Five Taxi Cabs Test Prototype from the DRIVE-IN Project

 Taxis Test Prototype

The DRIVE-IN project, developed under the Carnegie Mellon Portugal Program, is moving forward in accomplishing its goals. Currently, the first five Portuguese taxi cabs are already using a prototype that is helping researchers to test and to collect data. In the very near future, 500 taxi cabs will be using this system.

The bet is huge but one of the most important steps was already achieved: the agreement between the research team in charge of the DRIVE-IN Project and the RadiTaxis cooperative from Porto, Portugal, was signed. Michel Ferreira, project leader, said: "with 500 vehicles we will have a network which will allow us to simulate and test efficiency of our research that is carried out indoors." With these first five taxis, the team is already making tests and collecting data for analysis.

In the beginning of the testing phase of this research project, the communication between vehicles will be made in 3G, but the goal is to change it to the Digital Short Range Communications (DSBRC). "Once we will be able to change to DSBRC," said Michel Ferreira, "it will be a tremendous achievement." In the future, cars will gather information which will be provided for free to all other vehicles in a vehicular ad-hoc network (VANET).

The goal of this project is to investigate how vehicle-to-vehicle communication can improve the user experience and the overall efficiency of vehicle and road utilization. The DRIVE-IN project aims to explore two main issues: traffic efficiency and entertainment.

DRIVE-IN addresses both foundations and applications of inter-vehicle communication. Concepts, methodologies and technologies will be developed in the three main research thrusts: Geo-optimized VANET protocols, intelligent and collaborative car routing, and VANET applications and services. These research thrusts shall fertilize horizontal activities covering realistic large-scale simulation and massive real-life experiments in urban environments.

DRIVE-IN Project
Principal Investigators: Michel Ferreira, Ozan Tonguz
Teams: FCUP, FEUP, IT, Carnegie Mellon
Companies: NDrive, Geolink
Institutions: IMTT, RadiTaxis