Renault and SCOOP to collaborate on infrastructure for autonomous, connected cars
Groupe Renault is working with SCOOP to test new technology on its Renault Mégane vehicles. SCOOP is a pilot project for the deployment of cooperative intelligent transportation systems. This EU project facilitates trials of future vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2X) connectivity solutions under real-world driving conditions. It is carried out with partners in France, including the French Ministry for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition, regional authorities, infrastructure operators, universities, and research centers.
“Our main goal is to offer our fleet customers cars that are safer on the roads and improve the flow of traffic. These vehicles ‘talk’ to each other and warn each other in real time of any hazards, slow traffic, or accidents on the road ahead. Infrastructure firms like French motorway operator SANEF also send information to compatible cars about traffic, roadworks, speed limits, accidents, and upcoming hazards,” explained Christine Tissot, Renault SCOOP Project Manager.
The fleet of SCOOP-enabled Méganes uses technology designed for autonomous, connected cars. This includes sensors and computers that gather and analyze vehicle data such as speed, steering wheel angle, possible tire grip problems in relation to the weather, windscreen wiper operation, and deployment of airbags. According to the company, if a problem is detected, the car’s onboard computer automatically sends a warning message to other SCOOP-enabled vehicles and to units positioned along motorways. These units then notify emergency services if a major incident is detected. In the pre-deployment phase, the units will be installed along 2000 km (1,243 mi) of roads in the greater Paris region, along the A4 motorway, in the Isère department in eastern France and on the Bordeaux ring road, and in Brittany.
The onboard computer, which issues the warning messages, uses a wireless communication protocol that harnesses ITS G5 technology (intelligent transportation systems), operating on a dedicated frequency (5.9 GHz). These systems have been developed for moving objects and offer a range of up to 1000 m (3281 ft). The protocol systematically verifies the authenticity of each message and operates quickly in real time to avoid collisions.
“Groupe Renault is currently in talks with several French companies to include SCOOP-enabled Méganes in their vehicle fleets. In this early phase we are seeking fleet partners who want to use the latest connected technology to test new ways of keeping their employees safer on the road. Under the SCOOP project, trialing these fleet vehicles now also means they are part of building a new ecosystem for Europe’s autonomous, connected cars of the future,” said Nadine Leclair, Groupe Renault SVP, Expert Fellow.
The EU’s SCOOP project got under way in 2014 and has now entered an active trial phase thanks to the 1000 Renault Méganes produced at its Palencia facility in Spain.