EU Connected Vehicle Pilot Study
Connected Vehicle Technology to Safeguard Road Users
Today, Minister of State with special responsibility for road safety Jack Chambers T.D., alongside Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII), launched an EU-funded pilot programme for on-road connected vehicle technology, also known as Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems (C-ITS). This pilot is part of a €10m investment to roll out the C-ITS technology on Irish roads, with half the funding provided by the EU and half by the State.
Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems (C-ITS) enable vehicles to 'talk' to other connected vehicles, roadside infrastructure, and traffic management control centres to share relevant safety-related alerts and advisory messages with drivers.
Commenting at the launch of the programme, Minister Chamber said: “We are calling for members of the public to participate in the pilot to trial these exciting new technologies in real-world situations. The value of this technology is that it empowers motorists to make real-time decisions so they can better plan their journey to avoid things like road collisions, broken down vehicles causing obstruction or congestion and ultimately improve road safety for all road users. Participants will be among the first in Ireland to experience this new driving technology and contribute to connected vehicle development and implementation.
“ Peter Walsh, Chief Executive of TII said: “This EU pilot programme is a significant research opportunity in learning how the use of intelligent transportation systems will assist both the road user and road operator to improve overall road safety. The public involvement with this research programme will assist greatly in creating a safer road user environment for the future.”
The pilot programme is part of the C-Roads Platform which is co-funded by the European Union (EU) and brings eighteen EU member states and road operators together to harmonise the standards for the implementation and deployment of C-ITS on European roads. This means that C-ITS-equipped Irish vehicles will receive C-ITS messages when in Europe and C-ITS equipped European vehicles will receive messages in Ireland.
The pilot will help lay the foundations for the next generation of transport infrastructure and car manufacturing standards supporting the Department of Transport’s objectives to deliver an accessible, efficient, safe and sustainable transport system that supports communities, households and businesses. It will evaluate the impacts and safety benefits of C-ITS; build public awareness of the new technologies; and inform government decision-making at both a national and European level. The pilot will run until the end of 2024.
How will the pilot programme operate?
TII manages the safe and efficient operation of the motorway network, 24-hours-a-day, 7-days-a-week, using existing roadside technologies, such as road sensors, emergency roadside telephones and CCTV cameras. At present, variable message signs are the primary means for communicating incident alerts to drivers. Through this pilot, however, TII will be able to use C-ITS technologies to send safety alerts – in real time – directly to drivers in their vehicles.
The safety alerts will be sent to drivers through smartphone apps connected to the mobile phone network or through tablets connected to local C-ITS roadside units installed on the M50 and M1 motorways. These devices will display messages relating to collisions, congestion, stationary vehicles, road works, and hazardous weather. They will also identify electric vehicle (EV) charging points in the vicinity of the driver.
The pilot has no element of vehicle automation—drivers will always remain in control of their vehicles during the pilot. However, the technology represents an important link in the transition to self-driving cars.
Participants will be rewarded for providing regular feedback throughout the duration of the pilot.
How to join the pilot?
Members of the public are invited to register their interest in participating in the pilot by logging on to cits.tii.ie and completing a short survey aimed at assessing their suitability to participate