BMW announced that a recent engineering demonstration in Philadelphia, PA has validated the concept of broadcasting advanced traffic information via HD Radio stations. The exercise, conducted in November using the Transport Protocol Experts Group (TPEG) protocol, was led by Munich-based BMW Forschung und Technik GmbH (BMW Group Research and Technology) and supported by BMW of North America and its technology partner, Clear Channel Total Traffic Network. The new TPEG protocol for Traffic Flow and Prediction (TFP) supports real-time, high-speed broadcast of traffic information and will enable future vehicles to view current and predicted traffic patterns, speeds, and flows almost instantaneously.

“BMW supports the TPEG / TFP standard for delivery of traffic speed and flow information over high-bandwidth digital channels such as HD Radio, ” said Isaac Trefz, an engineer with BMW Group Research and Technology. “The TPEG / TFP standard provides a mechanism for delivering predictive traffic information, and can offer more precise location information than existing systems. These virtues, combined with fewer operating limitations than existing technology, will dramatically enhance the presentation of important traffic information to drivers in the future. ”

For the proof-of-concept exercise, a BMW 5 Series was equipped by specialists from BMW Research with custom hardware and software including an HD Radio data tuner and custom visualization and logging software, and then driven throughout the Philadelphia metro area. Coverage of the HD Radio broadcast and the accuracy of the TFP-encoded information were carefully monitored via the on-board equipment, and were found to be adequate in all quadrants of the coverage area. Due to the high-speed data transfer capability provided by HD Radio technology and the efficient encoding of the TPEG/TFP protocol, it was possible to transmit traffic information for the entire metro area during rush hour to the test vehicle in just 14 seconds using only 52 messages. The proof-of-concept confirmed that the TPEG / TFP protocol is the best choice for fast and efficient delivery of real-time traffic speed and flow information via HD Radio for large metropolitan areas.