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Research project aims at affordable safety through shared sensors

September 28, 2011 | Christoph Hammerschmidt | 222901813
Research project aims at affordable safety through shared sensors Automotive OEMs and the University of Passau (Germany) have launched a research project that aims at reducing costs for safety-relevant driver assistant systems by shared use of components. The goal is to make these systems affordable also for compact cars and even small cars.

In order to make safety systems such as lane change assistant or emergency brake assistant system cheaper without compromising safety, the participants of the 'interactiVe' project want to network the functionality of hitherto isolated systems in a way that they can share information generated in a variety of sensors. "So far, each application works independent of the others. All sensors monitor the surroundings for their dedicated application and the sensor data then are processes in dedicated platforms", explained researcher Eva Lang. "We want to combine the data from, for instance, the camera of the lane change assistant, the GPS receiver, and the radar sensor of the adaptive cruise control system, in one common platform which in turn will then supply the resulting information to all applications".

The researchers' work is based on the assumption that the combination of sensor data (sensor data fusion) enables the assistant systems to create a more precise and more reliable image of the situation around the vehicle and thus the control instructions generated by the assistant systems will be more valid.

The availability of a joint sensor platform for all applications will also have an effect with respect to the price of the car, since the amount of components to be used would potentially decrease. "In a 7-series BMW, up to 70 processors are used," said researcher Sebastian Pangerl. If the complexity is shifted from hardware to the software level, several processors could become redundant.

The interactiVe research activities consequently also aim at defining common interfaces to make it possible that the platform will be compatible to sensors from different vendors - another factor than helps to drive down the price for such assistant systems. First versions of the software developed in the scope of the interactiVe project are expected to be installed and tested in demo cars already before the end of the year.

In the interactiVe project are 29 partners involved, including OEMs such as BMW, Daimler, Ford and Volvo as well as tier one Continental AG. The project is led by Ford. The project is funded in part by the EU.

For further information, visit www.interactive-ip.eu










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