The focus of the project-team is to develop the technologies linked to Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) with the objective to achieve sustainable mobility by the improvement of the safety, the efficiency 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 LaRA, “La Route Automatisée
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 innovations. 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 optimization of road transport systems through a double approach:
the control of individual road vehicles to improve locally their efficiency and safety,
the design 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 performance of the vehicle (speed, 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 modeling and control of large transportation systems is also largely dependent on STIC. The objective, there, is to improve significantly the performance 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.
In order to address those issues simultaneously, RITS is organized into three research axes, each of which being driven by a separate sub-team. The first axis addresses the traditional problem of vehicle guidance and autonomous navigation. The second axis focuses on the large scale deployment and the traffic analysis and modeling. The third axis deals with the problem of telecommunications from two points of view:
Technical: design certified architectures enabling safe vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-vehicle communications obeying to standards and norm;
Fundamental, design and develop appropriate architectures capable of handling thorny problems of routing and geonetworking in highly dynamic vehicular networks and high speed vehicles.
Of course, these three research sub-teams interact to build intelligent cooperative mobility systems.