Intelligent traffic guidance systems preventing traffic jams, lanterns going into an energy-saving mode when they are not needed and cars indicating cyclists coming from a side street. It sounds like a dream of the future, but these technologies are already in the making. Thanks to innovative technology, communication between road users and objects takes place in equal measure. This new form of communication is called V2X (Vehicle to X). The X stands for various communication partners, such as other road users, road signs or the infrastructure. Through the networking of road users and infrastructure as well as intelligent route guidance, a "Smart City" is being created step by step, which will ultimately also make fully autonomous driving possible. The advantages of such a Smart City include not only the comfort and safety of mobility, but also the environmentally friendly and efficient use of resources.
The Preh Group and its subsidiary Preh Car Connect are already making an important contribution to tomorrow's Smart City. A pre-series product from the Dresden-based automotive supplier, the "Connectivity Box", provides the basis for smart communication on the road. The externally inconspicuous in-house development of Preh Car Connect literally has it all: The Connectivity Box communicates with the infrastructure, the cloud, the road users and thus opens up the possibility of mutual exchange of a wide variety of information. For example, locations, directions and speed are shared among each other. This anonymous information can be used to prevent accidents and increase road safety in the long term. In addition, comfort services are offered such as finding free parking spaces, petrol price information or a so-called green wave assistant.
Networking also enables to create "dynamic environmental zones". This makes it possible to predict when a diversion of vehicles is necessary due to high traffic volumes in order to ensure congestion-free passage. On the one hand, this leads to increased comfort for motorists, but also relieves the burden on residents in conurbations, as CO2 pollution can be specifically controlled in this way and reduced at particularly critical points.
The key to this ecologically sustainable increase in efficiency lies in the use of the cloud. This represents the central brain of smart cities. The cloud receives immense amounts of anonymized data, which is processed centrally and distributed intelligently. The resulting information structure ensures communication and controls the decision-making processes that makes the most sense for all road users and residents. Preh Car Connect offers its customers from the automotive industry a corresponding cloud service and thus provides the central "data brain". In addition, the company is working on its own car park search algorithm, which differs from the well-known solutions in this area.
On the way to Smart City, so-called mixed traffic is currently one of the greatest challenges. Mixed traffic refers to the combination of automated and non-automated road users. While automobiles can already be network today, pedestrians or cyclists in particular do not send any information yet, which makes communication considerably more difficult. Because those who do not transmit their position cannot be identified at an early stage. Conversely, Highly Accurate Positioning allows the detection of minute changes in direction and movements of pedestrians or cyclists. Exact position release takes safe and anticipatory driving to a new level. Highly accurate positioning also forms the basis for autonomous driving. That is the real goal: After all, optimum comfort, efficiency and resource conservation can only be achieved in a Smart City with autonomous traffic. This is exactly the part of the Preh Car Connect development team they are working on. Surely, Dresden is exactly the right location for this.
Dresden is one of the digital test fields defined nationwide by the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) with a focus on cooperative, urban mixed traffic. The Saxon state capital thus offers an ideal environment with many research and development partners. As an innovation driver in the markets for e-mobility, human machine interface and connectivity, the Preh Group has set the necessary course with Preh Car Connect GmbH to integrate smart communication technology into future vehicle generations. Extensive series of tests are currently underway. In October 2018, Preh Car Connect is planning to give an insight into its connectivity solutions on a test track in Dresden and to demonstrate what will be possible in the Smart City. This also includes combining the networking of road users (via C-LTE and 5G) with augmented reality. In this way, Preh Car Connect is already creating smart solutions today for the Smart City of tomorrow.