Monday, 29 October 2018 04:32

Autonomous vehicle firm demos crash-prevention tech in Adelaide

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Autonomous vehicle firm demos crash-prevention tech in Adelaide Supplied

Connected autonomous vehicle software company Cohda Wireless says it has demonstrated how the use of its technology can prevent accidents on city streets where the presence of tall buildings on either side make them into so-called "urban canyons".

In a statement, the company said it had run a trial with two vehicles east of Adelaide's Victoria Square, one with a human driver and the other a connected autonomous vehicle with a human inside but not steering it. The vehicles were connected by the company's technology.

The two cars approached a four-way intersection which showed a green light to the connected autonomous vehicle but a red light to the one driven by a human. The human did not stop for the red light but sped through; the connected autonomous vehicle detected the other vehicle approaching the intersection and stopped, even though the light was green.

Cohda Wireless chief technical officer Professor Paul Alexander explained that the vehicles were connected using Cohda’s V2X (Vehicle-To-Everything) technology, and hence a potential collision situation had been detected and avoided.

The trial was part of the company's Smart Cars Smart City initiative and has been funded by the South Australian Department of Transport and Infrastructure’s Future Mobility Lab Fund.

“We demonstrated that when vehicles are connected to each other using our smart V2X technology, Car 1, the connected autonomous vehicle, would detect that Car 2 is approaching the red light at speed and is probably not going to stop. This allows the connected autonomous vehicle to pre-emptively identify and respond to the threat by slowing down and stopping," said Alexander.

“Cohda’s V2X technology allows vehicles to ‘speak to each other’ to extend their perception horizon. The technology provides the vehicle with an awareness of its environment and risk factors associated with it, consistently and accurately up to ten times per second, enabling it to make decisions that a human being would not be capable of making as the driver of the vehicle.”

In June, Cohda Wireless took ownership of two specially-modified vehicles from the US which it is using in advanced trials of its V2X technology. The two sedans were fitted with the ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems), ROS (Robot Operating System), various sensors including Lidar, Radar, cameras, GPS as well as in-vehicle compute platform and Cohda’s GNSS-independent positioning technology.

The fusion and co-operation of the various sensors and Cohda’s V2X technology augment the perception capability of the vehicles and make the autonomous vehicles able to have threat detection, the dangers associated with blind intersections and vulnerable road users.

Last year, the company demonstrated its V2X-Locate system in New York City, showing off sub-metre accuracy along Sixth Avenue, which has the tallest buildings in the city. Comparably tested GPS-based systems were often tens of metres off course, at times showing cars driving through buildings.

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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