Fraunhofer and PRoPART successfully test autonomous merging

February 7, 2020  - By

On a test track in Sweden, a truck successfully merged between two cars driving alongside it in a fully automated maneuver. The live demonstration took place at the AstaZero test site near Borås, Sweden, on Nov. 21, 2019, showing automotive industry experts how well the automated merging solution performed.

The Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS and project partners RISE, Scania, Waysure, Ceit-IK4, Baselabs and Commsignia are taking part in an EU-funded project PRoPART, which stands for Precise and Robust Positioning for Automated Road Transports.

Vehicles on the road already perform certain steps on behalf of the driver, such as parking. Together with its project partners, the Fraunhofer IIS has developed a precise and robust position determination system for use in autonomous trucks as part of PRoPART.

Autonomous driving is about interactions among vehicle systems, connecting vehicles and equipping them with precise and robust navigation solutions. The challenge is to ensure that different automated driving systems deliver precise and reliable positioning information.

Using GOOSE technology

With its GOOSE GNSS receivers, Fraunhofer IIS provides highly accurate and reliable positioning to the PRoPART project. The GOOSE can bridge signal interruptions for short periods of time, potentially obviating the need for the driver to intervene at all.

In conjunction with GNSS, developers are using a combination of sensors such as radar and cameras in the vehicle. Supplemented by reference stations along the route, the combination of GNSS and sensor data enables highly available position solutions up to the decimeter range.

“This is a key step on the road to autonomous driving,” explained group manager for precise GNSS receivers Matthias Overbeck, Fraunhofer IIS. “It’s about ensuring the merging maneuver is precise and avoiding accidents — something we can achieve only with highly accurate and reliable positioning technology.”

GOOSE platform. (Photo: Fraunhofer IIS)

GOOSE platform. (Photo: Fraunhofer IIS)

Spoofing protection

These days, a variety of electronic systems for providing satellite navigation signals are available and are often used to generate fake positions for gaming apps on smartphones. Such systems could disrupt satellite receivers while remaining undetected.

GOOSE makes use of the Galileo Open Service Navigation Message Authentication (OS-NMA), which is not officially available until 2020. OS-NMA transmits encrypted keys on the Galileo satellite signals that make it extremely difficult to fake a position, thus ensuring that reliable positioning information can be provided to vehicles in the future.

About the Author: Tracy Cozzens

Senior Editor Tracy Cozzens joined GPS World magazine in 2006. She also is editor of GPS World’s newsletters and the sister website Geospatial Solutions. She has worked in government, for non-profits, and in corporate communications, editing a variety of publications for audiences ranging from federal government contractors to teachers.