Connected, cooperative and automated mobility – European Network PoDIUM accelerates implementation

Ulm University

Connected, automated driving is a rapidly growing market, and this rapid development creates a need for new approaches. The European project PoDIUM aims to meet these challenges by the middle of 2025. Researchers from the Institute of Measurement, Control and Microtechnology at Ulm University are participating in the consortium, which is being funded with 12.2 million euros within the scope of Horizon Europe.

The automation of traffic and its rapid development presents researchers and their industrial partners with new challenges. At present, the existing physical and digital infrastructure systems are not capable of effectively fulfilling the new demands of connected and automated vehicles. The entire sector is faced with challenges, in particular with respect to connectivity, cooperation, data management, interoperability and infrastructure reliability.

This is what the project PoDIUM, which was launched in late 2022, was designed to address. PoDIUM stands for connectivity and cooperation in physical and digital infrastructures (PDI) and aims to build trust and sustainability for connected, cooperative and automated mobility (CCAM). These challenges need to be overcome in order to improve vehicle automation and develop new solutions.

The project defines a series of demanding CCAM use cases, in order to identify and assess the connectivity and cooperative behaviour enablers. This will advance key technologies in the physical and digital parts of the infrastructure. These use cases will be demonstrated under real conditions in three “living labs” in Germany, Italy and Spain, in different environments, including urban, highway and cross-border settings.

Researchers from Ulm study vehicle behaviour in urban traffic setting

The only living lab in Germany is coordinated by the research group “Connected Driving/Connected Infrastructure” at the Ulm University Institute of Measurement, Control and Microtechnology, under the direction of PD Dr Michael Buchholz. Here, the researchers are operating a pilot system with infrastructure sensors in real road traffic at an intersection in the Ulm suburb of Lehr. The main focus of this research is on reliable support and cooperative behaviour of connected, automated vehicles. “Together with our partners, we are testing the infrastructure-supported, cooperative management of automated vehicles in urban settings as part of our CCAM use case. This includes the reliability assessment of information sources on the environment model in the infrastructure or the use of redundant communication channels”, explains PD Dr Michael Buchholz.

In cooperation with the other partners from eight European countries, a flexible reference architecture is to be developed within the three-year PoDIUM project period. This will follow a muti-connectivity approach and it will be possible to apply it to various road environments and types of infrastructure and equipment. In this way, PoDIUM will also enable new business models and market services.

Dr Angelos Amditis, PoDIUM project coordinator and director of Research and Development at the Institute of Communication and Computer Systems (ICCS) at the National Technical University of Athens, said at the launch, “The I-SENSE group of ICCS is thrilled to coordinate PoDIUM, a European project that accelerates the wider deployment of CCAM solutions to make higher levels of automation an everyday reality for all. With PoDIUM, we aspire to advance technologies both in physical and digital infrastructures and deliver a reference architecture, flexible and applicable in different road environments, facilitating seamless and efficient exchange of data. We are excited to embark on this three-year journey and we are looking forward to working together with an excellent consortium to identify connectivity enablers for CCAM and join our forces to build trust and guarantee safety in road automation”.

About PoDIUM

The PoDIUM consortium is coordinated by the ICCS at the National Technical University of Athens and comprises 24 partners from eight European countries. The project is running from 1 October 2022 to 30 September 2025,  has a budget of 12.2 million euros and was officially launched in Athens on 20 and 21 October 2022. PoDIUM is being funded with 12.2 million euros within the framework of the EU funding programme Horizon.

PoDIUM homepage:

Text and mediacontact: Daniela Stang
Translation: Kate Gaugler

Infrastructure sensors in the pilot system at an intersection in the Ulm suburb of Lehr
Infrastructure sensors in the pilot system at an intersection in the Ulm suburb of Lehr (Photo: Martin Hermann)
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