Last March 28th-30th, CIDAUT presented the new safety issues to consider in autonomous vehicles level 3 and 4 at the XXIII Spanish Congress and V Ibero-American Congress on Intelligent Transport Systems. In this annual meeting, where the most relevant key players from the Public Administration, Business and Academia meet to discuss the challenges of the current transport, CIDAUT exposed what means adopting new sitting postures in terms of occupant safety and how to address the inherent challenges to it. The topic was presented within the session “Integra Network: Automated and connected mobility” (March 29, from 12:00 pm), which provided an overview of the @INTEGRA project and the steps that have to be made to move towards ultra-safe fully connected and automated driving.
The lecture, entitled “Nuevos aspectos a considerar en material de seguridad en vehículos autónomos” and presented by the CIDAUT’s researches, reviewed the requirements to be met by the restraint systems in self driving cars and the expected improvement in terms of safety thanks to the deployment of these vehicles. Additionally, several solutions based on the application of intelligent transport systems were presented.
During the conference, special attention was paid to the urban scenarios and how they affect the development of self driving vehicles. Due to the fact that multiple actors coexist in these scenarios, there are still certain limitations to the proper operation of autonomous vehicles in complex urban areas; largely due to the extensive spectrum of potentially safety-critical situations. That is why there is a great deal of interest in them.
The @INTEGRA project, which was initiated at the beginning of 2021, focuses on this topic and the development of novel CCAM concepts and technologies which enable automated driving in complex areas. The project, which is funded by CDTI through Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación in the frame of the funding for Excellence in Research Centres “Cervera”, involves four Spanish reference research centres: CTAG, CIDAUT, i2CAT and ITENE. CER – 2021 1031.
The F. CIDAUT participates together with 3 other technology centers (CTAG, ITENE, I2CAT) in the INTEGRA Network. This Network is financed by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation and the CDTI, thought the Cervera Technological Centers program (00140188CER-20211031)
Its creation constitutes a step towards the development of local autonomous transport, which tries to optimize the movements of passengers and goods, guaranteeing the safety of users and minimizing the environmental cost.
The INTEGRA network has just launched the “I Young Researcher Competition”, with the objective to find innovative technical solutions that contribute to achieving ultra-safe autonomous and connected driving in complex urban environments.
The competition is mainly aimed at University students around the world and University graduates who have finished their studies in the last 2 years.
The prize will be unique and will consist of the publication of a scientific article with the collaboration of the INTEGRA Network. The finalists, for their part, will receive a diploma accrediting their condition.
Those interested in participating in the Competition must fill out a participation application that will include the proposal or idea in accordance with the requirements established in the Competition rules document. For more information you could visit our LinkedIn: REDINTEGRA or visit our page web: www.cidaut.es
Step by step automated driving is becoming present in our daily driving. Some years ago, some vehicles were able to maintain the selected speed or to inform us about our position in the lane, later they increased their intelligence braking when they found an obstacle in front or steering to stay in the center of the lane. Self-parking is nowadays a reality for some models, as it is the traffic-jam chauffeur. This upscaling of the vehicles’ skills is addressing us to growing levels of automation. Nowadays level 2 vehicles are a reality in the road and level 3 are starting to be sold, and together with the conditional and high automation level, the driver of the vehicle will be allowed to make different activities while the system controls the vehicle.
These activities will be linked to new positions in the vehicle, mainly it is foreseen that the seats will move backwards, the seatbacks will be more reclined and the steering wheel will be warded off in the cockpit. Attending to this new scenario, the conventional restrain systems will totally lose their performance. The seat belt, fixed to the B-pillar will be very far from the occupant shoulder, so it will be impossible to stop the chest in the event of a crash. Similarly, the steering wheel airbag will be away from the driver, so the pressure inside the bag will not be the suitable one when the body impacts the air-bag and the head will impact both the steering wheel and the cockpit.
