Our Innovative Collision Warning System is a Digital Guardian Angel

Protection of vulnerable road users enabled by a high level of connectivity

Continental, along with Deutsche Telekom, is developing a system that warns of accidents between connected vehicles and vulnerable road users such as cyclists, scooter riders and pedestrians. This solution, based on 5G technology, satellite positioning (GPS), acceleration sensors, mobile communications and cloud computing calculates the paths taken by cars and bicycles. In case they are likely to cross at the same time, the system warns both road users via mobile communications in real-time of the impending collision. The digital guardian angel collision warning system is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, and initial road tests of this system have been successful.

A joint project based on this solution, titled “Digital Guardian Angel for Cyclists” has recently we won the Sustainability Award in Automotive, which is an initiative by Arthur D. Little and ATZ/ MTZ group. This award has been won along with our partner T-Systems.
The collision warning system includes a smartphone app provided by Deutsche Telekom, a highly accurate digital map of the test area and an algorithm that comes from Continental. Anonymized data of road users – like vulnerable road users, vehicles and shuttles – are sent via smartphone to the cloud. Thus, information about position, direction and speed are calculated by the algorithm, and finally, the app warns the road users of hazardous situations – all within real-time.
The collision warning system gets information when the car transmits its position and acceleration values to the cloud via mobile communications. Similarly, the cyclist or other vulnerable road users also send this information to the cloud via their smartphone. The system then calculates the paths for the next five seconds and sends a warning to the car and the vulnerable road user’s device if a collision is imminent. To ensure that this information reaches both road users as quickly as possible, the nearest cloud computer in the mobile network to the location of the possible collision is always used. This process is known as multi-access edge computing, which ensures extremely short response times.
Vulnerable road users said to be often overlooked in road traffic. Additionally, according to the European Road Safety Council, over 80 percent of accidents between pedestrians or cyclists and motorized vehicles end fatally for the vulnerable road users. With the collision warning system, we are offering vulnerable road users with a digital guardian angel. The key to this system is the high level of connectivity, which is re-enforced around the fact that about 85 percent of the population in Europe uses a smartphone. Furthermore, a growing number of cars are connected, which enables improved safety of vulnerable road users.