Vehicle traffic volume is very high in Europe and will even further increase. As a result also the number of accidents will increase together with dramatic socio-economic impacts.
Reducing the number of accidents and preventing them is of prime importance.
With a new architecture serving as platform for driver assistant systems PEIT has the goal to improve overall traffic safety and traffic efficiency for vehicles to decrease the number of accidents which are up to 97% caused by the driver. The technical objectives of PEIT were to develop a fully electronically controlled powertrain which is controlled by an input of a motion vector coming from the human machine interface. A motion task operated within a central architecture based on horizontally distributed applications.
The approach of the work is to build up a basis, a concept for the demonstration of an accident avoiding truck, an almost accident free vehicle, with a high potential to reduce environment pollution and fuel consumption and in the same time the potential to raise economic efficiency.
To achieve an overall improvement in safety an intelligent powertrain was developed which provides an interface to serve as a base for all accident prevention and driver assistant functions of the vehicle. The powertrain interface makes it possible to integrate drive by wire application into the system. To connect the distributed functionality and their electronically controlled devices, a failure tolerant central system architecture derived from the avionics fly by wire applications was developed. To demonstrate the benefits and the modularity of the overall system a number of important safety related subsystems were developed and integrated into the PEIT powertrain with the aim of assisting the driver.As one of the most important safety relevant subsystems a steer by wire was integrated and a brake by wire system was developed. It was augmented with an “intelligent tyre” able to determine the road-tyre friction coefficient to calculate the available brake and cornering capacity.
The mechatronic elements providing the functions of steering, braking, accelerating, gear shifting, and energy management were based on full drive by wire technologies. All safety relevant functions were specified as fail safe. This is the base for future driver assistant systems overruling the driver with the main task of avoiding accidents and protecting driver and environment. All safety relevant applications developed and energy managements exceed the current state of the art technologies regarding safety and reliability. It is obvious that further developments will be based on this platform due to the easiness of integrating new functionality.
Due to the fact that the presented technology is not approved, the consortium analysed within a task force the possibility of a homologation path for type approval to bring PEIT technology on market. A further European project was launched in 2004 which was named SPARC the abbreviation for Safe Propulsion using Advanced Redundant Control. SPARC is the consequent continuation of PEIT a step forward direction an accident avoiding vehicle.