TAVF test track: What’s next in 2022?

© TAVF-Geschäftsstelle

Hamburg continues to make progress in the field of ITS: Since 2018, the city of Hamburg has been operating a free, open, manufacturer-independent and several kilometre-long test track for automated and connected driving.

The test track is continuously operated as an open user platform where more than 16 research institutions, vehicle manufacturers and technology companies are currently testing innovative mobility services, such as automated driving functions or safety assistance systems, in a real traffic environment on public roads.

In total, more than 50 traffic lights and the Mahatma Gandhi Bridge have been equipped with communication units (R-ITS-S based on ITS-G5) and a corresponding digital information provision. Thus, more traffic signal installations than originally planned (37) have already been implemented. This forms the basis for implementing various C-ITS services for the road users there. These include a traffic light phase assistant (GLOSA = Green Light Optimised Speed Advisory), the protection of vulnerable road users (VRU = Vulnerable Road User Protection), road works warning (RWW = Road Works Warning), traffic sign information (IVI/IVS = In-Vehicle Signage) and the collection of traffic data (PVD = Probe Vehicle Data).

In the beginning of 2021, the inner-city TAVF test track and the circuit in HafenCity of the successfully completed Hamburg Electric Autonomous Transportation (HEAT) research and development project have been linked together. By equipping the Mahatma Gandhi Bridge in HafenCity with Roadside ITS Stations (R-ITS-S), the bridge between the two test sites has been completed. In doing so, the Mahatma Gandhi Bridge is the first bascule bridge worldwide that is V2X-capable. The two test tracks TAVF and HEAT are together over twelve kilometres long. Together, the TAVF and HEAT projects were flagship projects at the ITS World Congress in Hamburg in October 2021. Guests at the congress were able to experience the test track live as part of various demonstrations by TAVF users and the city of Hamburg.

Since the launch of the test track, more than 5,000 test drives by TAVF users have taken place. The protection of vulnerable road users is currently the focus of the test track. For this purpose, among other things, a traffic detection column was put into operation in order to locate the positions of vulnerable road users at an early stage and to alert networked vehicles to potentially safety-critical traffic situations. Through the expansion of the test track (including a section of Ludwig-Erhard-Straße), the prioritisation of emergency vehicles at traffic signals (TSP = Traffic Signal Prioritisation) by the Hamburg Fire Department has also been tested since autumn 2021.

A continuous expansion of the test track as well as the transfer, harmonisation and roll-out of successfully tested C-ITS services to other urban areas is planned until the end of 2023. The first expansion will take place by spring 2022. For this purpose, the test track up to the Elbbrücken (Elbe bridges) will be equipped with additional traffic lights. In addition, all C-ITS test routes in the urban area of Hamburg will be merged and continued under the label TAVF. Furthermore, the implementation of hybrid communication approaches will be considered. The new funding project “European Digital Dynamic Mapping”, EDDY for short, launched in November 2021, is also intended to provide the basis for cities and municipalities to be able to make static and dynamic data available in an urban dynamic map in a public interest-oriented and non-discriminatory manner.

TAVF is supported by funding from the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) and the European Commission within the Connecting Europe Facility Programme (CEF).