Neuburg an der Donau

Car to motorbike: Everything safe!

Motorcycle riders want technology that supports them without compromising their riding pleasure. That is what assistance systems being developed jointly by Ducati and Audi do. The technical basis is the new, ultrafast 5G mobile communications standard.

11/27/2018 Text: Peter Gaide – Photography/film: Lukas Barth Talking Business

Traffic jam behind the curve

Software never gets tired. Or becomes distracted. It notices immediately – faster than any driver – if that truck up ahead is braking sharply or if that motorcycle is intending to make a left turn. And the tailback after the next bend? Even the best driver could not anticipate it. Whereas software gives drivers a warning signal. The result is a digitally connected traffic system that’s easy on the nerves, hugely improves safety and paves the way for fully automated vehicles. Within just two years, C-V2X technology (Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything) should be operational – Audi and Ducati are driving forward its development – and enable direct communication between motorcycles, cars, trucks, pedestrians and cyclists as well as with traffic signals and other traffic infrastructure furniture.

 

The C-V2X system is already being trialed in Neuburg, Bavaria. The drivers simulate three situations that are common but also typically result in accidents: Entering a junction, turning off across the line of traffic, and a vehicle ahead suddenly braking. The big question: Will the systems give the drivers visual and acoustic warnings in sufficient time?

With 5G, the high-precision, memory-intensive maps that are needed for automated systems can be transferred to the car very swiftly.

Gerhard Stanzl, Audi Electronics Venture GmbH

 

“We’re making significant progress,” remarks Christoph Voigt, Head of Connectivity, Mobile Communications and Car2X Technologies at Audi Development. He also chairs the 5G Automotive Association, or 5GAA for short. This association brings together Audi, Ducati and around 90 other businesses from the automotive and supply industry as well as the mobile communications sector. Their joint commitment: to help 5G achieve a breakthrough on the roads. 5G not only prevents accidents, it also paves the way for new services, for example for autonomous driving. “With 5G, the high-precision, memory-intensive maps that are needed for automated systems can be transferred to the car very swiftly.” — Gerhard Stanzl, Head of Smart Mobility / Machine Learning Pre-Development at Audi Electronics Venture GmbH. This also creates a wide array of opportunities for digital convenience functions that will make travel more entertaining and comfortable for the occupants. Stanzl is not yet prepared to divulge exactly what they entail. A development secret. He grins.

“It’ll be great. Just be patient a little longer.”

Greater safety. And lucrative services.

  • Innovative mobility solutions and new concepts for traffic planning and control are becoming increasingly important when it comes to maintaining the quality of life in urban areas. At the same time, innovative technologies like 5G and automated driving are enabling the interconnectedness of vehicles and the infrastructure, thereby paving the way for safer, more efficient, more comfortable and sustainable mobility of the future. The 5G technology currently being trialed should be operational by 2020. The tests are part of the ConVex project, in which Audi, Ducati, Audi Electronics Venture GmbH, Qualcomm, CDMA Technologies, Ericsson, the Technical University of Kaiserslautern and Swarco are involved and which has been granted EUR 1.8 million in financial support from the German Federal Ministry of Transport.
  • Close cooperation is also taking place within the Audi Group. As part of the Ducati Strategy 2025 and the Ducati Acceleration Plan, the company is seeking to increasingly leverage more synergies within the Group in order to drive forward topics such as digitalization, electrification, and the dealer network – not least with a view to profitability. This cooperation also involves the development of urban solutions and new business models for the premium mobility of the future, including the integration of two-wheel concepts.
  • As well as its claim to driving experience and emotion, Ducati is demonstrating its commitment to safety – strategically formulated in its “Safety Roadmap 2025.” With a focus on the connected bike, the company is introducing features such as radar-based functions that work irrespective of visibility, unlike cameras, and the e-call system, which cuts rescue times by up to 45 percent. 
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