Visualisation of the energy-optimised traffic flow as an assistance function

With the increasing traffic volume on motorways, federal roads or multi-lane urban roads, environmental-friendly mobility is an aim, which concerns the flow of the overall traffic. Especially in rush hours, changes in the structure of the traffic participants (truck pulls out to overtake, vehicle merges into the flowing traffic despite of non-reached synchronous speed, etc.) can drastically affect this flow. This creates an accordion affect, in which many traffic participants have to partially absorb their kinetic energy, in order to build it up shortly thereafter.

In the project EnopTraFlow, researchers of the FZI aim to identify such scenarios concerning their impacts on the energy and resource efficiency of the traffic flow and to make them available to the computer simulation, for future mobility with autonomous or intelligent vehicles. The cross-vehicle energy efficiency can thus be assessed and various actions of traffic participants can be evaluated in a scenario, in order to demonstrate measures for an energy-efficient traffic flow in the framework of an assistance system. This can be, for example, an early decision on a lane change or the timely acceleration on a motorway. The "tactical vehicle environment" of a vehicle is used as base for the evaluation of an homogeneous  traffic flow. This image illustrates the perspective of future driver assistance functions and autonomous driving functions and is based on the environment, which is perceptible with vehicle sensors and car-to-car communication. A new method as well as its prototypical realisation for the transfer of realistic traffic scenarios for a subsequent analysis and variation in a simulation environment are developed thereby. For this purpose it is sufficient to record real data in vehicles with commercial dashcams. For the development of the energy efficient driving function it is necessary to create a multilayered level-model, which is based on the driving task of a human driver and which is later used both in the simulation as well as in the real-life vehicle. For an evaluation of the energy-efficient and homogeneous vehicle environment, the term of "Connected Efficiency" was shaped. This evaluation metrics takes those influencing factors into account that have an impact on the energy demand of the vehicles depending on the driving reactions, such as the acceleration as well as the air and rolling friction. This facilitated and simulatively determined energy demand is standardised to a "standard energy demand" with uniform movement of the vehicle. In the last step to Connected Efficiency, the figures of all vehicles are cumulated in the tactical vehicle environment. In the framework of the research project EnopTraFlow, the base for the evaluation of traffic scenarios concerning their energy efficiency in the tactical vehicle environment is laid. In the follow up project EnopTraFlowVis, also supported by the Vector Stiftung, a prototypical realisation of Connected Efficiency will be implemented in a perceptible demonstrator in the House of Living Labs smartMobility of the FZI, based on these results. This demonstrator will illustrate a visual driving recommendation for the human driver on the display while driving.

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