of the passengers’ connecting trains. Upon arrival at the train station, the passenger can transfer to the train without getting a ticket. Since the destination may be in a rural area with little individual traffic, a rental car is ordered, which is then activated directly via smartphone and can also be paid for in this manner. Since two other travelers on the train have similar destinations, they share the rental car during the first section of their trip, which saves costs and energy.
A biogas plant is to be supplied with chopped corn. Due to the high harvest yield of the forage harvester used and the distance of up to 25 km between the fields, ten transport rigs are needed for transporting the harvest. All vehicles are connected with each other via a biomass harvest logistics service, which coordinates the operational planning and guides the vehicles to-the-minute to the position where the next job is to be expected. As a result of this optimization, two transport rigs can be saved. In addition, the optimized navigation helps to reduce the total number of kilometers driven by five percent.
Flexibility and short delivery times are important requirements for a logistics service provider. With the help of networked logistics services, a company can identify a suitable means of transport and the corresponding route within a few seconds: In the background, an unnoticed auction has taken place between various service providers that applied for the job on the basis of the requested transport service. For the truck driver, hardly anything changes: The next destination and the route are always displayed in the cockpit and the driver can focus on doing his job.