Making Bertha Cooperate: Team AnnieWAY's Entry to the Grand Cooperative Driving Challenge
Team AnnieWAY is formed by researchers working on automated driving at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and FZI Research Center for Information Technology, in Germany. Since its foundation in 2001, the research group has achieved many milestones in automated driving, such as DARPA Urban Challenge, Grand Cooperative Driving Challenge 2011, and in 2013 the automated completion of Bertha Benz Memorial Route.
Vehicles forming platoon by utilizing v2v-communications.
Cooperative intersection crossing: our automated vehicle Bertha (black car) accelerates after it is sure that the grey car will leave the intersection area.
We, team AnnieWAY participated in the Grand Cooperative Driving Challenge 2016 and took the second place in the overall score. Our optimization-based motion planner played a dominant role in getting the excellent final score. Our virtual validation framework enabled us for intensive testing before the challenge and to tune the relevant configurations. More detailed information can be found on our paper.
MEKAR Grand Cooperative Driving Challenge Vehicle's Automatic Brake & Gas System Design
The Grand Cooperative Driving Challenge (GCDC) is an international challenge that aims to accelerate the development of cooperative driving technologies. Cooperative driving aims to form platoons of vehicles on the roadways by having the cars communicate with each other and with the infrastructure. By transmitting the vehicle's acceleration information to the vehicles behind it, the vehicles inside a platoon will be able to brake and accelerate simultaneously. The eliminated human reaction times will allow a closer headway between vehicles and thereby reducing it significantly. Hence, with the use of Cooperative Adaptive Cruise Control (CACC), a more efficient use of existing infrastructure alleviating traffic problems and reduced fuel consumption will be achieved.
The GCDC is held by TNO in the Netherlands on the 14th and 15th of May. Team MEKAR has challenged its rivals with its half-autonomous car and placed 7 th overall and 5thin the individual category. It was a good rank for us as we did not have any autonomous or semi-autonomous vehicles which we could easily equip with the neccessary hardware and software required for the C-ACC. The vehicle we had developed was not fitted with an OEM ACC, so we also had to deal with incorporating Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) into the vehicle, which most of the other teams had as stock on their vehicles. Our vehicle was intrinsically very sluggish due to its heavy weight, exceeding 1700kg with the equipment installed, compared with the IC engine of power of 90 hp (67kW). Besides the low hp/1000kg ratio, the delays during the shifting were also relatively high due to the tiptronic shift, which made our vehicle even slower. More information about our MEKAR GCDC Vehicle can be found on the IEEE Transactions on ITS GCDC Special Issue.
Team Mekar's GCDC vehicle is a Fiat Linea sedan provided by our major automotive OEM sponsor Tofaş-Fiat for use during the race. Istanbul Okan University, İstanbul Technical University and OTAM (Automotive Technologies Research and Development Company) were our main sponsors for the GCDC event. I was responsible for designing a closed loop control system needed for braking and accelerating purposes by forming the necessary longitudinal vehicle model, and the mechanical design needed for sensor, actuator etc. mountings. Mechanical design had a constraint that we had to make the changes on the car without drilling any holes or making any weldments. I was the only undergraduate student in this project, and my senior design project covered controller integration by using a rapid controller prototyper (we were using Microautobox) and performing road tests.