Consortium tests satellite-based merging in traffic

Consortium tests satellite-based merging in traffic

Technology News |
By Christoph Hammerschmidt

During automated or assisted driving, vehicles already today assume specific steps independently, such as parking. Within the PRoPART project, short for “Precise and Robust Positioning for Automated Road Transports”, a consortium has developed a precise and robust position detection system for automated road freight transport. At AstaZero’s test site near Borås, Sweden, a merging process of a truck between two cars driving next to it was successfully demonstrated – and fully automated.

Autonomous driving requires the interaction of different systems in the vehicle, the mutual interconnection of vehicles, and precise and robust navigation solutions. In order for these different systems to work together reliably and provide extremely precise position detection, an intelligent combination of sensors is required. In this way, developers can take full advantage of satellite signals as well as other navigation solutions such as radar and cameras in the vehicle. Supplemented by reference stations along the route, this combined GNSS/sensor solution allows highly available position detection with an accuracy in the decimetre range. 

Participants in the EU-funded PRoPART project were Fraunhofer IIS along with the companies RISE, Scania, Waysure, Ceit-IK4, Baselabs and Commsignia. Within the project, Fraunhofer contributes its GNSS receiver “GOOSE” for highly accurate and reliable positioning. This system bridges signal interruptions for short periods of time, for example in tunnels or under bridges. In many cases, this makes intervention by the driver unnecessary.

There is a wide range of electronics available on the market today for generating satellite navigation signals that create artificial positions, especially for game apps on smartphones. These electronics can be dangerous because they could interfere with all satellite receivers in a larger radius without being noticed. GOOSE, in contrast, has already access to the OS-NMA service (Open Service Navigation Message Authentication) of the Galileo satellite navigation service, which will not be officially available until 2020. This service transmits Galileo satellite signals with an encryption that makes it considerably more difficult to pretend a position. This means that the vehicle can continue to be provided with a reliable position in the future.

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