Improved Safety thanks to the Cloud

With the "X2Safe" application, ZF has developed an algorithm that could significantly decrease accidents particularly among the more vulnerable road users.

The figures are shocking. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about half of the 1.25 million deaths caused by traffic accidents worldwide per year are pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists. For young persons aged between 15 to 29, traffic accidents are in fact the most frequent cause of death. Distraction due to smartphones poses additional risks – for both pedestrians and car drivers. On the other hand, however, the omnipresent cell phones also open up new opportunities to significantly increase safety among the particularly vulnerable road users.

For this reason, ZF presented the smart X2Safe algorithm for vehicles, smartphones and smartwatches. The application connects road users in the cloud. Using the GPS data as well as data from sensors in the devices, X2Safe can calculate if two road users might collide. If this is the case, X2Safe warns both road users on time. The more people and vehicles are connected by this interactive safety network, the more effective the accident avoidance.

Video: How X2Safe works

Opposed to distance warning systems based on radar technology or systems with cameras, X2Safe does not only react if a hazard is visible. Instead, the algorithm registers and analyzes the movements of road users even if they are hidden behind parked vehicles or around a corner. X2Safe then calculates the point of the possible collision and warns the parties involved on time of an impending hazardous situation. In doing so, the algorithm learns and is therefore able to react even faster to repeating patterns. The warnings are issued optically, verbally or by means of vibration.

Dr. Malgorzata Wiklinska, head of the ZF Innovation Lab that developed X2Safe, explains: "X2Safe can be downloaded as an app on smartphones and serves as a warning tool. It is also possible, however, to integrate the algorithm in a vehicle in which it could even trigger automatic steering movements or brake interventions in case of dangerous situations." This technology, which is due to start production in 2017, underlines ZF’s position as a system supplier in the field of intelligent mobility.

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