Connected Cars in a Connected World (C3World)
C3World is a collaboration of the Niccimon (Competence Centre of Lower Saxony for information systems for mobile usage) partners at the universities of Braunschweig, Hannover and Oldenburg and the Volkswagen AG. It aims at the provision of the technological prerequisites in order to connect cars with their environment. In this project, the IKT is in charge of the adaptation of protocols for Car-2-X scenarios as well as for the developments in the area of wireless In-Car communication resulting in prototypical realisations.
Car-to-X Communication Protocols
The multitude of use cases for Car-to-X Communication includes the provision of internet access, which predominantly serves the infotainment domain, as well as other important applications which aim to improve roadway traffic efficiency and safety. Electronic brake lights which can increase the driver’s visual range and electronic merging assistance systems that avoid traffic jams are just two examples which motivate car manufacturers, suppliers and researchers all over the world towards developing Car-to-X Communication.
IEEE 802.11 wireless LANs have turned out to be the technology of choice for enabling communication between cars and their environment. Possible network topologies include infrastructure networks (Car-to-Infrastructure) as well as Ad-Hoc networks (Car-to-Car). In contrast to conventional wireless LANs, these topologies are extremely dynamic with relative velocities of up to 400 kilometres per hour. These factors, in combination with application requirements concerning delay and reliability, pose major protocol design challenges.
In order to solve the problems that result from vehicular network topologies and their application requirements, C3World aims at the development of highly-efficient and robust communication protocols for wireless Car-to-X communication scenarios.
A simulation environment has been established to acquire insight into the behaviour of Car-to-X networks and forms the basis for the development of optimized protocols and subsequent tests with real equipment. In addition to this, the effects of certain Car-to-X applications, e.g. in terms of traffic efficiency, are evaluated and assessed by simulations.
Wireless In-Car Communication
The connectivity of devices as well as people’s usage of them has tremendously increased during the last couple of years and it is envisioned that this will grow in the future. Since people rely heavily upon their cars, it is anticipated that they like to use their portable devices within the cars as well. It is the goal of the In-Car-Communication project to create a seamless wireless handover from a portable device, for instance, to an integrated communication system.
The in-car environment is a challenging area for a wireless system. This is due, in part to the combination of metal and fabric inherently used in the construction of cars. This physical environment makes the prediction of the wireless signal’s behaviour very difficult. Furthermore, the electronic systems which are used in the car pose significant challenges to the adoption of a wireless system. Electronic sensitivity is twofold: the car’s system should, in no way, be disturbed by a wireless transmission, and the wireless signal should not be affected by the normal operation of the car (e.g. starting the engine).
As the wireless technology of choice, Ultra-Wideband has been identified. In order to get a clearer insight into the propagation characteristics within the car, channel as well as throughput measurements have been performed. Since the results of those measurements have been promising but not quite satisfying, a simulation environment has been set up. With the help of this simulation tool we intend to analyse whether adaptations in different parts of the Ultra-Wideband technology will result in the highly efficient, robust and reliable communication that is required.