Attila Tamás Tomaschek is the head of the Working group on Public Road Infrastructure
Currently, he is the Head Section for Traffic Management at the State Motorway Management Co. Ltd. He graduated from Budapest University of Technology and Economics with a master’s degree in Civil Engineering in 2004. He continued his work as a PhD Student on the Department for Highway and Railway Engineering. In 2003 he was a trainee in Frankfurt, Germany (Hessisches Landesamt für Strassen und Verkehrswesen – Verkehrszentrale Hessen) where he managed to gain knowledge of the most state of the art traffic management systems.
Smart road smarter vehicles
The smart road solution (C-Roads), advocated by the EU, is also available in Hungary, and it is continuously developing. The drivers of those cars, which can communicate with the infrastructure and with other vehicles, will have more information. Hence they will be able to drive safer.
Even though the high-speed motorways were developed for the exact purpose of ensuring the arrival of as many vehicles as possible to their destinations, it is still a hazardous establishment. Especially if it is overcrowded or when the weather and the road conditions are poor. Attila Tamás Tomaschek pointed out that by providing precise and exact information in time and space, the safety of road users can be significantly enhanced. The required result can be achieved by the utilization of relevant databases and real-time traffic information systems. However, these facilities are costly; moreover, the different informative systems, already used in vehicles, can learn to communicate this regularly updated information.
The EU has decided on the implementation of a complex IT solution that is automatic, does not require the driver’s involvement, and at the same time, provides information for other vehicles and also receives data from them. As a result of that, the database of the system is always updated; hence it still provides up to date information. The functioning is very similar to the mobile application WAZE. However, due to certain aspects, such as transport safety and security, etc., it has to use an independent communication channel or channels.
The system is called C-Roads from the abbreviation of cooperative, connected, and automated mobility (CCAM). The technical implementation is based on the connection of cellular networks – cloud services – traffic management and information services – road–side units – on-board units. The smart road is aware of the traffic situations and the road conditions, the immediate and extended environment of the vehicle, and it communicates this information via the on-board unit. The data is continuously available by the driver without periodic downloading. Hence he/she can make well-founded decisions. The on-board units communicate with the road and with other connected vehicles. Besides providing information, the system is also able to intervene actively. In case of danger approaches, the on-board unit displays the warning: “BRAKE” while the driver is still out of the direct vision range of the situation, or the brake assist automatically slows down the vehicle.
C-Roads system is tested in 16 countries on shorter or longer road sections, and eventually, it would have to be able to operate across borders. The system will be able to coordinate the autonomous vehicles, especially when the 5G network will be launched in Hungary. A 136 km-long stretch of the M1 motorway between Bicske and Hegyeshalom, and a section of the highway M0 was selected for CITS services pilot deployment. However, the head of the working group also pointed out that by the end of next year, the public tender will be announced. Hence the system can be fully operational on the entire high-speed motorway network of Hungary by then.
For operating the system, setting up the infrastructure is not enough without the utilization of the on board units. In 2019, Volkswagen will start installing the proper devices in certain new vehicles.
Photo: Iró Zoltán