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Advanced technology for platooning
The PLATONIC project, a collaboration between HORIBA MIRA and GMV NSL, funded under the ESA Navigation Innovation and Support Program (NAVISP) stimulating innovation in the PNT domain, addresses advances in cooperative positioning and integrity algorithms for platooning applications. The first of these is cooperation between all the cars in the platoon to share information about their respective positions on the roadway. Cooperative positioning is enabled with a variety of range-finding sensors, such as radar, with data being shared between cars via low latency wireless communications. Finally, in order for this data to be ‘trusted’ to inform the management of the positions of the cars in the platoon, it is evaluated by an integrity algorithm.
PLATONIC has required a focus on the design and validation challenges, and how real-time integrity monitoring can be used for dynamic optimization of vehicle speeds and following distances.
The purpose of advancing the technology is myriad and will unlock a series of benefits for individual drivers and wider society. A platoon automatically optimises the flow of vehicles along highways and prevents the characteristic phenomenon of waves of braking and acceleration events, known as perturbations, transmitting through streams of traffic when vehicles are manually driven at high levels of density, such as during rush hours.
This will allow passengers to enjoy smoother driving conditions on motorways by optimising throttle and brake profiles, which in turn improves vehicle efficiency and reduces emissions. The improved throughput on existing highway infrastructure also reduces the requirement for new road building at a period in time where road traffic is predicted to steadily rise. Additionally, a cooperative positioning solution reduces hardware costs, while the use of integrity algorithms assures safety and robustness.