Drive autonomously with confidence: Page 2 of 5

March 08, 2018 //By Christoph Wagner and Holger Rosier
Drive autonomously with confidence
The vision of "autonomous driving" promises users exceptional mobility and travel comfort. The prerequisite is that diverse components and functions reliably interact in a coordinated manner without errors. It will only be possible to turn this idea into reality when all market players reach a consensus, when highly reliable components are available and when multi-vendor interoperability is a given.

Cellular communications for mobility of the future

The local environmental model is enhanced with additional information gained from vehicles networking with each other and with the backend system. This model is generated based on vehicle sensor data and permits enhanced situational analysis. The locally obtained information is useful in allowing other vehicles to make traffic decisions. While applications based on the first generation of the intelligent transportation system (ITS) are nearly exclusively oriented toward the car driver and allow the driver to make all final driving decisions, future vehicle network services will permit direct intervention. This is a fundamental requirement for removing control of the automobile from the driver, and it leads to further requirements regarding vehicle functions. The execution of cooperative driving maneuvers, enhanced exchange of sensor data and continuous updating of map material require a high data rate, short latency and constant network availability, depending upon the application. It is critical that this functionality remain reliable in situations that prove challenging for cellular systems, including high subscriber density such as might occur during heavy traffic or at very high relative speeds. These scenarios fully tax the capabilities of today's cellular networks.

Cellular communications – the link between man and machine

A cellular system that can perform reliably at the expected high level can support humans in an early stage of autonomous driving. One example is on highways, where the expected situations are less complex. Critical is the section between the home/office and the highway. This is due to both the special traffic infrastructure at these locations, which are used by a variety of road users, and the high traffic density, which results in very complex scenarios. Teleoperated driving is one of the solutions under discussion for managing such situations. In this case, a remote driver is connected to the vehicle via the cellular system. He steers the car based on camera images that are captured and transmitted with only a very brief delay. Technical challenges and legal frameworks make large-scale commercial implementation a mid- to long-term goal.

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