Section: Overall Objectives
The focus of the project-team is to develop the technologies linked to Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) with the objective to improve the safety, the efficiency and the ease of use of road transport according to the recent “Intelligent Vehicle Initiative” launched by the DG Information Society of the European Commission (for “Smarter, Cleaner, and Safer Transport”).
More specifically, we want to develop, demonstrate and test some innovative technologies under the framework of “La Route Automatisée” which covers all the advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and the traffic management systems going all the way to fully automated vehicles.
These developments are all based on the sciences and technologies of information and communications (STIC) and have the objective to bring significant improvements in the road transport sector through incremental or breakthrough innovation. The project-team covers fundamental R&D work on key technologies, applied research to develop techniques that solve specific problems, and demonstrator activities to evaluate and disseminate the results.
The scientific approach is focused on the analysis and optimisation of road transport system through a double approach:
the control of individual road vehicles to improve locally their efficiency and safety,
the modelling and control of large transportation systems.
The first theme on vehicle control is broadly based on signal processing and data fusion in order to have a better machine understanding of the situation a vehicle may encounter, and on robotics techniques to control the vehicle in order to help (or replace) the driver to avoid accidents while improving the performances of the vehicle (speed, throughput, comfort, mileage, emissions, noise...). The theme also includes software techniques needed to develop applications in a real-time distributed and complex environment with extremely high safety standards. In addition, data must be exchanged between the vehicles; communication protocols have thus to be adapted to and optimized for vehicular networks characteristics (e.g. mobility, road safety requirements, heterogeneity, density), and communication needs (e.g. network latency, quality of service, network security, network access control).
The second theme on modelling and control of large transportation systems is also largely dependent on STIC. The objective there is to improve significantly the performances of the transportation system in terms of throughput but also in terms of safety, emissions, energy while minimizing nuisances. The approach is to act on demand management (e.g. through information, access control or road charging) as well as on the vehicles coordination. Communications technologies are essential to implement these controls and are an essential part of the R&D, in particular in the development of technologies for highly dynamic networks.
These two themes are largely dependent on the expertise of numerous project teams within INRIA and the past developments of IMARA's activities (or previous activities carried under the Praxitèle R&D team) have been largely done in cooperation with these teams. Conversely, these teams have often been fed by technical challenges brought by IMARA. We can mention for example mathematical models developed to forecast traffic, image processing techniques to localise precisely a mobile in its environment, new network protocols to insure connectivity between highly mobile units...