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ROADART Report Summary

Project ID: 636565
Funded under: H2020-EU.3.4.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - ROADART (Research On Alternative Diversity Aspects foR Trucks)

Reporting period: 2015-05-01 to 2016-10-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

The project ROADART aims to evaluate diversity techniques and antenna concepts in order to develop an in-vehicle platform for cooperative ITS systems for trucks and heavy duty vehicles. So far the relevant standards for vehicle-to-vehicle communication are developed. However, most of these projects addressed mainly passenger cars. Trucks were not taken into account and most importantly the integration aspects were not investigated yet.
The motive for the development of a reliable, automated system for truck-to-truck (T2T) or truck-to-infrastructure (T2I) communication is safety. A reliable T2I communication platform can be used to warn professional drivers for immediate dangers and to provide crucial information for upcoming road conditions. Furthermore to exchange information that optimise routes or traffic maps leading in a reduction of the number of traffic jams and to a smooth and safe driving environment. Finally efficient and safe automated platooning systems drastically cuts down GHG and other pollutant emissions, while simultaneously it significantly reduces the required transportation costs through fuel savings of approx. 15%.
A first objective is, to perform measurements and statistically characterise specific multi-antenna T2T/T2I radio channels. Secondly, to develop novel models for these channels with support of multiple-antenna systems and to investigate diversity techniques. Antenna array aspects for T2T/T2I communication links especially for special use cases e.g. tunnels are going to be analysed. In addition to evaluate the use of beamforming, new elements to existing vehicular communication standards will be proposed. The use of parasitic antennas will be assessed in order to increase multi-antenna functionalities with minimum interventions on the truck structure. Other objectives are the improvement of the vehicular radio communication (introducing spatial modulation) and the communication system using cooperative techniques. When navigation systems are not applicable (e.g. tunnels) novel localisation and detection techniques will be developed using cooperative and adaptive techniques as well as sensor measurements and information from the infrastructure. Cooperative Adaptive Cruise Control (CACC) will be implemented on a truck, to evaluate the theoretical results and to support the measurements. Herewith, a safety approach for increasing robustness w.r.t. wireless communication impairments on the application layer will be developed and implemented. A novel multi-antenna T2T/T2I communication platform will be developed that will achieve reliable use of the radio channels in order to provide T2T/T2I services in terms of safety, traffic/route control, transportation efficiency and environmental awareness.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

The requirements for the T2T/T2I-communication regarding antenna design, communication architecture, T2X-Stack for CACC and for the localisation are described. In addition typical motorway use cases for testing the communication system are also defined. Furthermore the requirements for multi-antenna wideband radio channel sounding measurements were extracted. Moreover, an advanced multidimensional processing tool for parameter estimation, i.e. the RIMAX statistical characterisation algorithm, is implemented. Additionally, a complete Geometric–Stochastic(GS) channel modeling framework for ROADART scenarios is developed and shown in Figure 1.
A new simulator for the ITS G5 standard is developed by implementing the physical and MAC layers, and all major receive diversity receivers for T2X communications. Various effects, e.g. spatial correlation, interference etc., are identified and their impact on the diversity gain is studied. A new pattern reconfigurable(PR) antenna selection scheme as well as new relay selection schemes are also proposed. A novel open loop beamforming technique realised through pattern selection is designed and demonstrated via an experiment. The benefits of adopting spatial modulation are also studied. Two types of 3-element printed ESPAR antenna are designed and fabricated exhibiting valuable pattern reconfigurability. A schematic example of the 3-element ESPAR pattern is given in Figure 2. An impedance matching network mechanism is proposed to provide satisfying reflection coefficients at all antenna states. The number of the antenna states has increased to 9 patterns in simulation by investigating the design of two 5-element ESPAR antennas. A further expansion of the ESPAR PR is also theoretically studied.
The final system architecture is created for the ITS platform for T2T communication. Moreover the final layouts of the RF modules are manufactured as shown in Figure 3. After testing and characterisation the RF module is in an external assembly phase. Further, the software interfaces of the Data Distribution Service (DDS) were investigated in conjunction with programming languages and software that will exploit it are defined and implemented. In order to follow a more stable and professional approach, the use of the RTI DDS platform was investigated. To combine the digital data streams from the RF modules, the communication unit processes the incoming data and provides higher layer features (ITS G5 stack). The necessary platform for this communication unit is also created.
ROADART also aims to improve robustness of wireless communication at the application side. CACC is chosen as the cooperative driving application of interest, which aims to realise a desired distance to the preceding vehicle by determining a required longitudinal acceleration. A CACC implementation based on a Model Predictive Controller (MPC) is proposed. The MPC aims to find the optimal control output (desired acceleration) using acceleration predictions of mixed traffic participants as input, as shown in Figure 4. To predict the accelerations of mixed traffic, Markov models are trained on a data set (with a courtesy to Early Research Program Human Enhancement). A prediction model for acceleration estimations of other traffic participants is derived and shows potential.
To increase robustness a smart buffer is proposed that uses shared predictions in case of packet loss and also compensates for any frequency deviations. The MPC design with the buffer is implemented in a passenger test-vehicle and the results are analysed. This buffer increased the robustness against T2T losses or delays significantly.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

The impact of the channel impairments on the diversity gain are analytically evaluated on the context of T2X communications. Based on the derived results, a novel pattern reconfigurable antenna selection scheme is proposed which offers reduced complexity with improved performance. Moreover, new relay selection schemes are proposed. In addition, in order to reduce the complexity of the traditional Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) schemes, spatial modulation is introduced. Finally, investigations of various antenna configurations for T2T communications based on two 3-element ESPAR antennas positioned are also performed. These new investigations, transceivers designs, and antenna configurations are found to provide an excellent compromise between performance and complexity, therefore make them ideal candidates for future T2X systems. Their socio-economic impact is multidimensional since, the improvement on the communication reliability achieving the projects objectives is offered, without significant increase on the cost.

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