The research presented herein belongs to the Intelligent Transport Systems and Services (ITS) field. ITS are application of information and communication technologies to the transportation system. The purposed work is to design behaviours and decisions for Autonomous Vehicles (vehicles that drive by itself, also known as the "driverless cars"). After a correct interpretation of a traffic situation, the most appropriate behaviour will be triggered, a path to follow will be designed, and the proper orders will be sent to the car actuators (steering wheel, throttle and brake).
The host centre, Institut fur Mess- und Regelungstechnik of the Karlsruher Institute of Technologie (KIT) conducts research on Cognitive Automobiles. Specifically it operates 2 experimental vehicles. One of them participated in the Darpa Urban Challenge competition of autonomous vehicles and successfully reached its finals. And the team at KIT has won the 2011 Grand Cooperative Driving Challenge, an international competition of cooperative vehicles which took place in the Netherlands.
Cognitive Automobiles research project is divided in three sub-projects: sub-project A: Distributed Sensorial Perception, sub-project B: behaviour Decision, Generation, and Conduction, and sub-project C: Automobiles and IT Basis System. This proposal will collaborate in sub-project B area. It will focus in two main tasks: First, the trajectories of cooperative vehicles at intersections are pre-planned to optimize the expected flow of vehicles at a high safety level. Second, trajectories and maneuvers of cooperative vehicles are continuously monitored with respect to safety and are dynamically adjusted with respect to the actual safety level. To perform these cooperative maneuvers several vehicles will have to plan and negotiate trajectories very quickly.