To tackle these new scenarios, CIDAUT, together with three reference research and development centers, CTAG, ITENE and i2CAT, is developing new passive safety solutions in the frame of Integra project. The new solutions are related to the integration of the seat belt in the seat, in order to maintain the relative position between the occupant’s body and the restraint device, and also innovative solutions of smart airbags are involved with adaptive working parameters attending to the kind of impact and the position of the passengers inside the vehicle.
In parallel, and in order to inform the adaptive airbag solutions, CIDAUT is developing an innovative artificial vision devise based on a single camera to understand the occupants’ position and the main biomechanics characteristics. Additionally, the system integrates artificial intelligence algorithms that monitors the driver and are able to decide if it is in good condition to take over the control of the vehicle.
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.
Aligned with its mission and vision of putting safety in the forefront of mobility solutions, Cidaut is participating together with CTAG, ITENE and i2cat, in a strategic collaborative project among reference Spanish research centers to create innovative solutions related to safety. This strategic network is called INTEGRA.
The projects aims at developing digital instruments applicable to assisted and automated driving solutions to increase the safety through anti-crash sensors and intelligent communication networks. The cooperation between the four research centers involved is targeting the reinforcement of their capabilities to develop innovative technologies to foster the implementation of connected and automated mobility solutions in complex environments, with a first focus on urban scenarios.
The network has fixed four technologic challenges, each of one leaded by one of the research centers integrating the project. Cidaut is in charge of the development of new safety systems integrated to the automated driving capabilities to adaptively mitigating the damage on the occupants. CTAG is responsible of creating new automated functions, enhancing the connectivity and developing anti-collision systems. I2cat is in charge of the development of advanced tools for the complex connected environments and ITENE leads the creation of safety solutions for automated last mile applications.
INTEGRA network is funded by the Spanish Government through the Ministerio e Ciencia e Investigación and CDTI, EXP 00140188/CER-2021 1031.
In the field of the CERO Project, Cidaut has performed real time on board tests for vulnerable road users’ protection and short range communication. In the case of vulnerable users’ protection the tests have consisted in detecting both pedestrians and cyclist in different traffic scenarios, like overtaking, crossing or appearing behind big vehicles front blind points. The solution obtained is based in low cost components and simplified software. In fact, the system consists of a monocular webcam with a single processor to evaluate the images registered by the camera. The big effort has been made in the optimisation of the system program and in the use of artificial intelligence to teach the system.
All the scenarios tested were successfully completed, the different vulnerable road users were detected in advance and attending to their relative position with the vehicle trajectory the driver was advised accordingly. An important output of these trials has been the time needed for the system to register the image, process it and decide if it is a vulnerable road user or not. This time is 0,11 seconds clearly lower than the average reaction time of a human, 1 second, or the reaction time of a driver in alert situation, 0,5 seconds, and with the additional advantage of no distractions or drowsiness.
In parallel, the dedicated short range communication system developed in the project has been tested in different scenarios, the most relevant ones have been: semaphore communication, work zone + traffic jam and personalised messages for different users. In the first case communication between vehicle and traffic light, when the vehicle is approaching the traffic light, it communicates to the traffic light its speed and position, according to the time to red or to green, the traffic light makes a recommendation to the vehicle about how to proceed, immediately, the message appears in the HMI developed for the project. In the second case, the vehicle is alerted 500m in advance about the cut of one of the lanes of the road due to road works, and in the case of traffic jam due to the work zone, the vehicle is informed by the rest of the vehicles about this situation, as in the previous case, the corresponding graphic messages appear in the HMI of the vehicle. The personalised messages is aimed to substitute the large and costly (about 40 thousand euro) variable message signals in the roads. In this case the infrastructure has several pieces of information available for the users, but the users will only receive the information useful for them. For the test two vehicles were running on the track, the first one was an electric vehicle, and the second one a dangerous goods vehicle. The first vehicle received information about how to reach the closest charging station, while the second one was informed about a mandatory deviation for dangerous goods transport. The short range communication demonstrated to have more than 800 meters range and at the same time to be the best ally of the large range communication to warranty a seamless connectivity for the future autonomous vehicle.