Wednesday, August 7, 2013

From road traffic to web traffic - Blog is being archived

This blog has served as a good outlet for updates mainly during my PhD studies. As I have just started working on other interesting stuff at Google I have decided to stop updating it. Thank you for following my work on cooperative cars, and drive safely ;)

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Remote control cars

In an earlier post I wrote about automated parking functions that let you step out of your car and watch it park itself. Chinese manufacturer BYD are now marketing a remote control feature that lets you remote-control your car from your key-fob.

Although it might be an oddball feature used to stand out in the crowded automotive market, the ability to tele-operate a vehicle is interesting. When talking about cooperative and automated vehicles we often only consider either fully autonomous vehicles or driver support functions. Maybe "fake autonomy" using remote human feedback to handle some parts of the driving task is one way forward? Similar to how UAV drones are partially tele-operated, a remote valet driver could park your car for you after having control handed over to him.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Reading tip: KPMG report on automated vehicles

The report "Self-driving cars: The next revolution" from KPMG gives a condensed view of the convergence between sensor-based automated vehicles and cooperative vehicles using wireless communication. Besides the basic technical premises it also delves into areas such as adoption and legal frameworks, well worth a read over the weekend.

Monday, January 14, 2013

First gen autonomous driving

The inevitable combination of adaptive cruise-control and lane-following functions into a system that takes over both lateral and longitudinal control is becoming reality. The videos below show both the Mercedes and Volvo versions of such systems.

The Mercedes video explicitly states the need for the driver to keep his/her hands on the wheel, which is one way of addressing the difficulties of taking a driver out and then back in the driving loop. Will be interesting to see if Volvo chooses the same approach.

Monday, August 6, 2012

GCDC Paper Accepted for IEEE Transactions on ITS

Really excited about having our write-up of our CACC system for the Grand Cooperative Driving Challenge accepted to the IEEE Transactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems (ranked number 13 of all IEEE Electrical and Electronic engineering journals by impact factor).

In the paper titled "A Modular CACC System Integration and Design" we describe the design principles behind our implementation, details of the various subsystems and results from testing and competition.

Abstract: This paper describes the Halmstad University entry in the Grand Cooperative Driving Challenge, which is a competition in vehicle platooning. Cooperative platooning has the potential to improve traffic flow by mitigating shock wave effects, which otherwise may occur in dense traffic. A longitudinal controller that uses information exchanged via wireless communication with other cooperative vehicles to achieve string-stable platooning is developed. The controller is integrated into a production vehicle, together with a positioning system, communication system, and human–machine interface (HMI). A highly modular system architecture enabled rapid development and testing of the various subsystems. In the competition, which took place in May 2011 on a closed-off highway in The Netherlands, the Halmstad University team finished second among nine competing teams.

 You can find an "early access" version over at IEEE Xplore.

Monday, June 4, 2012

The Connected Helmet

So for the past few months I have been working on a project we call Safe Social Cycling which takes connectedness beyond just the car. What we have been looking into is how bicycle helmets can be made more attractive by adding functionality beyond just plain old protection. We looked at it from a persuasive technology perspective and came up with a prototype based on the new Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy protocol which is just starting to establish itself in more and more devices. Coupled with accelerometers and a heart rate sensor a lot of neat features can be implemented. Take a look at the video below to see some examples of what a connected helmet might be used for!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Valeo Park4U

One natural step as autonomous vehicle functions evolve and cars become more and more connected are functions like the Valeo Park4U showed in the video below. This takes park-assist to the next step by allowing the user to initiate a parking maneuver form outside the vehicle using a smartphone.

What's cool here is that it is so close to production. Autonomous "valet-style" parking as showcased by Stanford in the video below suddenly doesn't seem so far away!
As with many of these functions, it's not so much of an engineering problem as a legal problem...