Discover in this video the first results of the French team of the European 5G-MOBIX project. This demonstration shows two use cases of 5G for connected and automated mobility.The combination of low latency and very high data rates provides greater reliability and security, even in low visibility or cross-border areas.
Coordinated by VEDECOM, the French trial site of the H2020 5G-MOBIX project tested the contribution of 5G during “infrastructure-assisted advanced driving” and the maintenance of service in cross-border conditions.
Carried out on the Versailles Satory runway, the demonstration presents use cases tested in France and in the Spain-Portugal cross-border corridor: the automated lane change of a level 4 vehicle assisted by the infrastructure when a basic vehicle is inserted; then maintaining connectivity between two networks (TDF and Bouygues).
The French 5G-MOBIX trial site is coordinated by VEDECOM in partnership with AKKA technologies, Valeo, Catapult. TDF contributed its expertise in critical networks and mobile edge computing by equipping the test runaway with a 5G infrastructure.
Watch the video
Learn more about 5G-MOBIX project.
VEDECOM brought together, on behalf of the Battle Lab Terre, several French industry leaders in Defense. The aim was to implement an autonomous convoy of vehicles using a ‘multi-Follow Me’ mode behind a leading vehicle. The long-term perspective is to deploy interoperable autonomous convoys in theaters of operations while integrating the constraints of the Defense industry.
Project partners: NEXTER Robotics, ARQUUS and CNIM.
An unprecedented partnership launched a year ago
VEDECOM was commissioned as a trusted third party and expert R&D French Institute on the topic of autonomous and electric vehicles. As a matter of fact, this Institute for Energy Transition is located in Versailles, in the Satory district, very close from the army and its suppliers Nexter and Arquus. Its platforms and research teams are dedicated to vehicule electrification, automated and connected vehicles, new mobility solutions.
Located at the heart of the “cluster of innovative mobility” supported by the Yvelines couty, not far from Paris, VEDECOM runs a large ecosystem, integrating Nexter and Arquus.
A consortium between the VEDECOM research institute, VEDECOM Tech (business subsidiary)and the industrialists NEXTER Robotics, ARQUUS and CNIM has been set up. This joint project, entitled MC² for “Micro-convoy in contact”, was coordinated by VEDECOM Tech team.
The role of VEDECOM Tech first, to coordinate all the actors to set up an interoperable convoy and second, to carry out the dynamic assessment of the convoy. The aim is to objectify the behavior of each vehicle in the convoy, to rule on the state of the art and to address key point improvements.
After the technological development, the project was materialized with a demonstration in front of representatives of the Army and the State. This was held on January 28, 2021 on the test tracks of Versailles-Satory.
Various vehicles and robots united by “Follow-me” technology
The convoy used four types of vehicles:
- a Sherpa Light, the leading vehicle, provided by Arquus,
- following was the Robot-LAB, on a PVP basis, provided by Arquus
- then the Optio robot-mule, provided by Nexter Robotics
- then a Themis 4.5 robot-Mule, provided by CNIM
The three following vehicles were equipped with technological bricks called “Follow Me”, allowing each robot to follow the vehicle in front of it, the “target vehicle”. In the case of a “multi-follow Me” convoy, each robot virtually harnesses itself and autonomously adapts its trajectory and speed in order to form the convoy. Thus, each vehicle builds its own trajectory.
A distinction must be made between “Follow me” technology and traditional ‘platooning’, a term used for autonomous convoys when all the vehicles replay the same trajectory (for example through a GPS track), with a speed setpoint managed globally.
Interoperable and interchangeable convoy
The MC² project aims to demonstrate interoperability in two ways: heterogeneity of vehicles and interchangeability of robots in the convoy.
Regarding the heterogeneity of vehicles, the convoy combined both an 11-tonne 4*4 tactical vehicle, capable of traveling at 110km/h, a 5.5-tonne 4*4 reconnaissance vehicle that can ride up to 20km/h and 2 multipurpose 2-ton tracked robot mules capable of traveling at 18km/h.
Two convoy configurations were implemented to demonstrate the ability of robots to couple to different vehicles.
