During the recent Ninth Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) European Congress organised by ERTICO – the network of Intelligent Transport Systems and Services stakeholder in Europe – at the Dublin Convention Centre the European GNSS Agency (GSA) highlighted the role of its portfolio of FP7 research projects in the real-world deployment of ITS solutions. This significant contribution was outlined through two technical sessions on 5 June.
The two sessions were entitled ‘R&D leading to deployment – GNSS’ and covered a variety of projects undertaken in FP7 that could make a major impact on ITS implementation.
These sessions complemented two other GSA and European Commission contributions on the role of Global Satellite Navigation Systems (GNSS) in boosting innovation in ITS at the Congress (see separate article).
The first contribution was on the SUNRISE project that is promoting the adoption of EU GNSS technologies (Galileo and EGNOS) through targeted ITS user fora. Florence Ghiron of Capital High Tech described how the successful implementation and evolution of these technologies requires continuous user involvement.
This was followed by two presentations from the Chemnitz University of Technology in Germany. In the first Marcus Obst described and compared two algorithms for non-line-of-sight detection strategies in satellite navigation developed under the GAIN FP7 project. The first algorithm uses simple real-time 3D building models to create maps and the second is based on vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communication.
Such systems are cornerstones for reliable satellite-based vehicle positioning in urban areas where multi-path effects are often present. Using these algorithms standard GPS receivers in combination with other in-vehicle sensors provide low-cost, reliable positioning.
Further insights on the development of these algorithms was provided by Robin Streiter who described the steadily increasing complexity of ITS and cooperative Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS). The University uses a rapid prototyping ITS station to improve the localisation accuracy of low cost positioning solutions using multiple GNSS receivers and augmenting the positioning solution with real-time GNSS corrections received from the ITS station.
The multi antenna approach led to an increased positioning accuracy and demonstrates the technical feasibility for broadcasting real time corrections.
He stressed that when designing a positioning algorithm “you must consider local and global influences: reduce local and global errors and then consider map issues.”
Kevin Sheridan from Nottingham Scientific Limited described how the DETECTOR project is characterising jamming GNSS threats both in the lab and in the field. The goal is to enable automated detection and classification of interfering devices over a range of speeds using different antennae and different jammers, moving and stationary probes etc.
A potential solution to this issue is being developed in the TACOT project described by Alexandre Allien of FDC. The project’s objective is to realise of a ‘trusted GNSS function’ designed for ITS applications. Mr Allien believed deployment of ‘Trusted GNSS’ will become unavoidable “in particular for applications where legal liability is at stake or for regulated applications.”
Bayesian techniques are used to assess the coherence and integrity of the GNSS signal with data from other sensors. The result is a ‘trusted position, velocity and timing (PVT) function’ that is useful for security and safety applications.
Mr. Allien anticipated that the first TACOT prototype would be available in September and could be used to provide a low-cost solution in digital tachographs and many other applications.
The second technical session was kicked off by. Riccardo Scopigno from the Istituto Superiore Mario Boella with a presentation on GLOVE that is seeking to leverage GNSS time-space information to improve the performance of VANET – vehicular ad-hoc networking – and to deliver new interactive services to drivers. An interesting concept was the ‘local integrity of data’ enabled by the exchange of information between cars. This result in a local integrity topology through the analysis of road properties together with GNSS signals as processed by multiple nearby nodes (i.e. other cars).
An important aspect for the widespread deployment of such ITS is the establishment of references for standardisation and qualification of GNSS receivers especially for safety critical applications. The QualiSaR project described by Felix Reinbold of the German Institute for Traffic Safety and Automation Engineering aims to do just that.
The most important part of this procedure is the reference localisation system that is used for the determination of the deviation of a GNSS measurement under realistic environmental conditions. Such a system must be mobile and vehicle independent. The solution developed under QualiSaR uses a local position measurement system developed for football training involving multiple base stations to demonstrate that new quality procedures can be derived for real-world environments and real vehicles.
The TAXISAT FP7 project aims to demonstrate a low-cost, reliable and secure driverless vehicle hybridising augmented GNSS and Simultaneous Localisation and Mapping (SLAM) technologies to improve the integrity, reliability and availability of unmanned driving services even in challenging environments such as urban canyons.
“The TAXISAT system is not only a software module capable of handling a wide variety of sensors it is also a low cost commercial solution for use as an unmanned transportation system,” said Marcos Nieto from Vicomtech-IK4 in Spain.
Again the system brings together data from a variety of sensors including EGNOS-augmented GPS and stereo cameras via a data synchronisation strategy that enables the vehicle to calculate an array of 3D position points. “This is the key element,” said Mr. Nieto. “It allows us to accurately and dynamically calculate the free space ahead of the vehicle and enable a classic detect / measure / avoid strategy.”
The TAXISAT vehicle is currently being tested in San Sebastien Tech with further testing scheduled at the Circuit de Spa in Belgium during July with deployment to the VulCANIA tourist park for a real-world assessment in late summer 2013.
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