Cidaut’s occupants monitoring solutions

It seems obvious that driving automation needs new capabilities from the vehicle, lots of sensors have to be integrated to understand what is happening around, short and long range communication systems have to be developed to understand what is happening a little bit further, but, what about the occupants and their safety?

In the frame of Integra project, Cidaut is taking care of the occupants and their safety by modifying the design of the vehicle interior in accordance to the new needs. The first step is to know what is happing inside, with a webcam the occupants are recorded and thanks to the artificial intelligence the information is immediately processed to get relevant information. The functionalities developed by now include, the recognition of the occupant, the counting of flickers and yawns along time, the inclination of the head, the direction of the glance and the position and distance of the body. By processing all this information it is possible to know the alertness level of the driver and the position of all the occupants.

The alertness level is relevant for both standard and automated driving. In the case of the standard driving, the system can detect drowsiness, distraction or illness and alert the driver and/or the rest of the users of the road of this circumstance. In the case of the automated driving, mainly at level 3, it will be possible to alternate the responsibility of the driving between the vehicle and the driver. When the vehicle needs to take over the driving responsibility to the human, it has to be sure that the driver is ready to assume the control of the vehicle, thanks to the application developed it is easy to make this transition in a safety way.

The position of the occupants is also critical for their safety. The high automated levels of driving, mainly 3, 4 and 5, will allow the occupants to take positions inside the vehicle different from standardized ones. In these positions the usual restrain systems are unable to protect the occupants in a proper way. Attending to this, it is necessary to develop new restrain systems  suitable for the driving scenarios linked to the automated position and it is also necessary to monitor the occupants position in order to activate the new restrains systems in the most suitable manner attending to the kind of collision, the biometric characteristics of the occupant, and the position.

The work driving to these results is been performed in INTEGRA project, funded by and CDTI through Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación in the frame of the funding for Excellence in Research Centers “Cervera”. CER – 2021 1031.

Cidaut presents research and development projects’ results at SAHE

In the frame of SAHE, Hybrid and Electric Automotive Show, celebrated in Valladolid from the 22nd to the 24th of April, Cidaut has presented its last innovations related to sustainable mobility and intelligent transport.

At Cidaut’s booth, it was possible to see and touch two of the prototypes development in the last research and development projects carried out by the technological center. The first one was a crash test prototype that had been tested according to Regulation 94 homologation, in the frontal part of the vehicle the consequences of the crash were still visible. The rest of the vehicle has been repaired in order to shortly make an additional lateral pole crash test. Inside the vehicle, in the driving position, a crash test dummy was seated in order to make this testing tool familiar to the visitors. Most of the youngest assistants to the show were surprised and happy to see and touch the dummy while very few were surprised or scared.

The second prototype was a functional extra-light and safe urban electric vehicle. The interior of this prototype was monitored with a simple webcam and thanks to the application of artificial vision solutions, the vehicle was able to determine the position of the occupants, the direction of their glance, the number of flickers and yawns, and the alertness level of the driver. This solution will be applied to avoid unattended driving in automated driving scenarios, but also in standard driving conditions. The vehicle was open for the visitors to come in and test the performance of the monitoring systems. Again the youngest visitors were the ones who enjoyed the most the technological advances. Great to know the interest of youngest attendants in innovative solutions.

INTEGRA Project completes its first year with an open web workshop to disseminate the main achievements

The four members of INTEGRA partnership, CTAG, Cidaut, Itene and i2cat, have participated in the web workshop celebrated at the end of the first year of the project. The aim of the event was to explain the technological challenges to introduce the automated driving solutions in the urban environment, to show the technological research lines of the project in the coming years, to show the business opportunities in the automated driving field and to get feed-back from the stakeholders of the urban mobility providers.

The event was opened by Francisco Sánchez, from CTAG, who, as project coordinator, introduced the current scenario and the technological challenges of the automated driving. After the introduction, Rosa Blanco, from CTAG, presented “Red de Excelencia CERVERA” and gave a technical explanation about the importance and the solutions for the automated and connected driving in urban environment. Next, Javier Romo, from Cidaut explained the influence of the automated driving and the new urban scenarios in the safety of the vehicle occupants and of the vulnerable road users, and the need to establish new solutions with from an integral safety point of view. Itene’s intervention, made by Mireia Calvo, was focused on the particularities of the goods delivery based on automated driving solutions, paying special attention to the new opportunities and challenges. The last technical presentation was made by Jesús Alonso, from i2cat, who explained the new simulation tools developed in the project to reproduce the vehicle to everything (V2X) communications and to understand the automated driving influence on the real traffic. After the questions and answers turn, the event was closed by Sergio Güerri from Itene, who was the organizer of the web workshop.

