TST performs outdoor location tests with UWB technology for autonomous vehicles

Three TST engineers have been conducting field tests to validate Ultra Wide Band (UWB) technology for outdoor location. These are the first demonstrations carried out for the European project SECREDAS, of R&D in cybersecurity for autonomous vehicles. In this article, we are going to deepen in all the work done.

In recent years there has been a growing interest in location services, specially oriented to the market for ubiquitous mobile devices (smartphones, tablets, watches, etc.). There are currently various technologies and solutions for determining the position of different types of elements in their operating space, such as vehicles or people, each with its specific degree of precision and accuracy. An ideal location service should be able to track an item wherever it moves, both indoors and outdoors.

In the case of outdoor location services, a satisfactory degree of technological maturity and efficiency has been achieved, especially with GPS technology, but it is not enough. A location service is not yet available to provide adequate accuracy in high-demand applications. In order to respond to this lack, at TST we are validating the feasibility of Ultra Wide Band (UWB) technology, initially conceived for indoor location solutions, to offer outdoor solutions.

Within the SECREDAS project, the use of UWB is part of a mechanism for autonomous vehicles to be able to receive information, sufficiently in advance and accurately, about the presence of obstacles on the road, and to enable their computer units to take the appropriate decision by modifying the vehicle’s trajectory, in order to avoid these obstacles.

The field test

The devices that we have prepared to carry out the demonstrations are based on the modules supplied by the Decawave company, which allow us to gain an in-depth understanding of UWB technology.

The field test was carried out over the course of one morning. What we did was delimit an area with beacons, calibrate its positions with telemeter and track, via a mobile application, an element that was moving around the beaconed area. The objective was to verify that, at all times, the position offered by the application corresponded to the location of the mobile element. In addition, a precision analysis was carried out comparing the measurements recorded with the telemeter with those offered by the UWB technology.

The place chosen, a parking lot, is not casual. Our research has shown that UWB technology has a close relationship between precision and signal bounce against environmental obstacles. Therefore, after discarding other locations that a priori were more suggestive, the TST team chose a parking lot next to the beach of La Virgen del Mar, an environment away from the city centre.


SECREDAS

These field tests are the first to be carried out for the European project SECREDAS, an initiative that aims to take a major step forward in cybersecurity and secure technology in autonomous, connected and automated vehicles.

The project is in its third and final year of implementation. The consortium partners are carrying out the integration tasks between the different elements that will compose the proposed use cases to validate the technological findings of SECREDAS.

In the case of TST, the outdoor location system based on UWB technology will communicate with the modules provided by INDRA and the information will be transferred to the vehicle processing unit provided by CSIC-CAR, in whose circuit of Arganda del Rey will be carried out the appropriate tests of concept.

For more information: http://www.tst-sistemas.es/en/rd/secredas/