Audi sees need for city traffic solutions, launches UR:BAN cooperative project

Article by Christian A., on October 7, 2015

Audi was set to make the concluding presentation for the UR:BAN cooperative project for October 7 in Düsseldorf. This four-year project involves 31 partners who are working to develop traffic management solutions as well as driver assistance for urban traffic.

The German carmaker became involved in the project because it wants to make city traffic flow smoothly and safer. Dr. Horst Glaser, Head of Development for Chassis and Driver Assistance Systems, commented that developing driver assistance systems raises safety when it comes to urban traffic.

Glaser adds that the role of Audi in this project was to focus on systems that aim to assist the driver with regards to steering and braking in serious urban traffic situations. As such, the project required a way to reliably scan the vehicle environment, Glaser concludes.

UR:BAN is an abbreviation of the German acronym which means “Urban Space: User-oriented assistance systems and network management.” This Germany-wide cooperative project started in April 2012 and is expected to end in March 2016.

This project brings a total of 31 partners from different industries that include cities, the automotive and supply industry, communication technology and software companies, electronics manufacturers, research institutes, and universities.

The main objective is to develop traffic management systems and driver assistance specifically for the cities. Funding for the project was given by Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy (BMWi) which provided around EUR 40 million.

The project has three major subject areas which include Cognitive Assistance, Human Factors in Traffic, and Networked Traffic System. This project also centers on people as drivers, pedestrians, cyclists, or even traffic planners.

Under the Cognitive Assistance area, the objective of the project was to be able to comprehensively scan the vehicle environment through a 360° all-round view. The principle is that when drivers and cars can better perceive the environment, the better they can avoid possible collisions caused by braking or swerving.

An important part of this is a design system that can consistently avoid any false activation. Audi has been running tests for this system on three cars. One of these cars is the Audi A7 Sportback which can be seen in action demonstrating this technology in different traffic scenarios.

The demonstration is set to be part of the concluding presentation this Wednesday. This particular vehicle comes equipped with a close-to- production sensors. It has a video camera and laser scanner at the front as well as a dual radar system.

It also has a side and rear radar system. Furthermore, this demonstration will also feature the control components that have managed to aid three piloted driving Audi RS7 concept vehicles obtain driverless records for the years 2014 and 2015 on four racetracks which are the Ascari, Hockenheim, Oschersleben, and Sonoma tracks.

New Audi models like the Audi A4 and Audi Q7 already have collision avoidance assistance that helps reduce the risk of being in an accident. Audi discloses that it is applying the findings of this project to refine its current assistance systems. In this same cooperative project, there is a sub-project which AUDI AG also heads, dubbed the “Effectiveness, Assessment and Legal Issues.”

Its goal is to sort out the legal framework of the driver assistance systems developed in UR:BAN. For instance, one of its tasks is to clarify the different issues that concern the eligibility for approval of the systems like the automatic emergency steering system. Under the subject area of “Human Factors in Traffic,” Audi intends to highlight and investigate the different interactions between environment and car especially in an adapted human-machine interface.

Thus, the aim is to be able to not just register but also to systematize various urban junctions as a way to define the appropriate warning and information strategy. There are currently 20 employees involved in this project, coming from different areas like MMI vehicle concepts ergonomics development, accident research, and automated driving functions pre-development.

Audi has been a pioneer when it comes to piloted driving. Since 2009, the brand has been staging different driving demonstrations on international racetracks, public roads, and even a salt flat. All of these are part of the company’s development work.

The technologies developed for piloted driving have already managed to deliver not just improved efficiency and safety but it has also saved time and even made it more convenient. The brand intends to get the first piloted system into production for the Audi A8’s next generation model.

This technology allows it to take charge when it comes to driving the vehicle in stop-and-go traffic up to a maximum of 60 km/h or about 37.3 mph.

Press Release


Audi wants to make city traffic safer and flow more smoothly. That is the motive behind the brand’s involvement in the UR:BAN cooperative project. 31 partners are jointly developing driver assistance and traffic management solutions for urban traffic over the project’s four-year term. The concluding presentation will take place on October 7 in Düsseldorf.

“The further development of driver assistance systems harbors considerable safety potential, specifically in urban traffic,” commented Dr. Horst Glaser, Head of Development for Chassis and Driver Assistance Systems, ahead of the concluding event. “Audi’s role in the project concentrates mainly on systems that assist the driver with braking and steering in critical situations in urban traffic. To that end, we require among other things reliable scanning of the vehicle environment.”

The abbreviation UR:BAN is the German acronym for “Urban Space: User-oriented assistance systems and network management.” The Germany-wide cooperative project has been running since April 2012 and ends in March 2016. It brings together 31 partners from the automotive and supply industry, electronics manufacturers, communication technology and software companies, universities, research institutes and cities. Their common objective is to develop driver assistance and traffic management systems specifically for cities. The Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy (BMWi) is providing some EUR 40 million in funding for the project.

The project activities center on people as drivers, cyclists, pedestrians or traffic planners, along with three major subject areas: Networked Traffic System, Cognitive Assistance and Human Factors in Traffic.

The aims of the Cognitive Assistance area, for example, include comprehensively scanning the vehicle environment in a 360° all-round view. The better drivers and cars perceive their environment, the more easily they can avoid collisions for instance by swerving and braking. A robustly designed system that reliably avoids false activation is a particularly important aspect here. Audi has been running tests using three cars. One of them, an Audi A7 Sportback, can be witnessed in action as a technology demonstrator in a variety of traffic scenarios at this Wednesday’s concluding presentation. The experimental vehicle is equipped with close-to- production sensors: As well as a laser scanner and a video camera at the front, it has a dual radar system at the front, a rear and a side radar system. This technology demonstrator also features control components that helped the three Audi RS7 piloted driving concept vehicles to set up driverless records in 2014 and 2015 on the Hockenheim, Oschersleben, Ascari and Sonoma racetracks.

Collision avoidance assist in Audi models such as the new Audi A4 and the Q7 is already helping to reduce the risk of an accident. Findings from the UR:BAN project are being applied in Audi’s development work in areas such as the refinement of existing assistance systems.

Furthermore, in the cooperative project AUDI AG is also heading up the “Effectiveness, Assessment and Legal Issues” sub-project which above all addresses the legal framework for the driver assistance systems developed in UR:BAN. This includes for instance clarifying various issues concerning the eligibility of automatic emergency steering systems for approval. In the “Human Factors in Traffic” subject area, Audi wants to investigate and highlight the wide-ranging interactions between car and environment in an adapted human-machine interface. Here, it aims to register and systematize diverse urban junction situations in order to define an appropriate information and warning strategy.

Twenty employees from the areas of automated driving functions pre-development, accident research and MMI vehicle concepts ergonomics development are involved in the UR:BAN project.

Audi is a pioneer of piloted driving. The company has staged numerous driving demonstrations since 2009 as part of its development work – on public roads, international racetracks and a salt flat. The technologies for piloted driving deliver improved safety and efficiency, save time and bring added convenience. Audi plans to go into production with its first piloted system in the next model generation of the Audi A8. This is capable of taking charge of driving in stop-and-go traffic at up to 60 km/h (37.3 mph).

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Topics: audi



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