Fraunhofer Institute for Transportation and Infrastructure Systems

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Fraunhofer Institute for Transportation and Infrastructure Systems

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News Article | May 3, 2017
Site: cleantechnica.com

The US-based electric bus pioneer Proterra has now begun what it has described as the industry’s “first” self-driving bus program. Its partners include the University of Nevada–Reno and the company’s Living Lab Coalition partners — amongst which are the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles, the Fraunhofer Institute for Transportation and Infrastructure Systems IVI, the Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County (RTC), the Nevada Governor’s Office for Economic Development, and the cities of Carson City, Sparks, and Reno. Notably, the program will reportedly “deal with real road conditions from the perspective of public transit systems, and emphasize the most challenging aspects related to mass transportation, which include dense and dynamic environments, degraded conditions, and a need for swift emergency response.” The press release provides more: “The pilot will also explore a new set of robotic perception algorithms that are required to address these conditions, and focus on tight cues from multi-modal sensors and new multi-modal localization and mapping. Rather than solely detect traffic, the Living Lab will focus on predicting traffic flows and plans to enhance safety. The University’s current work focuses on the problems of vehicle perception, navigation control, path planning and vehicle-to-vehicle as well as vehicle-to-infrastructure research.” That sounds promising. If fully autonomous buses are to truly be used on the mass scale in urban regions, the technology will certainly have to improve considerably from where it is now. “Autonomy is key for safety, efficiency and reliable transportation systems at scale. Our shared vision is to have robust, long-term autonomy to enable safer modes of transit,” stated Carlos Cardillo, PhD Director of the Nevada Center for Applied Research at the University of Nevada, Reno. “In the pilot, we plan to research and develop a robust set of algorithms for localization and mapping, object detection in the domains of multi-modal fusion and recognition of intent to ultimately advance robotic perception and move systems closer to our simultaneous goal of enhancing safety. The project involves University researchers in advanced-autonomous systems, computer sciences, synchronized mobility, robotics and civil engineering.” The program will be split into 3 primary phases, with the first phase focusing on “data collection, vehicle instrumentation and intelligent transportation system assessment;” the second phase on “data mining, communications and algorithms development;” and the third phase on licensing of newly developed tech and commercialization. Keep up to date with all the hottest cleantech news by subscribing to our (free) cleantech daily newsletter or weekly newsletter, or keep an eye on sector-specific news by getting our (also free) solar energy newsletter, electric vehicle newsletter, or wind energy newsletter. James Ayre 's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy. You can follow his work on Google+.


News Article | May 3, 2017
Site: www.greencarcongress.com

« US Hybrid unveils new Class 8 fuel cell port drayage truck for San Pedro Ports | Main | Volkswagen Group and CNG operators join to support growth of CNG mobility; 10x increase in German CNG fleet by 2025 » Electric bus manufacturer Proterra is initiating the industry’s first autonomous bus program with the University of Nevada, Reno and its Living Lab Coalition partners including the Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County (RTC), the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles, the Nevada Governor’s Office for Economic Development, Fraunhofer Institute for Transportation and Infrastructure Systems IVI, and the cities of Reno, Sparks and Carson City, Nev. Unlike other programs to date, this autonomous vehicle pilot will deal with real road conditions from the perspective of public transit systems, and emphasize the most challenging aspects related to mass transportation, which include dense and dynamic environments, degraded conditions, and a need for swift emergency response. The pilot will also explore a new set of robotic perception algorithms that are required to address these conditions, and focus on tight cues from multi-modal sensors and new multi-modal localization and mapping. Rather than solely detect traffic, the Living Lab will focus on predicting traffic flows and plans to enhance safety. The University’s current work focuses on the problems of vehicle perception, navigation control, path planning and vehicle-to-vehicle as well as vehicle-to-infrastructure research. Autonomy is key for safety, efficiency and reliable transportation systems at scale. Our shared vision is to have robust, long-term autonomy to enable safer modes of transit. In the pilot, we plan to research and develop a robust set of algorithms for localization and mapping, object detection in the domains of multi-modal fusion and recognition of intent to ultimately advance robotic perception and move systems closer to our simultaneous goal of enhancing safety. The project involves University researchers in advanced-autonomous systems, computer sciences, synchronized mobility, robotics and civil engineering. —Dr. Carlos Cardillo, Director of the Nevada Center for Applied Research at the University of Nevada, Reno The Living Lab program will include three main phases of research and development. In the first phase, RTC’s Proterra electric bus will operate on specific city routes to sense and gather data, which will inform technology and systems development. The pilot is supported by the Knowledge Fund, an innovative funding mechanism developed by the State of Nevada to spur research, knowledge-intensive and innovation-driven economic development, and Research & Innovation at the University of Nevada, Reno.


