There is increased enthusiasm for developing connected and automated driving applications because of their potential for creating a safer, cleaner, more efficient and user-friendly mobility system. Several pilot projects or public transport programmes involving autonomous vehicles are deployed in Europe. Among these is the EU-funded PRoPART project that focuses on automated vehicles and advanced driver assistance systems. It aims “to develop and demonstrate a high availability positioning solution for connected automated driving applications,” as stated in a project presentation.
The project uses specific features of Europe’s global navigation satellite system (GNSS), Galileo, in combination with other positioning and sensor technologies. It enhances an existing real-time kinematic (RTK) software that was developed by one of the partners. The project website explains: “RTK is a technique widely used for precise GNSS positioning based on the use of code and carrier phase measurements from the primary GNSS constellation(s).”
A project press release notes that the connected and automated vehicle applications that are currently being developed “are based on the cooperation between different solutions to determine the absolute position of the vehicle on the road and relative to any obstacles.” It adds: “No single technology can solve this in all situations, and when combining different technologies it is vital to understand the integrity of the available information. PRoPART will demonstrate the developed positioning solution in a truck capable of automated driving in motorway conditions.”
Quoted in the online magazine ‘GPS World’, Fredrik Hoxell, senior engineer at project partner Scania, says: “We are benefiting from the high multipath mitigation enabled by the Galileo binary offset code, and there is a substantial improvement of reliability of the carrier phase ambiguity resolution.” The same article notes that PRoPART “implements sensor fusion using information from both the on-board vehicle sensors and an off-board road infrastructure traffic sensor, accounting also for non-automated and non-connected road vehicles.”
In addition to on-board sensors, PRoPART will employ “a low-cost Ultra Wideband (UWB) ranging solution for redundancy and robustness in areas where the coverage of GNSS is poor e.g. in tunnels or in urban canyons,” as stated on CORDIS. It adds: “In order to define the correct requirements for the PRoPART combined positioning solution, a cooperative automated vehicle application will be defined and developed.” This application involves “a collaborative automated lane change function that enables safe and robust lane change of an automated heavy commercial vehicle,” according to the project website.
The ongoing PRoPART (Precise and Robust Positioning for Automated Road Transports) project will run until late-2019. The partners believe the target audiences that will benefit from PRoPART include: heavy goods vehicle original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), tier 1 automotive suppliers – defined as companies that supply parts or systems directly to OEMs – as well as mobile Internet of Things providers, microchip manufacturers and autonomous robot manufacturers.
For more information, please see:
PRoPART project website