Vehicular Applications Group

Research Topics


zum Bild RCAS

The research interests of the Vehicular Applications Group lie in the area of novel systems that combine robust navigation, ad-hoc communications and information processing. We are addressing applications such as safety-of-life relevant cooperative assistance systems for vehicles and collision avoidance systems for vehicles and trains, dynamic coupling of trains, ubiquitous and context aware pedestrian navigation, and activity estimation of pedestrians. Our work is conducted at experimental, simulative and theoretical levels. Much of our activity in the areas of navigation is at the signal processing level with the goal of assessing and improving the performance of future navigation systems in challenging environmental scenarios such as heavy shadowing and multipath or under interference from other signal sources. Many of the problems we address can be formulated as estimation or decision problems and require a good understanding of underlying models, such as utilities, process and sensor models. We make a strong effort to validate our approaches in real world experiments and early prototypes.

The following list describes our current main topics and research activities:

  • Development of a collision avoidance system for railways
  • Development of novel co-operative driver assistance systems based on vehicle-to-vehicle communications and sensor fusion
  • Intelligent information exchange
  • Robust communications for saftey of live (SOL) applications
  • Relative positioning for dynamic coupling of trains and cooperative adaptive cruise control (CACC)
  • Metrics to assess robust and reliable communications and navigation methods for SOL applications such as update delay (inter reception time, inter arrival time), latency, etc.
  • Sensor fusion with Bayesian filtering
  • Research, development and prototyping of indoor navigation systems for pedestrians, based on INS, magnetic sensors, GNSS, human motion models and maps including cooperative Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM)
  • Development of Bayesian context inference of human physical activities

Current Projects and Activities:

  • Car2X and Driver Assistance: Work within the Car2Car Communications Consortium and also a DLR-Project towards new communications networks and driver assistance technologies.
  • GLOVE (Galileo Integrated Optimization with VANET Enhancements): In this European FP7 STREP project funded by GSA, we investigate the potential of improving ITS-G5 based safety communication in Vehicular Adhoc NETworks (VANETs), by exploiting position information coming from the tight coupling of VANETs and Galileo.
  • Next Generation Train (NGT): This DLR research project aims at shortening travel times with comfortable and energy-efficient rail vehicles to replace intra-European air traffic. We contribute to the development of a virtual coupling system utilizing reliable direct train-to-train communication links and multi-sensor relative positioning algorithms that shall allow dynamic connection and disconnection of train sets on the fly.
  • Vehicle intelligence and chassis for safe and efficient urban mobility (FIF): Within this project we investigate new sensor fusion techniques using differential GNSS, inertial sensors and radar to obtain accurate and reliable relative localization of vehicles for safety-critical applications. Further on, novel cross-layer techniques are developed to optimize the current Car-to-Car communications standard and new inter-vehicle communications concepts under the name of ITS-G5++ are designed and evaluated.
  • Electromobility Research for Transportation Systems: The goal of this portfolio theme of the Helmholtz Association is to broaden our systemic understanding of electromobility and to help Germany become the leading supplier and market for electromobility. Hence, we develop new communications protocols, relative positioning methods, and situation aware information distribution algorithms enabling cooperative, energy efficient and intelligent travel assistance systems for electromobility.
  • Dependable Navigation: This DLR project focuses on the development of an End-to-End Bayesian Position Estimator for GNSS and additional Sensors. We also explore various fields of opportunity and their use in positioning and SLAM.
  • RCAS (Rail Collision Avoidance System): We are coordinating this DLR-Project with the aim of developing a wireless communications based, autonomous collision avoidance system for railways including reliable positioning of trains.

Selection of Former Funded Projects:

Dr. Stephan Sand
German Aerospace Center

Institute of Communications and Navigation
, Communications Systems
Tel: +49 8153 28-1464

Fax: +49 8153 28-1871

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