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Federal Highway Administration
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Washington, DC 20590
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Research and Development (R&D) Project Sites

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Project Information
Project ID:   FHWA-PROJ-09-0061
Project Name:   Next-Generation Vehicle Positioning in Global Positioning System-Degraded Environments for Vehicle Safety and Automation Systems
Project Status:   Completed
Start Date:  October 1, 2009
End Date:  October 1, 2012
Contact Information
Last Name:  Arnold
First Name:  James A
Telephone:  202-493-3265
E-mail:  james.a.arnold@dot.gov
Office:   Office of Operations Research and Development
Team:   Trans Enabling Technologies Team [HRDO-10]
Program:   Small Business Innovation Program (SBIR) (2% of Adjusted CA)
Project detail
Project Description:   The next generation of safety and vehicle automation will rely on precise positioning, yet global positioning system (GPS)-based positioning is hampered by blockages of the GPS signal—a broader approach is needed that does not rely exclusively on GPS.  However, there is no one "silver bullet;" therefore, this proposed work seeks to achieve a major improvement in vehicle positioning performance by developing a multifaceted approach to achieving precise positioning, even in situations in which the GPS signal is inadequate due to a dense tree canopy, building shadowing, or other factors.  The work builds on previous work done by the partners in other domains to apply these techniques to future safety and automation applications. Three key technology areas hold promise individually, and the research intends to show that a combined, integrated system is even more powerful by exploiting the strengths of each technique.  First, terrain-based localization (based on precise measurements of vehicle pitch and roll, combined with wheel odometry) can be readily used to find the vehicle’s absolute longitudinal position within a premapped highway segment, compensating for drift, which occurs in dead-reckoning systems in long longitudinal stretches of road.  Second, visual odometry keys upon visual landmarks at a detailed level to correlate position to a (visually) premapped road segment to find vehicle position along the roadway.  Both of these preceding techniques rely on foreknowledge of road features; in essence, a feature-enhanced version of a digital map. This becomes feasible in the "connected vehicle" fixture, in which tomorrow’s vehicles have access to quantities of data orders of magnitude greater than today’s cars, as well as the ability to share data at high data rates.  The third technology approach relies on radio frequency ranging based on Dedicated Short Range Communications radio technology. In addition to pure radio frequency ranging with no GPS signals, information from radio frequency ranging can be combined with GPS-range measurements (which may be inadequate on their own) to generate a useful position.
Goals:   The key project objective is that global positioning system (GPS) data can be better processed if compressed.
Test Methodology:   Algorithmic testing
Partners:   U.S. Department of Transportation: Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA); Role(s): Other stakeholder
Expected Benefits:   The expected benefit is the improved operation of global positioning system.
Project Findings:   New algorithms and ways of handling global positioning system (GPS) data were discovered.
FHWA Topics:   Research/Technologies--FHWA Research and Technology
TRT Terms:   Global Positioning System
Operations
Research
Transportation
Automobile Navigation Systems
Radio Frequency
FHWA Disciplines:   None
Subject Areas:   Transportation (General)

 

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