Section: Application Domains
The long term effort of the project is to put automatically guided vehicles (cybercars) on the road. It seems too early to mix cybercars and traditional vehicles, but data processing and automation now make it possible to consider in the relatively short term the development of such vehicles and the adapted infrastructures. IMARA aims at using these technologies on experimental platforms (vehicles and infrastructures) to accelerate the technology transfer and to innovate in this field.
Other application can be precision docking systems that will allow buses to be automatically maneuvered into a loading zone or maintenance area, allowing easier access for passengers, or more efficient maintenance operations. Transit operating costs will also be reduced through decreased maintenance costs and less damage to the breaking and steering systems.
Regarding technical topics, several aspects of Cybercars have been developed at IMARA this year. First, we have stabilized a generic Cycab architecture involving INRIA Syndex tool and CAN communications. The critical part of the vehicle is using a real time Syndex application controlling the actuators via two Motorola's MPC555.
This application has a second feature, it can receive commands from an external source (Asynchronously this time) on a second CAN bus. This external source can be a PC or a dedicated CPU, we call it high level. To work on the high level, we have developed a R&D framework (Taxi) which takes control of the vehicle (Cycab and Yamaha) and also processes data such as gyro, GPS, cameras, wireless communications and so on. We compile C++ selected class, and we get a small footprint binary. We have demonstrated with this Taxi framework: automatic line/road following techniques, PDA remote control, multi sensors data fusion, collaborative perception via ad-hoc network.
The second main topic is inter-vehicle communications using ad-hoc networks. We have worked with the HIPERCOM team for setting and tuning OLSR, a dynamic routing protocol for vehicles communications (see Section 3.6 ). Our goal is to develop a vehicle dedicated communication software suite, running on a specialised hardware. It can be linked also with the Taxi Framework for getting data such GPS information's to help the routing algorithm.