Safer and cleaner transport

By Redazione

Reducing emissions in all aspects of life is taking priority for many countries, especially EU Member States, the EU-funded ‘Multi-core execution of hard real-time applications supporting
analysability’ (MERASA) project is tackling this issue head on, their efforts, however, have revealed some surprising results.

Through their extensive research they have discovered that making ‘clean’ cars also has the additional benefit of making them more economical as well as safer to run. These benefits are not
restricted the car industry alone, but extend to the airline industry as well. And it is these wide-ranging applications that are making companies sit up and take interest.

The MERASA project aims to make cars and planes more energy efficient, economical, and safe. According to the researchers, the key is to be found in the electronic systems that already exist in
automobiles and aeroplanes.

The Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), which already exists in many cars, is an example of a pre-existing electronic system which could be made even safer if the performance of the electronic
control unit (ECU) is increased. The ECU controls many of the electronic subsystems in a car. They can, for example, determine the quantity of fuel, ignition timing and other parameters by
monitoring the engine through sensors. Therefore, control units with higher performance levels allow the optimisation of fuel consumption in engines through improved regulation.

Changing existing protocols, however, is not an easy task: there are currently very few processors that can guarantee the necessary execution deadlines, and their costs are extremely
prohibitive. But the computer scientists involved in the project were not deterred by this challenge. While the coordination of this ?2.1 million project was based in Augsburg, Germany,
research and industry partners were drawn from the Czech Republic, Spain, France, the Netherlands and the UK.

In order to ensure the best possible transfer and user process, partners in industry – both processor manufacturers and users – have been involved from the start in the development of the
hardware and software solutions.

The coordinator of this three-year project, Professor Dr Theo Ungerer (Chair of Systems and Networking), explains the benefits of the collaboration achieved within this project: ‘This
integration of renowned companies from different European states clearly demonstrates that one aim of our MERASA project is to make an important contribution to the future competitiveness of
Europe in the key segments of the motor, aerospace and machine construction industries.’

Professor Ungerer was also keen to add: ‘Hand-in-hand with the hardware developers in Augsburg and Barcelona, and our colleagues in France and England, we will develop suitable software
solutions for the multi-core processors that we, as a group, are endeavouring to create.’

For further information, please visit:

European DG Energy and Transport

European Environment Agency – Transport

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