Swarm Intelligence: The Car-to-X principle
The car-to-x technologies developed by Audi open up numerous new possibilities for making driving safer, more relaxed, and more intelligent. Cars that are networked together can warn one another about hazards, for example.
C-V2X: Audi on the data highway
The closest networking between road users possible is essential for autonomous driving of the future. When cars, motorcycles, and commercial vehicles exchange data among each other and with the infrastructure in real time, everyone will be traveling safely, comfortably, and efficiently. Audi is working together with strong partners to develop a networking technology called “Cellular Vehicle to Everything” (C-V2X). The technology can use both today’s mobile network and the future 5G network; the transmission times are in the millisecond range.
At the CES, Audi will demonstrate the state of development on the basis of a cross-brand showcase together with Ducati, Ford, and Qualcomm. The aim here is to defuse dangerous situations, for example when making a left turn, at intersections with poor visibility, or as a warning when vehicles driving ahead brake heavily. All participating vehicles, including two Audi Q8s (combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 6.8 – 6.6**; combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 179 – 172**), will send their position data to the other vehicles; their instrument clusters will display noticeable information messages if the situation is critical. A new use case for the C-V2X communication affects the 4-way stop intersections frequently found in the USA. Here, the vehicles communicate with one another independently and specify when each car is to drive—in accordance with the applicable traffic rules. The vehicles do this ad hoc: They use the position data of all vehicles involved to calculate the specified order and confirm the calculations with one another. The information gained is used to show the drivers when they can cross the intersection.
At close range, C-V2X communication takes place directly from device to device. At a distance, it uses the mobile network, which enables participants and the infrastructure to inform each other early on and across many miles.
The Car-to-X Service Portfolio
In most Audi models, the Audi connect offer integrates multiple car-to-X services that use the swarm intelligence of the Audi fleet. Cars that are equipped with this feature warn each other of hazardous spots such as fog or black ice, and report current speed limits.
On-street-parking, a further service, makes looking for a parking space easier. The cars in the swarm report to the servers in the cloud when they pull into and out of a parking space. An algorithm uses this information and statistical models to calculate the number of available parking spaces on the roadside. Drivers receive information on their chances of finding a spot via a display in the navigation map on the MMI display. Depending on the likelihood of finding open spots, the corresponding street is marked on the navigation map either in green if the likelihood is high, in yellow if there is a medium chance, or in orange if the likelihood is low.
Audi offers a further car-to-X service in selected cities on the US market: Online Traffic Light Information. When the vehicle approaches a traffic light which is connected to the service, drivers can see in the Audi virtual cockpit or the head-up display whether they will reach the light while it is still green if they drive at the permitted speed. If this is not the case, the service counts down the time until the next green phase; this lets drivers know that they can take their foot off the accelerator pedal sooner. Audi is working with project partner Traffic Technology Services TTS on the traffic light information. TTS processes the data of the traffic light computers and sends it to the Audi vehicles via the mobile network.
* Figures depending on the chosen equipment level
The equipment, data, and prices specified in this document refer to the model range offered in Germany. Subject to change without notice; errors and omissions excepted.