European Eureka Project - PROgraMme for a European Traffic of Highest Efficiency and Unprecedented Safety (PROMETHEUS)

    Project Details


    PROMETHEUS was a research programme headed by car manufacturers from six European countries. The University of Portsmouth received £513,450 (a small part of the €749,000,000 in funding) to investigate Pro-Net and then Pro-Road. Pro-Net developed a communication network between vehicle-computers, enabling a vehicle to be driven safely by means of “electronic sight”, increasing the perception area of the driver. Pro-Road developed a roadside communication and information system to assist a driver and/or onboard-computer to enable higher level traffic management.

    PROMETHEUS as a whole created concepts and solutions for a road traffic system which was more efficient and less detrimental to the environment and that guaranteed an unprecedented degree of safety. Deficiencies of present road traffic systems were considered and new information control and management systems were developed using microelectronics, information processing and artificial intelligence. European Government programmes on traffic research were supplemented and enhanced and the development of microelectronics was promoted. European Industry was placed into a stronger position for future autonomous driving.

    Funding was in three tranches between 1987 and 1993 (the first part of the project being led by Professor Jan Stuart). The European project continued after that but without participation from the University of Portsmouth.

    Layperson's description

    PROMETHEUS took place from 1987 to 1995. Sanders and the University of Portsmouth were involved from 1987 to 1992. It was the largest R&D project ever in the field of driverless cars and received €749,000,000 in funding from the EUREKA member states. The project defined the state of the art for autonomous vehicles. Numerous other universities and car manufacturers participated in this Pan-European project. Main collaborators with the University of Portsmouth were: Econocruise,the Husat Research Centre, Jaguar Cars, Lucas Automotive, GEC, Brunel, Aberdeen, & Sheffield Universities, Rolls-royce, Pilkington Technology Centre, Mva Systematica, Ian Catling Consultancy, Salplex and TRW.

    Key findings

    Defined state of the art for autonomous vehicles split into ten Common European Demonstrators (CEDs).
    CED 1 : Vision Enhancement
    CED 2-1 : Friction Monitoring and Vehicle Dynamics
    CED 2-2 : Lane Keeping Support
    CED 2-3 : Visibility Range Monitoring
    CED 2-4 : Driver Status Monitoring
    CED 3 : Collision Avoidance
    CED 4 : Cooperative Driving
    CED 5 : Autonomous Intelligent Cruise Control
    CED 6 : Automatic Emergency Call
    CED 7 : Fleet Management
    CED 9 : Dual Mode Route Guidance
    CED 10: Travel and Traffic Information Systems
    Short titleTraffic Efficiency & Safety
    Effective start/end date7/03/8714/11/92


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