Cidaut participates in Green Deal Initiative through Probono Project

In our commitment to fight climate change, Cidaut is contributing to European Commission’s ambitious policies framed in Green Deal Initiative. The European Climate Pact is an EU-wide initiative inviting people, communities and organisations to participate in climate action and build greener Europe. This initiative is based on connecting and sharing knowledge, learning about climate change, and developing, implementing and scaling up solutions.  

In this frame, Cidaut, together with 46 partners, participates in Probono European project. The vision of Probono is to create a people-focused European construction industry that works with a community of stakeholders to create sustainable positive and zero-carbon emitting green buildings and neighbourhoods. The consortium consists of construction actors, public asset service mangers, municipalities, technology solutions providers and experts to transform six European districts into green buildings and neighbourhoods.

The six districts are located in Madrid, Dublin, Aarhus, Brussels, Porto and Prague, where living labs will be implemented to validate Probono’s innovations. The living labs will provide experimentation and innovation environment and will allow testing different solutions for sustainable buildings, circular economy, material up-grading and electromobility. These solutions will be implemented in the coming five years.

The project will provide strong examples of green buildings and neighbourhoods’ technological and social innovation implementation by focusing on building infrastructure and exploiting digitalisation and smart technologies. Probono will create green buildings and neighbourhoods Strategic Planning Tools and provide evidence-based policy recommendations, standardisation actions, and robust adoption and commercialisation strategies. Project work will engage citizens in co-designing and co-delivering sustainable GBNs.

Acknowledgment

The research leading to these results received funding from the European Union (EU) project PROBONO (GA #101037075)

Is it feasible to produce electric vehicles in a micro-factory?

Cidaut together with the partners of Avangard European project is trying to get the answer to this challenging question. One of the objectives of the project is to design an electric vehicle assembly line, with 90% cost reduction relative to a standard carmaker assembly line, to produce modular four wheels electric vehicles and e-bikes. 

In order to obtain the ambitious target, IFEVS, as vehicle designer, has adopted a modular solution based on high strength steel tubular design, with highly automated 3D laser cutting and bending processes that have been properly though to avoid mistakes during assembly phase. The manufacturing process also implies the use of innovative 3D printing solutions for both metallic and plastic parts, and also the purchasing and assembly process is controlled by block-chain and cybersecurity solutions to warranty the low cost and efficiency of the project.

Cidaut’s contribution to the project is related to the security of the occupants and also of the vulnerable road users. In the case of the occupant and smart front end has been designed to maximize the energy absorbed and also the passenger spaces has been reinforced to avoid any significant deformation and finally an specific restraint system has been developed adopted to the particularities of these vehicles. In the case of the vulnerable road users’ protection, active and passive measures have been adopted. In the case of the passive solutions the front of the vehicle has been analysed to create “soft” surfaces. In the case of the active, artificial intelligent solutions are being applied to identify vulnerable road users and advice the driver or brake automatically.

Avangard project has completed two out of three years and it is expected that the final answer to the initial question will be yes.

Acknowledgment

The research leading to these results received funding from the European Union (EU) project Avangard (GA #869986)

Cidaut integrates active and passive safety solution to improve vulnerable road users’ protection

In the frame of the European Project Multi-Moby, and with the relevant collaboration of IFEVS and Nanomotion and the participation of the whole consortium, Cidaut is developing an integral solution to protect the vulnerable road users in the new urban mobility.

This new mobility is electric, automated, connected and shared and attending to these trends the implementation of small urban electric vehicles is becoming a reality in large cities. These vehicles present two characteristics that increase the potential hazards for the vulnerable road users, the first one is the low noise emission and the second one is the geometry. Due to their reduced size, in the event of an accident with a vulnerable road user, their head will impact on the screen shield of the vehicle, which is a hard component that may cause damage to this kind of users. The preliminary results of the project have demonstrated that it is possible to reduce the damage of the users in legs, knees and pelvis, but it is very difficult to obtain acceptable values in the head working only on passive safety solutions.

One of the first conclusions of the project, attending to vulnerable road users’ protection, is that it is mandatory to integrate active and passive safety solutions. The active safety solutions of Multi-Moby project are based on artificial intelligence. Nanomotion is developing a gimball, able to work in the visible and infra-red field, to recognize vulnerable road users and determine the potential risk of an accident. Depending on the degree of automation of the vehicle the gimball will inform the driver of the potential risk all it will send directly a message to the vehicle for braking. The intensity of the signal to be sent will be equivalent to the relevance of the risk. 

The implementation of this solution will suppose an important reduction in the number of accidents involving vulnerable road users, and in those cases where the accident is unavoidable, it will happen at a lower speed, minimizing the damage.

Multi-Moby has covered one, out of three years, and important improvements are expected in relation to urban electric mobility, not only on safety but also on sustainability thanks to innovative solutions in power train, battery charging and energy harvesting.

Acknowledgment

The research leading to these results received funding from the European Union (EU) project MULTI-MOBY (GA #101006953)