ICT Infrastructure for Connected and Automated Road Transport
ICT4CART will bring together, adapt and improve technological advances from different key players from the automotive, telecom and IT industries, able to shape the ICT landscape for Connected and Automated Road Transport and to boost the EU competitiveness and innovation in this area.
As an Innovation Action (IA), the target of ICT4CART is to provide outcomes close to the market, thus aiming at high innovation potential.
Connected and automated vehicles, especially SAE levels L3 & L4, are on the focal point of ITS research. To enable and accelerate the insertion of such vehicles in our everyday life, ICT and especially connectivity, is a prerequisite. This is exactly the area ICT4CART is working with.
Today, significant and rapid advances take place in the telecom and IT industries. Amongst these, the ETSI ITS G5 technology is now quite mature. It has been thoroughly discussed at EU policy levels (C-ITS platform) and has been used and tested in several EU projects. Moreover, the 5G technology is evolving rapidly, while LTE-Vehicle (LTE-V)  features low cost and rapid deployment since it can fully utilise existing base stations. At the same time road operators and infrastructure providers are well aware that advances should take place also on the infrastructure part in order to keep up with in-vehicle and telecommunication technology advances.
Despite the above, several ICT challenges related to connectivity, data management and ICT infrastructure architectures still exist and need to be addressed in order to enable road vehicle automation. Advancing ICT infrastructure is essential in this direction. Especially today, where resources and investments in the physical transport infrastructure are limited, the exploitation of digital and ICT technologies is a must.
ICT4CART aims to address these challenges and to facilitate the dialogue between automotive manufacturers and the telecom industry by integrating, in an efficient and prompt way, the developments in both areas.
ICT4CART, totally aligned with the work programme, is providing an ICT infrastructure to enable the transition towards road transport automation. To meet this high level objective ICT4CART is bringing together, adapting and improving technological advances from different industries, mainly telecom, automotive and IT. It adopts a hybrid communication approach where all the major wireless technologies, i.e. cellular, ITS G5 and LTE-V, are integrated under a flexible “sliced” network architecture. This architecture will ensure performance and resilience for different groups of applications according to the needs of higher levels of automation (L3 & L4). On top of that, a distributed IT environment for data aggregation and analytics will be implemented. This offers seamless integration and exchange of data and services between all the different actors, allowing 3rd parties to develop, deliver and provide innovative services, thus creating new business opportunities. Cyber-security and data privacy aspects will be duly considered throughout the whole ICT infrastructure. In addition, novel accurate localisation services, exploiting the cellular network and information from other sources, such as on-board sensors, especially in complex areas (e.g. urban), will be addressed.
Standardisation and interoperability are of high interest within ICT4CART in order to ensure the impact of the project towards enabling the transition to higher levels of automation. In this context issues related to the frequency spectrum will be investigated, while through the organisation of relevant workshops the engagement of policy makers and public authorities is ensured. To achieve its objectives ICT4CART, instead of working in generic solutions with questionable impact, it builds on four specific high-value use cases (urban and highway) which will be demonstrated and validated under real-life conditions at the test sites in Austria, Germany, Italy and across the Italian-Austrian border.
- Identify the functional and technical connectivity requirements posed by the needs of higher levels of automation (SAE L3 & L4) ensuring communication redundancy and increased reliability.
- Implement and test a standards-based distributed IT environment for data aggregation capable of collecting and managing in an automated and interoperable way all the exchanged data regarding the driver, the vehicle, the vulnerable road users (VRUs) and the infrastructure, leveraging also cloud technology
- Implement cyber-security and data protection and privacy mechanisms aligned with the EU policy objectives
- Improve localisation and mapping by combining information from different sources (European GNSS, on board sensors, other vehicles, infrastructure, etc.) and adapt existing tools and algorithms for data fusion.
- Validate and demonstrate the ICT Infrastructure architecture through the project use cases and test sites.
- New business models and market services for the innovative use of cross-sector data, including the creation of services and infrastructure for automated driving
- Promote the project developments to standardisation bodies and policy makers especially in relation with actions requiring public authorities’ intervention