The Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) has joined forces with technology group Siemens to provide high-tech solutions that will improve the safety of spectators and drivers at rally events around the world.
The project will explore how a combination of technologies from Siemens can be used to improve the detection of spectators in dangerous locations. This will make it easier for race organizers and drivers to take preventative and/or immediate action to avoid accidents.
Through this partnership, which was announced at the Geneva International Motor Show, the FIA will leverage Siemens’ expertise in chip-to-city engineering in real-world autonomous and connected vehicle applications.
Last year more than four million spectators attended rally events, which take place on stages that can stretch across more than 25 kilometers. This can make it difficult for race organisers to monitor an entire stage, which are often on relatively narrow dirt and gravel roads that cut through diverse terrain, further hampering efforts to control the movements of spectators.
The first step in solving this problem is creating an advanced 2D and 3D simulation using vehicle and trackside arrayed sensor-based systems deployed on Rally stages. These systems include:
• rapid-fire fusion of data from vehicle sensors via custom neural networking and AI to add a safety-layer around the human-driven vehicles
• intelligent infrastructure technology including X2X communications that will create a safety-enabling network at Rally events, connecting drivers, spotters, race organisers and spectators.
This will in turn accelerate efforts already underway to make city roads safer as an important aim of this project is to pilot in a racing environment applications and technologies that can later be applied to improve pedestrian and driver safety on city streets.
“In the age of increasingly automated vehicles, racing will be an essential testbed for the automotive industry, which needs the widest array of data and the most challenging environments to continue to build and train advanced autonomous, connected and electric automotive technologies,” said Edward Bernardon, vice president strategic automotive initiatives at Siemens PLM.
Marcus Welz, President of Siemens Intelligent Traffic Systems in North America, added: “We look forward to working with the FIA to determine how automated and connected vehicle technologies can be leveraged to make Rally drivers and spectators safer and applying what we learn to improve intelligent infrastructure and pedestrian safety in urban mobility environments.”