Driving onto the highway and knowing in advance how slow the rush hour traffic will move or whether the two-hour buildup will clear up that moment, ensuring smooth driving – in the research project “Providentia – Pro-active video-based use of telecommunications technologies in innovative autobahn scenarios”, a real-time view of the highway traffic ahead is tested using corresponding sensors and big data. Via the highly precise localization of traffic objects within the system, driver and self-driving cars are provided with information, increasing the safety, efficiency, and comfort of driving.
The German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) funds the project “Providentia” with 6.1 million euros as part of the “Research Programme on Automation and Connectivity in Road Transport” within the “Funding Guidelines for Automated and Connected Driving on Digital Test Beds in Germany.” Other partners in this project are BMW Group, Cognition Factory, Elektrobit, fortiss, Huawei as well as Rohde & Schwarz.
Providing drivers and highly automated vehicles with a view of the road ahead that is as comprehensive as possible is the main idea of the project. This is achieved using corresponding sensor technology such as cameras and radar sensors placed along the road and installed in the connected vehicles. For a successful implementation, a fundamental basis is formed by a latest generation cellular network for data transfer and Car2X receivers which process the obtained data and transfer the relevant data. The “digital twin” of the infrastructure thus created is always up-to-date and allows for derivations of all relevant information for each vehicle in real time and under adverse weather conditions as well. For each individual road user, a highly reliable image of reality is generated in the “backend” via sensor fusion and made available, avoiding information overload at the same time. “In addition to the traffic situation, real-time information on the weather may be provided as well as suggestions for safe and comfortable driving adapted to the situation. At all times, the drivers themselves decide which information is displayed in the car. Warnings, however, are always issued,” explained Martin Herrmann, Business Development Manager ADAS & Automated Driving at IPG Automotive.
For the development of the system, the simulation software CarMaker by IPG Automotive offers important support. On-road field tests on the digital test bed on the German highway A9 are realistically transferred to the virtual world with CarMaker. Real traffic situations and objects are virtually modeled in real time which allow for realistic tests of the entire system in virtual test driving while taking uncertainties into account. If the interaction of sensors, Car2X components, and advanced driver assistance systems works in the scenarios, the real-time visualization in the vehicle is tackled in the next step. Data obtained in reality is then displayed on a laptop in the car while driving, and the information supply of the connected vehicles is tested in actual traffic scenarios on the test track.
The research project will be carried out until mid-2019. Once the required interaction of different information flows in highly automated vehicles and the communication and backend infrastructure on the section of the digital test bed on highway A9 succeeds, the live preview developed is intended to drive the fast setup of a sensor infrastructure and beyond that the swift introduction of highly automated driving in Germany.
Further information at www.testfeld-a9.de (in German).