Stellantis Shows Off its Level 3 Technology

Stellantis has presented its findings from a pilot program testing Level 3 autonomous vehicles on public Italian highways.

Its group research center (CRF) has taken part in the “C-Roads Italy: C-ITS cooperative systems aimed at road mobility become a reality”, conference organized by the Autostrada del Brennero at the Interbrennero Congress Center in Trento. The conference presented the results achieved by the C-Roads Italy project, together with the European C-Roads platform.

The results claim to show the effectiveness of V2X technology applied through the Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems (C-ITS) smart road infrastructure expected to be rolled out across Europe.

The CRF was represented by Filippo Visintainer, the project manager, whose presentation focused on the results from trials of specific innovative features to manage connected autonomous vehicles, Stellantis’s Highway Chauffeur, worked on by the CRF with set-ups for the Maserati Ghibli and Fiat 500X prototypes. Tests are still underway at the Trento CRF, on stretches of the A22 highway near Trento, on the Venice ring road, on sections of the A4 and A28, and near the Brenner Pass on scenarios crossing the Italian-Austrian border.

Highway Chauffeur claims Level 3 capabilities featuring adjusts in speed, maintaining the course of the highway and changing lanes automatically.

Initially, a laboratory system at the CRF replicated the data collected on the highway and uploaded the same data to the vehicle control units. Maneuvering and communication data collected by the connected car in the testing areas were reused in the laboratory to refine the control unit algorithms and thus prepare the in-car equipment to support an increasingly safe and comfortable mobility.

The V2X technology was then integrated and tested in prototype vehicles that use Highway Chauffeur. The project infrastructure provides vehicles with notifications of events such as ongoing road work, a stationary vehicle, heavy traffic, adverse weather conditions, dynamic speed signage or the presence of toll booths.

Other V2X capable vehicles can also notify the car of the presence and maneuvering data, such as speed, acceleration, yaw, turn signals, etc., of all nearby similarly equipped vehicles, including critical events such as a stationary broken down vehicle.

Prototype systems in collaborative cars have been tested in a series of use cases, ranging from reporting unforeseen road events and cooperative scenarios between passenger cars, to more complex scenarios of collaborative maneuvers between passenger cars and heavy trucks in exceptional conditions, such as bottlenecks for ongoing road work.

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in Europe. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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