VEDECOM Tech used Ultra Wide Band (UWB) technology in order to assess the convoy dynamic behavior. The vehicle movement area has been defined and equipped with geolocated fixed transmitters called “anchors”. The vehicles were fitted with embedded captors so that they could position in the frame of reference formed by the anchors.
All location data was recorded in real time. The post-processing makes it possible to characterize the dynamic behavior of the convoy:
- speed of each vehicle
- interdistance between vehicles
- lateral deviation from the path of the robots
Ruling the French state of the art and increasing the forces’safety
In France, this event marks the first stage in the development of interoperable platooning convoys meeting military requirements and capable of operating in a destructured environment. The main objectives of this approach are to increase the security of forces by optimizing logistics, and to refocus human resources on operations.
Expected applications are long-distance autonomous logistics convoys and autonomous last-mile multi-purpose convoys.
Partners and spokespersons
The PACV2X project validated a technology based on the fusion of data from the infrastructure.
Faced with increased demand for mobility, growing traffic and technological developments, infrastructure must evolve, in particular to facilitate the transition between our current vehicles and those of tomorrow, whether they are cooperative or autonomous. To respond to this new mobility challenge, the road and motorway infrastructure must be equipped with services that guarantee safe journeys.
Indeed, in some situations, cooperative and potentially automated vehicles do not have a sufficient level of understanding to detect and avoid a collision on their own.
The project, named PAC V2X for “Augmented Perception by V2X Cooperation”, aimed to increase the perception of these vehicles by simply using their own means to avoid collision. The most common cases: intersections, hill tops, curved roads, masking related to traffic or infrastructure. The results of the project were presented on December 8, 2020.
The project was supported by a consortium composed of eight partners: SIGNATURE VERTICAL & MOBILITY SOLUTIONS, SANEF, VEDECOM, INRIA, LOGIROAD, DIGIMOBEE, MARBEN and VICI.
Messages sent from roadside to automated vehicles
To increase vehicles’ awareness, the PAC V2X project aims to equip roadside units (RSU) with radars and cameras positioned at strategic locations. These RSUs transmit their perception to connected vehicles through standardized V2X messages, or those in the process of being standardized, in order to anticipate complex situations and facilitate decision-making.
“Our institute is proud to bring new tools to the community, resulting from our work both on the fusion of data given by roadside units and on the communication of information to the vehicle” said Oyunchimeg Shagdar and Pierre Merdrignac, researchers at VEDECOM.
Important innovations to improve safety and traffic
The use cases targeted by PACV2X apply to highways, tolls and intersections:
• warning in the event of risk of collision for violation of the light signal and reverse driving;
• assistance with lane changes for entering the motorway, passing worksite areas and passing with limited visibility (for example, a bus covering the road);
• traffic control in specific areas such as assistance with traffic scheduling at intersections for priority vehicles or assistance at tolls;
• contextual speed limit broadcast.
A viable and standardized technology
The project demonstrated the technical feasibility of the proposed approach, starting with the specification of the use cases and the technical specification of the system. Prototypes of roadside units have been developed and tested in various conditions, then validated on track. Eventually, an experiment on open road was carried out on several sites, both in urban areas and in motorways.
The evaluation demonstrated the technical capabilities of the system to expand the perception of vehicles and address the use cases targeted by the project. In addition, the evaluation highlighted the expected benefits in terms of road safety and traffic management.
The PAC V2X project relied on existing standards and brought its own contribution to European standardization organizations.
VEDECOM expert in fusion of sensor data and V2X messages
VEDECOM’s “REVECOM” team has developed augmented perception modules based on the fusion of data from sensors (cameras, Lidar) and V2X communication messages. It has also developed application modules of assistance to connected vehicles in areas where their perception is limited (intersection, toll area, work area, bus stop).
VEDECOM team also coordinated and participated in the experimentation of the system on the Versailles Satory tracks, in Versailles streets, and on the Sanef motorway network. Finally, it participated in both technical and non-technical impact analyzes of the system.
For more information on PACV2X