Europe’s automotive engineering consultancy, HORIBA MIRA confirmed that its collaboration with GMV NSL to develop new and improved passenger car platooning solutions on behalf of the European Space Agency (ESA) will move into a live trials phase in Q1 2022, encompassing both simulated and physical testing during 2022.
The ground-breaking project aims to advance platooning – the process of optimising the co-ordination of traffic streams – by embracing a number of advanced technologies. 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, 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.
The integration of these technologies 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.
HORIBA MIRA and GMV NSL’s ground-breaking project to automate platoons of cars travelling on motorways will allow passengers to enjoy smoother driving conditions 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 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, and critically can be used to optimise the speed and following distances of the platooning vehicles.
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