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Road intersections to become even safer through networking

Official launch of the DEKOR-X research project


PRESS RELEASE



Dekor-X project consortium


Kronach, 14 March 2023 - The DEKOR-X (DE: Dezentraler Kommunikationsraum Kreuzung, EN: Decentralised Communication at Junctions) research and development project was officially launched at a kick-off event hosted by consortium leader Valeo on 14 March. The project is part of the German Association of the Automotive Industry’s flagship initiative on autonomous and connected driving and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action is providing around EUR 7.5 million of funding over a period of three years.


What exactly is being researched and developed? Inner-city junctions pose one of the most difficult challenges when it comes to road traffic. This is already true for human road users, but advancing automation is increasingly turning the optimization of traffic flow and safety at junctions into a technical task. Junctions are complex, varied and, especially in periods of high traffic, often unclear.


This is where DEKOR-X comes into play: it mitigates the danger of intersections by means of “decentralised communication” without the need to install expensive additional infrastructure at every intersection. Intelligent, automatic vehicles share information gathered by their sensors and expand their field of view, thereby increasing safety not only for the vehicle passengers but also for non-motorised, non-automated road users. This enables them, for example, to “see around corners” or receive information about what is happening in front of vehicles ahead of them and blocking their view. Furthermore, collected information will migrate to a cloud, where it is used to generate movement patterns learned over a long period of time. These models are then made available to connected vehicles and help to warn them of possible dangers and to adjust their driving behaviour and vehicle path. As part of the project, concepts and methods for movement model generation, communication channels and information processing within the vehicle are being developed.


Jörg Schrepfer, Site Manager of Valeo in Kronach and Head of Driving Assistance Research, adds: “Successful implementation of DEKOR-X will result in a number of advantages: emissions will be reduced thanks to a coordinated flow of traffic and fewer braking and starting manoeuvres, while safety – especially for cyclists and pedestrians – increases. The decentralised approach taken in this project allows for quick, cost-effective solutions for automated driving functions and would enable direct application to other urban and rural areas.”


Markus Fischer (Project Manager, Continental Automotive Technologies GmbH): “A key challenge in DEKOR-X is using the data pooled via decentralised communication to gain reliable information about dangerous situations. Continental will use this data in the project to create an AI-based predictive model. This model makes it possible to predict the behaviour of road users at a junction. In critical situations, these predictions can be used to warn users of dangers or to intervene in driving functions as a protective measure. Thus, the prediction benefits both road users who participate in cooperative communication and those who cannot, such as pedestrians and cyclists.”


Georg Geduld (CEO of DENSO ADAS Engineering Services GmbH): “DEKOR-X is setting a significant course for the implementation of digitally supported streets in Germany. In addition to increasing road safety, the aim of this development is to launch a cost-efficient solution in urban areas, far away from high-tech conurbations. Vehicle communication and the decentralised automation of infrastructure are key to the quick, comprehensive proliferation and improvement of traffic situations.”


Lucila Patino Studencki, professor of V2X Technologies in the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Automotive Technology at Coburg University of Applied Sciences and Arts: “Junctions are where all kinds of road users meet: pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles. Every one of these road users and their intentions must be considered in autonomous operation when deciding which driving  maneuver to perform next. This makes this scenario very challenging, but also   interesting from a scientific point of view.”


Chemnitz University of Technology is involved in the project through the professorship of Communications Engineering. Its central research task is to improve vehicle environment perception by connecting them with other vehicles and the traffic infrastructure. The focus here is on decentralised data fusion. This enables vehicles to, for example, see around corners or detect distant objects sooner.


A powerful consortium has come together for DEKOR-X: Consortium leader Valeo is joined by Continental Automotive GmbH, DENSO ADAS Engineering Services GmbH, Chemnitz University of Technology and Coburg University of Applied Sciences and Arts. The consortium aims to develop joint standardisation and a joint solution definition. The participants are contributing   seven? test vehicles to the project. This enables joint cross-manufacturer development and verification of “interoperability” at any time.


For more information on this project, please contact the project coordination team by emailing projektbuero.dekor-x@nuts.one or andreas.vom-bruch@valeo.com.

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