Why do we need (a) TEAM?
For quite some time now we are hearing about a future where everything is connected. The first thing maybe coming into your mind is the connected fridge that notifies you to buy new milk in the supermarket. However, this Internet of Things is going to be on the road as well. As cars become more and more intelligent, they can exchange traffic information, notify about incidents but also help to plan safer and more efficient ways of driving. This helps to solve a lot of transport problems related to congestion, traffic safety and environmental challenges. Now, what if you got the advice to leave your car at home and better take a specific bus because of a traffic jam? What if this bus always gets a green light? Or, imagine there is the first day of school in town: what if you receive the message to avoid the school district with your car on that day? Sounds interesting to you? This is where TEAM comes in.

Obviously there are challenges to overcome. A lot of different players have to be connected: cars should talk to each another and to the infrastructure on which they drive. The first is vehicle-to-vehicle communications or, as it is shortened, V2V. It uses GPS, a radio/antenna and a computer to share location and movement information with other V2V-equipped vehicles. All this is analysed and used for instance to provide warnings to the driver about potentially hazardous situations. Yet this is still just one part of the story: new systems also employ vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communications that allow the car to receive information from traffic lights, road signs or even the highway itself. The combination of V2V and V2I technology then is referred to as V2X. Last but not least, mobile devices such as smartphones should be part of the game. This allows all traffic participants (not only drivers) to get traffic-related information on the go. Nevertheless, this is particularly challenging as it means we need to exchange all information fast enough.

Fair enough, but is that all? You can guess the answer. There is one very tricky thing to keep in mind which is called personal preferences. What if there are three options to get from A to B but you generally prefer to go by public transport? Then it would be good to have an intelligent navigation system which can consider this as well. Or, the system is even more intelligent and knows that a lot of other people would prefer to go the same way and therefore recommends you an option which is less crowded. Perhaps, it could also offer you an incentive to go for the option which is the best for the whole city?

To make this happen, we really need team spirit. Travellers, drivers, public transport, technologies and components need to work together and act as a TEAM. They have to be orchestrated by the right systems which help to take the best decisions for a single participant and for the community. Consequently, the TEAM project develops algorithms and technologies which are balancing the needs of the participants and the network itself. Like a coach, we work on the best strategies to win. Forming this TEAM, we believe to increase efficiency and flexibility of future transport systems.

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