Working towards safer roads

25,670 people lost their lives on European roads in 2016, and around 130,000 were seriously injured. Road transport represents a fifth of Europe's greenhouse gas emissions and is the main cause of air pollution in cities. Part of the solution to these societal challenges lies in efficient communication systems between intelligent vehicles, infrastructure and other road users. This will in the near future lead to safer roads, and to a reduction in energy consumption and emissions. Research at Halmstad University, done in collaboration with the industry, contributes to the fast development of this communication technology.

”Reliable communication and cooperation is the key to safe and efficient road transportation – especially considering the integration of automated vehicles in the future transport system.”

Nikita Lyamin, PhD student at Halmstad University

New digital technology and intelligent vehicles can help diminish human mistakes, which are the main reason for traffic accidents today. In the same way, intelligent transport systems with connected and automated vehicles, can lead to a more sustainable and cost efficient road transportation. To ensure that connected vehicles operate safely, securely and efficiently, there is an ongoing collaboration between countries, across industries and academia. Part of this collaboration evolves around developing Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS).

Nikita Lyamin defended his doctoral thesis “Performance evaluation of safety critical ITS-G5 V2V communications for cooperative driving applications” on January 30, 2019.

Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) can be described as technologies and applications that provide intelligence to the roadside or in vehicles. In order for ITS to be truly intelligent, and for it to be able to improve the quality of transportation, the different parts of the system have to communicate and share information with each other. This communications system is called Cooperative-ITS (C-ITS). PhD student Nikita Lyamin has spent the past four years working with the communications standards used to support C-ITS. The research has been done in collaboration with for example Hitachi and Kapsch TrafficCom.

“My research has focused on Cooperative-ITS, which is the next step in the direction to support real-time connectivity between vehicles and between vehicles and roadside infrastructure, traffic signals as well as other road users, by the use of wireless technology. The aim is to improve the safety and manageability of the transport network, and to reduce emissions, traffic congestion and costs”, says Nikita Lyamin who presented his doctoral thesis on January 30, 2019.

Helping human drivers make better decisions

When different parts of a transportation system – for example two cars, traffics lights at an intersection and a road work area – can communicate, the information will help the driver make the right decisions and adapt to the traffic situation. Another example of how communication between vehicles can be useful is in the case of platooning, which means a platoon of partly automated trucks driving after one another with short distances in order to save fuel. Reliable communication in real-time between the trucks is crucial, or the consequences can be devastating.

“Reliable communication and cooperation is the key to safe and efficient road transportation – especially considering the integration of automated vehicles in the future transport system. I believe that the conclusions and results from the various studies by our research group will contribute to the development and improvement of cooperative driving applications”, says Nikita Lyamin.

Text: Louise Wandel
Photo: Ida Fridvall

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About cooperative automated vehicles

The word “cooperative” in Cooperative-ITS (C-ITS) refers to cooperative automated vehicles. This is a term used for intelligent cars, buses and trucks that communicate with each other and the traffic system infrastructure to navigate and drive more or less automated, by themselves. The future of cooperative and more automated vehicles is, by many experts, proposed to be near. Cooperative automated and partly autonomous vehicles are already today used in confined areas such as mines, harbors and warehouses.

EU's definition of ITS
Intelligent Transport Systems, ITS, is defined by the European Union as “advanced applications which without embodying intelligence as such aim to provide innovative services relating to different modes of transport and traffic management and enable various users to be better informed and make safer, more coordinated and ‘smarter’ use of transport networks.” (Source: Directive 2010/40/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 7 July 2010 )

More on C-ITS – deployment in 2019
The European Commission has presented a European Strategy on C-ITS, where the deployment of C-ITS services and C-ITS enabled vehicles is expected to start in 2019: A European strategy on Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems, a milestone towards cooperative, connected and automated mobility , November 2016.

C-ITS is well described by the European Transport Safety Council in: Briefing Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems (C-ITS) , November 2017.

Nikita Lyamin and his research interest

Nikita Lyamin received his bachelor and master’s degrees in telecommunication systems from Siberian State University of Telecommunications and Information Sciences, Novosibirsk, Russia in 2011 and 2013, respectively. His current research interests include performance and security evaluation in Cooperative-ITS (C-ITS) and the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) ITS-G5, which is a European standard for wireless short-range vehicle-to-vehicle communication that transports small data volumes extremely fast.

“Considering the goals of C-ITS, inter-vehicle communications should be reliable and efficient. In scope of my studies we evaluated the performance, efficiency, and dependability of ITS-G5 communications for C-ITS cooperative driving applications support”, says Nikita Lyamin.

“The development of ETSI ITS-G5 is still ongoing, especially for cooperative driving applications. It was interesting to discover that when we applied solutions that work fine in general C-ITS scenario, they demonstrated performance decrease in cooperative driving. I believe that the conclusions and results from our various studies will contribute to development and improvement of ITS-G5 for cooperative driving applications”, says Nikita Lyamin.

“C-ITS will help to achieve many socially important goals, e.g. increase transport efficiency, decrease fuel consumption, increase road safety and driving comfort, etc. The goal of the C-ITS research community is to step by step make it happen. I'm happy to be the part of this process”, says Nikita Lyamin who would like to keep researching in this field to facilitate efficient and reliable C-ITS communications.

About the thesis

Thesis title: “Performance evaluation of safety critical ITS-G5 V2V communications for cooperative driving applications” by Nikita Lyamin.

Opponent: Professor Geert Heijenk, University of Twente.

Supervisor: Professor Alexey Vinel, Halmstad University.
Co-supervisors: Professor Magnus Jonsson, Halmstad University, and Associate Professor Boris Bellalta, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.

The doctoral defense took place at Halmstad University on January 30, 2019. The thesis is part of the project ACDC (Autonomous Cooperative Driving Communication issues) financed by the Knowledge Foundation. Nikita Lyamin participates in the ITS Postgraduate school – NFITS .

ITS Postgraduate school – NFITS External link.

Deaths and injuries due to road accidents in Europe

European Transport Safety Council states that: “25,670 people lost their lives on EU roads in 2016. As a small reduction in road deaths of 2 percent ­– following an increase of 1 percent in 2015 and stagnation in 2014 – it is the third consecutive poor year for road safety. In addition, more than 130 000 people were recorded as seriously injured in 2016.” (Source: European Transport Safety Council, Briefing Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems (C-ITS External link, opens in new window.), November 2017 ).

Greenhouse gas emissions and traffic congestion

The European Commission states that: “Transport represents almost a quarter of Europe's greenhouse gas emissions and is the main cause of air pollution in cities. The transport sector has not seen the same gradual decline in emissions as other sectors: emissions only started to decrease in 2007 and still remain higher than in 1990. Within this sector, road transport is by far the biggest emitter accounting for more than 70 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions from transport in 2014.” (Source: European Commission, A European Strategy for low-emission mobility External link, opens in new window.).