Autonomous vehicle company Cohda Wireless is applying its technology to develop an advanced truck platooning solution.
The company said it believes the adaptation of its unique technology for the trucking industry will help shape the introduction of global truck platooning standards such as those being developed by the ENSEMBLE project in Europe.
Cohda Wireless said it expects that by 2021, over a million vehicles will feature Cohda technology whilst it continues to secure infrastructure deployments across the US, Europe and Australia.
Cohda recently conducted rigorous testing of its technology at Australia’s newest motor-racing circuit, The Bend Motorsport Park, just outside Adelaide. The tests confirmed Cohda’s platooning solution can deliver impressive gap management of 16ft (5m) +0.4 seconds at 59 mph (95 km/hr), and also overcome many of the connectivity challenges of platooning recognised today.
Dr Paul Alexander, Chief Technical Officer at Cohda Wireless, said that his company is fast-tracking the development of the platooning solution, which is in several ways, unique.
“We are developing a robust solution that can accommodate departures and intruders,” explained Dr Alexander. “In practical terms this means that trucks can leave and re-join the platoon at will without affecting the integrity of the platoon.”
In a typical platoon consisting of three vehicles, the truck in front lays a virtual track for the others to follow by relaying its position up to 30 times per second to the trucks that are following, which are then at liberty to join and re-join the platoon as they wish without destroying the integrity of the platoon connection. Robustness to intruders or trucks leaving from the middle of the platoon is a unique and valuable feature.
“Another important distinction with our system is that it is ‘fail operational’ because accurate vehicle positioning, particularly spacing, is governed by Cohda’s unique V2X-Locate technology as opposed
to a reliance on on-board sensors,” added Dr. Alexander, who received positive feedback from truck OEM company leaders during a recent tour of Europe.
Cohda Wireless’s breakthrough V2X-Locate positioning system was developed to enable accurate vehicle positioning in areas where GNSS positioning performance degrades such as urban canyons,
tunnels, parking garages and other scenarios with compromised sky views. This technology has been applied to make the platooning system impervious to weather conditions such as heavy rain or
fog that might affect other sensor performance.
Cohda’s Platooning solution will also allow for coordinated braking where trucks are simultaneously aware of the need to brake as opposed to braking taking place in a ‘daisy-chain’ fashion when sensors are in play.
“We believe we can produce a compelling and cost-effective proposition that will advance the introduction of truck platooning on our roads and achieve its objectives of improved fuel economy, reduced driver fatigue and traffic congestion,” stated Dr Alexander.
Cohda’s research and development in this space has been supported by the South Australian Government’s Future Mobility Lab Fund, which aims to encourage and stimulate developments in connected and autonomous vehicles, and position South Australia at the forefront of these emerging technologies.