Various IT solutions can be fitted in cars to offer support while driving. Examples include alcolocks, seat belt reminders, traffic information providers, automatic support to maintain the correct speed, or technology to stop rear-end collisions.
Using RDS-TMC you can receive traffic information that is relevant for the area you are driving in, in your own language across Europe. To receive RDS-TMC messages you must have a RDS-TMC receiver. Messages mainly cover the European, national and main roads and appear as an icon or as text with information on road accidents and road works etc. Up-to-date traffic information is also available by listening to the car radio.
Automatic support to maintain speed limits
ISA is an abbreviation for Intelligent Speed Adaptation and is a technology that notifies a driver about the maximum permitted speed. The driver could choose to receive a warning signal if this limit is exceeded.
The largest ISA field trial in the world took place in Sweden 1999-2002. Results showed that ISA offers real benefits, that travel times were not longer, and tha most of the trial participants enjoyed the support. The Swedish Transport Administration is working to promote ISA, in part by encouraging transport purchasers, such as local authorities, to include requirements for ISA in their calls for tender. We are also equipping our own cars with ISA.
Cars that communicate
Nowadays there are seat belt reminders that can inform drivers when a car occupant is not wearing a seat belt, and alcolocks that stop a drunk person from driving a car. Field trials are also in progress to test how equipment that is already present in cars (such as GPS and mobile phones) can be used to automatically report travel time and speed on specific stretches of road. Cars could send information to approaching cars, perhaps if an anti-skid system is in use to warn that the road is icy. The car could automatically monitor if we are keeping a safe distance to the car in front, and as a result prevent rear-end collisions.
Same services across Europe
Irrespective of where we drive in Europe the same services should be available in the car. The aim is that future vehicles will be equipped with systems that can communicate with the surrounding world using common standards.