MAN – actively researching towards efficiency in future traffic
MAN Truck & Bus and its partners in the AKTIV research initiative are developing intelligent traffic assistance systems that may in future considerably reduce the risk of jams and accidents on the roads of Germany.
AKTIV stands for "Adaptive und Kooperative Technologien für den Intelligenten Verkehr" (Adaptive and cooperative technologies for intelligent traffic). It focuses on safety and prevention of traffic jams by means of vehicle communication. In 2010 the 28 partners in the research initiative – motor-vehicle manufacturers and their suppliers, companies from the electronics, telecommunications and software sectors, research institutes and the highway and traffic administration – presented the results of their four-year research project.
Goals of the AKTIV research project
- Greater active safety for vehicles and traffic systems
- Assistance systems for further relief for drivers
- Efficient use of the existing transport infrastructure and thus fewer traffic jams.
Active Hazard Braking
The Active Hazard Braking system gives the driver visual and acoustic signals if there is a risk of his vehicle colliding with the one in front. To demonstrate Active Hazard Braking an MAN TGX 18.540 was fitted with radar and video sensors. This system also recognises stationary obstacles and automatically actuates the brakes if the driver has not reacted to the previous warnings. In dangerous situations like the ends of traffic jams on motorways serious rear-end collisions occur time and again. Active Hazard Braking could prevent these in future.
Integrated Lateral Assistance
Developed by MAN Truck & Bus, Integrated Lateral Assistance automatically keeps the truck in a defined target position within its lane. For this a camera records the course of the lane and the position of the truck. Deviations from the target position are prevented or reduced to an acceptable minimum by a lateral position governor that acts via continual intervention in the steering. With digital maps the target position of the truck within the lane is also adjusted to bends lying ahead. A system of radar sensors also detects oncoming trucks and ensures that the target position of its vehicle shifts towards the edge of the road.
Road Works Pilot
In European urban centres the traffic capacity of the road network is already approaching its limits. Beside this, traffic hindrances such as road works on motorways reduce the efficiency of the transport network and often lead to long traffic jams. As trucks are longer and wider than cars they have less room to manoeuvre in the narrower lanes at road works.
MAN has tested a Road Works Pilot on a prototype. This lateral control assistant for trucks can help the driver on narrow roads, especially such with no roadmarks, and prevent him from leaving his lane. This is achieved by active intervention in the vehicle's steering. In this way accidents caused by unintentional straying from the lane are to be prevented in future. This will make overtaking much safer and improve the traffic flow in these areas.
Driver Safety: Keeping the driver attentive
Two essential aspects in the development of new assistance systems are their acceptance among drivers and the way drivers use them. To investigate this MAN Truck & Bus has carried out test-driving with drivers in the MAN Truck Simulator at the Technical University of Munich in Garching, where typical driving situations from day-to-day long-haul transport are simulated. It was examined whether driver attentiveness changes on long trips when assistance systems are in use. The goal of this project is to design assistance systems so that the risk of the driver's having too little to do and thus becoming inattentive is minimised.