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High precision positioning for cooperative ITS applications

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - HIGHTS (High precision positioning for cooperative ITS applications)

Reporting period: 2016-11-01 to 2018-04-30

"The emerging fields of Highly Autonomous Driving (HAD) and Vulnerable Road Users (VRU) require vehicles to localize themselves with accurately regardless of roadside scenarios, weather conditions, traffic flow, etc. In addition, knowledge of accurate geographical location is a critical enabler to many services, ranging from safety to infotainment/marketing. Unfortunately, satellite-based positioning systems are unable to provide sufficiently accurate position information for such applications especially in certain challenging yet common environments such as urban canyons and tunnels. HIGHTS addressed this problem by combining traditional satellite systems with an innovative use of on-board sensing and cooperative wireless communication technologies (e.g. Wi-Fi, ITS-G5, UWB tracking, Zigbee, Bluetooth and LTE) to produce advanced, highly-accurate positioning solutions for Cooperative-Intelligent Transport System (C-ITS). The results are to be integrated into the service layer of ETSI C-ITS architecture and the future European-wide C-ITS Platform, and will thus become available for all C-ITS applications. The project went beyond ego- and infrastructure-based positioning by incorporating them along with cooperative communication and ranging as building blocks to an European-Wide positioning Service Platform (EWSP) based on enhanced Local Dynamic Maps and built on open European standards.

Within section 1.1 of the DoA, HIGHTS has defined 4 main objectives summarized below along with the description of their grade of achievement:

1 - To enable wide growth of new emerging Business and Use-Cases through the creation of enhanced localization algorithms.

* HIGHTS produced a set of Business and Use-Case Analysis for high-precision location-based services which were publicized in two deliverables (D2.1 and D2.3 respectively).
* In addition, HIGHTS developed 4 cooperative positioning algorithms and data fusion schemes, which were integrated into the EWPSP.
* The EWPSP demonstrated the usage of the aforementioned algorithms into selected business and use-cases. A video illustrating the EWPSP can be view at

2 - To increase road safety and traffic efficiency.

* A series of specific Use-Cases for the protection of Vulnerable Road Users (VRUs) as well as for platooning were defined, along with the architecture and selected the technologies that, through the EWSPS, can be used to enhance road safety. The main concept of the EWPSP is “resilience”, since the platform is able to provide under any scenario the best possible set of algorithms and technologies for highly accurate localization.
* The EWSPS approach superseded the original target of the Call, by extending beyond the improvement of localization accuracy towards a more comprehensive best-possible ""solution on-demand"" for high accuracy location technology on the road.

3 - Integration into the Local Dynamic Map (LDM) of Facility layer functions in the ITS-S by providing recommendations to the related Cooperative-ITS standardization bodies.

* The extensions of the LDM and message formats required by cooperative localization algorithms developed within the project are currently under discussion into European (ETSI) and world-wide (IEEE) standardization bodies.

4 - To realize an European-wide positioning service platform based on enhanced Local Dynamic Maps

* The EWPSP was originally drafted from the architectural point of view, completed in a descriptive fashion, and finally implementation and integrated for the PoC held in Helmond test track."
The first half of the HIGHTS project focused on the fulfillment of the initial objective, such as the 25 cm localization accuracy (validated by extensive simulation analysis), while the second part took into account the evolution of the C-ITS scenarios in the last years. Specifically, since the commencement of the project, new technologies such as pre-5G, RTK-augmented GNSS localization and low-cost integrated bi-band GPS have developed. Therefore, spanning from November 2016 to April 2018, these new elements were taken into account both from a technical and standardization/regulation perspectives.

Concretely, HIGHTS went beyond the dissemination actions described into Work Package 7 (WP7), which dealt with Standardization & Regulation activities, to provide two main contributions able to highly impact the future of C-ITS:

a) the Geolocation Referencing Sub-System (GRSS), i.e. the hybrid architecture incorporating inputs from different sensors and hardware (and demonstrated with the track test in Helmond), and
b) the proposal for an European-Wide Positioning Service Platform (EWPSP) to ensure in the 100% of time the best accuracy possible.

After having achieved the 25 cm accuracy in a variety of representative cases, HIGHTS highlighted the importance to incorporate awareness into future C-ITS architectures so as to provide best accuracies given on-board technologies and operating conditions.

This is exactly the main goal of the proposed EWPSP, verified in the track tests in Helmond and described in details in different deliverables, specifically D2.4 (Location Sub-System, Final Version), from standardization/regulation perspective and D3.4 (Definition of Communication and Facilities Protocols, Final Version) from technical point of view, plus D6.3 (Final Platform Description).

Finally HIGHTS and its hybrid fusion architecture (EWPSP) made great impact into standardization and regulation bodies. The main results on this front are described in D7.2 (Standardization and Regulation).

All the deliverables cited above are available for download at the project's website, specifically in the documents section at:
As stated in the previous subsections, HIGHTS has started from a comprehensive review of SotA technologies for communication, ranging and localization and has selected, within the C-ITS umbrella, the most relevant onces to be used for cooperative localization. Once established this starting point, HIGHTS has produced an architecture to integrate such relevant technologies into a hybrid platform. The main progress beyond the SotA is first innovative ego- and cooperative localization strategies, as well as the possibility to integrate them all together and producing, regardless the surrounding environment, the best possible localization estimate. The three proposed hybrid cooperative localization algorithms already provided below 25cm precisions in theoretical evaluations.
The potential impact is quite huge both in term of road safety, both for Highly Autonomous Driving (HAD) vehicles and for the Vulnerable Road Users (VRUs) and in term of eco sustainability (smart traffic means reduction of casualties and reduction of pollution: all in all reduction of the traffic-related costs).

During the second reporting period, the resilient hybrid solution has been implemented, integrated and validated with test drive on the Helmond track and such architecture has been released as Geolocation Referencing Sub-System (GRSS).
Furthermore an European-Wide Positioning Service Platform (EWPSP) to ensure in the 100% of time the best accuracy possible has been implemented and proposed, plus HIGHTS concepts have been intensively transferred to standardisation and regulatory bodies.