− Green light from ESA and ASI to the P-CAR project
− First laboratory in Europe for vehicle’s safe positioning and smart roads
− New Galileo and 5G features
− Synergy between rail and automotive applications

The objective of P-CAR is to realize a laboratory for testing and validation the positioning functions for the Connected and Autonomous Driving (CAD) applications and smart roads. This contract represents a further evolution of the already running EMERGE project – the innovation partnership between Ministry of Economical Development (MISE), Region Abruzzo, and Radiolabs – coordinating a team with Leonardo, Telespazio, Elital, and the University of L’Aquila.
This new facility – the first in Europe – is conceived as a core infrastructure to contributing to the certification process of safety-relevant multi-sensor positioning devices and to exploiting, in particular, the new features of Galileo and 5G – two strategic assets for vehicle’s automation and smart roads.

P-CAR is financed by ESA through an ASI funding as part of the NAVISP element 3 program, focused on participating States’ priorities aiming at supporting their national navigation priorities along the whole value chain. The project represents a stepping stone for realizing an “accredited” laboratory, to accelerate the adoption of new positioning devices in the fast-growing sector of connected vehicles. P-CAR will exploit the background of its team on safety-relevant positioning platforms already developed for train automation, to foster technological synergies and osmosis of best practices. These are beneficial for both applications by leveraging on the highest safety levels of the ERTMS train control and the volume production capability of the car industry.

P-CAR laboratory – with its cloud-based architecture to connect with remote centers – will be integrated into the Center of Excellence (Ex-EMERGE) for Geo-localized, Connected and Cyber-secure vehicles, of the University of L’Aquila – a pillar of Region Abruzzo strategy that hosts important satellite centers, vehicle production facilities, and innovation projects.

The project is coordinated by Radiolabs – a non-profit research consortium between Hitachi Rail STS, WestPole, and the Universities of Roma TRE, Roma Tor Vergata, and L’Aquila. The team includes the University of L’Aquila and the Automotive Innovation Pole (IAM) – a network of independent and innovative operators in the automotive system established in the Region Abruzzo. Radiolabs and IAM are members of the Cluster Trasporti Italia – the association representing industries of the transport sector, research organizations, and universities.

Paola Inverardi, vice president of Radiolabs and former rector of the University of L’Aquila has commented this important contract by “congratulating with ESA and ASI for making possible a further step along a strategy set in 2018 to develop in the Region Abruzzo the key assets and competences for the connected vehicles forging an unprecedented collaboration between industry, research centers, universities and space agencies”.

“The kick-off of P-CAR is a success for ESA”, adds Alessandra Fiumara, Head of the Competitiveness Office of NAVISP . “Positioning, Navigation, and Timing solutions are paving the way to the main transformations of our daily life: not only autonomous cars, trains, vessels, and smart cities, but UAV, robotics, health, IoT, and many others. NAVISP is the ESA framework where innovative and competitive GNSS based solutions can be developed in a wide diversity of domains to support industries and participating States”.