The four-year (2006-2010) project COOPERS (“Co-Operative Networks for Intelligent Road Safety”) consists of a consortium of 37 members from 16 European countries. The main aim of this project is to develop a telematic system to help vehicles and the motorway infrastructure exchange safety-relevant data (e.g. vehicle speed, distance between vehicles, road surface conditions, weather conditions, etc.) in real time.
COOPERS views the vehicles and motorway infrastructure as co-operating parts of a single “organism” requiring close interaction in order to be able to “function” safely and effectively; COOPERS is therefore considered to be a traffic control system capable of working at the vehicle level, i.e. supplying information which can be “tailored” to the individual vehicle.
As part of project COOPERS, vehicles are fitted with modified navigation systems capable of receiving the aforementioned safety-relevant information. Depending on the transmission technology used, the vehicles communicate directly with the traffic control centre (e.g. using GPRS or DAB) or via access points located along the motorway (e.g. IR transmitters, WiMax, etc.). In this way, each vehicle is able to receive detailed information at any time about the section of the route it is currently travelling along - this is far more detailed and “location-relevant” than is possible using a variable message sign, for example.