New Technology Gives Smart Cars an ‘X-Ray’ View
The autonomous vehicle uses revolutionary tools that allow it to “see the world around it using x-ray style vision that penetrates to the blind spots of pedestrians.”
The technology was developed under a project funded by the iMOVE Cooperative Research Center in collaboration with the Australian Center for Field Robotics at the University of Sydney and Australian connected vehicle company Cohda Wireless. iMove today published its new findings in a final report after three years of research and development.
The applications of the technology, which are marketed by Cohda, involve an emerging and promising technology for intelligent transport systems (ITS) called cooperative or collective perception (CP).
Using roadside ITS information sharing units (“ITS stations”), vehicles can share what they “see” with others using vehicle-to-X communication (V2X ).
This system considerably increases the field of perception of vehicles by allowing them to tap into different points of view.
Engineers and scientists who developed the technology said it could benefit all vehicles, not just those connected to such a system.
“This is a game-changer for human-operated vehicles and autonomous vehicles which we hope will dramatically improve the efficiency and safety of road transport,” said Professor Eduardo Nebot of the Australian Center for Field Robotics.
“Thanks to collective perception, the connected vehicle was able to follow a pedestrian visually obstructed by a building. This was achieved a few seconds before his local perception sensors or the driver could see the same pedestrian around the corner, giving the driver or navigation battery more time to react to this danger for security, ”he revealed.
Another experiment demonstrated how collective perception could allow vehicles to safely interact with pedestrians, with the vehicle’s response based on perceptual information provided by the roadside ITS station.
The three-year project also demonstrated the expected behavior of a connected vehicle when interacting with a pedestrian rushing towards a designated crossing area.
“Thanks to the ITS system, the connected autonomous vehicle was able to take preventive measures: brake and stop before the crosswalk area depending on the intended movement of the pedestrian,” said Professor Nebot.
“Pedestrian tracking, forecasting, path planning and decision making were based on perception information received from ITS roadside stations.
“Collective perception allows intelligent vehicles to break the physical and practical limits of on-board perception sensors. “
The project’s principal investigator, Dr Mao Shan, said the research confirmed that the use of CP could improve vulnerable road users’ awareness and safety in many traffic scenarios.
“Our research has shown that a connected vehicle can ‘see’ a pedestrian on bends. Most importantly, we demonstrate how connected autonomous vehicles can safely interact with walking and running pedestrians, relying only on information from the ITS bus station, ”he said.
Professor Paul Alexander, CTO of Cohda Wireless, said the new technology could be a game-changer for human-powered and autonomous vehicles.
“Collective perception enables intelligent vehicles to break the physical and practical limits of on-board perception sensors and adopt improved perception quality and robustness,” said Professor Alexander.
IMOVE chief executive Ian Christensen said the project was a great example of industry working with scientists to develop new innovations for the commercial and public good, not only for the benefit of Australians, but also road users around the world, including pedestrians and cyclists.
“When we bring together industry and scientists, we can achieve many great things as a nation. IMOVE CRC is proud to have started this exciting project and many others like it – all of which aim to make our minds work together the best and the brightest to develop new technologies and innovations for real world problems and needs, ”Mr. Christensen said.
iMOVE is the national center for collaborative R&D in transport and mobility. It facilitates, supports and co-funds research projects that improve the way people and goods move in Australia. It has 44 industrial, government and academic partners and has more than 50 completed or ongoing projects in a wide range of transport fields.
ABOUT COHDA WIRELESS
Cohda Wireless is a global leader in the development of connected vehicle and connected autonomous vehicle software with proven applications for smart city, mining and other environments. Cohda’s technology connects vehicles with infrastructure and pedestrians to make streets, cities and work environments safer, smarter and greener. Cohda is headquartered in Australia and has offices in Europe, China and the United States.
In 2017, the federal government awarded $ 55 million over ten years to a group of leading industry and research organizations known as the iMOVE Co-operative Research Center (CRC) to explore the systems of intelligent transport.