“Digitalisation has a great impact both on how cars function and on how they are used,” says Mr Auert. “The cars themselves are getting smarter, and they can also be used in more efficient and intelligent ways.” Referring to the improvement of vehicles, he mentions sensing solution expert IEE that works with leading car producers around the world and has equipped over 280 million vehicles with sensors to either detect car occupants or classify them. IEE is currently developing sensors to be used for autonomous driving, such as the intelligent vision sensor SenseAhead that is able to detect pedestrians and objects in a vehicle’s driving path and provide input for emergency braking.
“Providing cars with information about what is going on around them has many advantages in terms of performance and security,” Mr Auert continues. “Two of our cluster members, HITEC Luxembourg and Siemens, have extensive experience in the field of intelligent infrastructures that can be used to create smart traffic systems. In the future, these systems could transmit crucial information – about traffic jams or difficult driving conditions – directly to vehicles and help drivers optimise their journeys based on real-time information.”
Global tyre producer Goodyear is working on making tyres smarter at its Luxembourg facilities. According to Mr Auert, “Connected tyre solutions can transform the way transport companies manage their vehicle fleets. Goodyear is developing connected tyres that will be able to constantly monitor factors such as air pressure, wear and tread pattern status and tyre temperature – an important piece of information not least for lorries carrying inflammable cargo such as petrol. This information will be transmitted to a control centre where fleet managers can monitor the vehicles in real time and take preventive actions to avoid accidents and costly stops for reparations.”
Smart, green, safe mobility
As our environmental consciousness increases, the demand increases for green solutions such as car sharing. “Luxembourg start-up Examotive is specialised in intelligent mobility solutions. The company develops digital platforms for car sharing fleets that connect directly to the cars and allow for an optimal exploitation of the vehicles,” Mr Auert says.
Security awareness is also constantly on the rise. As of 31 March 2018, all new vehicles sold in the EU need to be equipped with an emergency system called eCall that can be activated in case of emergency to provide immediate information about the location of the car, the type of vehicle concerned and the number of passengers. “POST Luxembourg was a pioneer in this field and has worked on such as system together with Peugeot,” Mr Auert explains. “POST based this work not only on its technical expertise, but also on the excellent connectivity offered all over the Luxembourg territory that makes such a system work everywhere and at any time.”
Data crunching for connected cars
All these digital solutions obviously generate a huge amount of data meaning that exceptional computer power is needed to analyse it all. This is where Luxembourg’s leading role in the current pan-European High Performance Computer (HPC) initiative comes in. “Luxembourg is in the process of procuring its own HPC, which will be available for use by the private sector,” says Mr Auert. “This opens a range of new opportunities for the sector.”
HPC is not the only national initiative of high interest to the automotive industry. “One of Luxembourg’s flagship projects is the digital cross-border testbed that we have recently set up together with France and Germany,” says Mr Auert. “It allows for the testing of automated and connected vehicles in a real setting that includes border crossings and the traffic signs and markings in three different countries. We are also looking into the possibilities of boosting the already very good connectivity with 5G capacity on some parts of the circuit.” Another puzzle piece that makes Luxembourg an ideal location for developing new digital mobility solutions.
Are you interested in finding out more about digital mobility in Luxembourg and the surrounding regions? Join us for Automotive Day 2018 on 7 June!
Luxinnovation contributes to the economic development of Luxembourg by fostering innovation, fuelling international growth and attracting foreign direct investment supported by: Ministry of the Economy, Ministry for Higher Education and Research, Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce, Luxembourg Chamber of Skilled Crafts and FEDIL – The Voice of Luxembourg’s Industry.