In the last few years the concept of Cooperative Intelligent Transportation System (C-ITS) has emerged, allowing vehicles to communicate with surrounding vehicles (V2V communication) and with the infrastructure (V2I communication), exchanging information about location, speed, and a wide variety of sensored data. While still under development, C-ITS provides the key for achieving the vision of smart driving, improving road safety, reducing congestion, supporting green driving, and, in general, enhancing the driving experience. This trend is currently under research, development and application in the European Union. In fact, these efforts arise in the context of Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS), a strategic area for which there are well-defined guidelines.
C-ITS are expected to be incorporated into new vehicles by manufacturers over the next three to six years, promoting smart and safe driving while reducing emissions of greenhouse gases. Nevertheless, the transition towards such fully connected vehicles is expected to be slow, starting with high-end vehicles and gradually moving towards cheaper vehicles. In addition to this problem, the slow vehicle renewal process suggests that perhaps we will have to wait for a couple of decades before these new technologies become ubiquitous. In fact, when it comes to cutting-edge technology, the automotive industry continuously unleashes high-tech innovation. Yet, vehicles still remain as the only important device not yet connected to our digital world to seamlessly offer the right information at the right time. In parallel to ITS, mobile devices have experienced a technological breakthrough in recent years, evolving towards high performance terminals with multi-core microprocessors, being smartphones a clear representative exponent of this trend.
Toward this direction we propose the SMART@CarPhone project, which seeks to accelerate innovation in the automotive sector by speeding up the introduction of novel C-ITS services. In particular, SMART@CarPhone explores the symbiosis between smartphone and vehicle enabling new forms of integration, making driving safer, greener, smarter, and more enjoyable for everyone. In addition this symbiosis, it will bring drivers applications they already use, while enabling automakers to deliver cutting edge technology to their customers.
The overall objective that our project pursuits is to achieve a seamless integration between vehicles and smartphones devices, allowing to sense data from inside the vehicle and the outside environment, and build upon that data to provide the end user with a full set of ITS mobility solutions. The proposal has four key points to generate a functional service oriented architecture: (i) vehicle & smartphone integration, (ii) data sensoring, (iii) data communication and cloud storage, and (iv) enhanced services for the end user, allowing to improving their driving experience by using resources more efficiently.
The results obtained in this project will be tested in real life scenarios to prove their validity, and they will report business opportunities to all the stakeholders in the automotive industry, from automakers, service providers, governments, and of course the end user, i.e., drivers, riders and pedestrians. Finally, our project is closely related to the concept of Smart City, whose objective is to use city resources more efficiently to improve the lives of its citizens.