Engelbrecht J.M.,Fraunhofer Institute for Transportation and Infrastructure Systems | Weber R.,Sudan University of Science and Technology | Michler O.,Sudan University of Science and Technology
Proceedings of the 2016 13th Workshop on Positioning, Navigation and Communication, WPNC 2016 | Year: 2016

In today's Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) accurate positioning information plays an increasing role. The automated registration and counting of passengers in public transportation and ticketing systems are based on the localization of passengers. Techniques leant on wireless sensor networks (WSNs) are an increasingly popular approach for estimating positions in a wide area of applications. Indoor environments like vehicular scenarios have strong multipath characteristics. Therefore, the WSN localization is limited by shadowing, reflexions, interferences and especially multipath propagation. The present paper deals with the application of special beam forming antennas and uniform circular arrays (UCAs) at a mobile sensor node for localization in vehicular scenarios to reduce the multipath propagation influences. © 2016 IEEE.


Kuhlmorgen S.,TU Dresden | Festag A.,Fraunhofer Institute for Transportation and Infrastructure Systems | Fettweis G.,TU Dresden
IEEE Wireless Communications and Networking Conference, WCNC | Year: 2017

Decentralized congestion control (DCC) in ITS-G5 based vehicular ad hoc networks ensures that the requirements of safety and traffic efficiency applications are met even under high vehicle density and channel load conditions. In European standardization, a «gatekeeper» on top of the ITS-G5 MAC sub-layer is being considered that controls a node's packet rate as a function of the channel load. This paper studies the performance of the gatekeeper with packet prioritization and an adaptive linear control algorithm. The simulation results indicate that the gatekeeper with priority queuing (PQ) can effectively handle different packet priorities for multi-hop packets. Our gatekeeper-specific enhancements of the forwarding algorithm yield performance improvements in terms of reliability and latency compared to the plain DCC approach. Finally, we discuss the issue of packet starvation caused by the gatekeeper's PQ scheme that affects the performance of lower-priority packets. © 2017 IEEE.


Kuhlmorgen S.,TU Dresden | Gonzalez A.,TU Dresden | Festag A.,Fraunhofer Institute for Transportation and Infrastructure Systems | Fettweis G.,TU Dresden
IEEE Intelligent Vehicles Symposium, Proceedings | Year: 2017

Vehicular communications have a great potential to improve intersection safety and traffic efficiency. Achieving a high application performance is challenging due to the specific propagation conditions caused by buildings and obstacles found at urban intersections. Relying on the state-of-The-Art solution for vehicular communication based on IEEE 802.11, we extend contention-based forwarding to distribute data packets via multiple paths and apply joint decoding on erroneous received data packets. We study the gain of cooperative relaying with joint decoding on the performance of collision avoidance applications in an intersection scenario. We could show that with our algorithm the awareness distance and reliability is increased up to 25m and 55 %, respectively, under poor channel conditions. © 2017 IEEE.


Simroth A.,Fraunhofer Institute for Transportation and Infrastructure Systems | Zahle H.,TU Dortmund | Zahle H.,Saarland University
IEEE Transactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems | Year: 2011

Travel time information plays an important role in transportation and logistics. Much research has been done in the field of travel time prediction in local areas, aiming at accurate short-term predictions based on the current traffic situation and historical data of the area. In contrast, literature on prediction methods for long-range trips in large areas is rare, although it is highly relevant for logistics companies to manage their fleet of vehicles. In this paper, we present a new algorithm for predicting the remaining travel times of long-range trips. It makes use of nonparametric distribution-free regression models, which are applicable only in the presence of a sufficiently large database. Since, in contrast to local areas, such a base is visionary for large areas, we bring into play a dynamic data preparation to artificially enlarge the database. The algorithm also takes into account that routes of long-range trips are not completely given in advance but are rather unknown and subject to change. We illustrate our algorithm by means of simulations and a real-life case study at a German logistics company. The latter shows that, by our algorithm, the average relative error can be halved compared with conventional methods. © 2010 IEEE.


News Article | December 1, 2015
Site: phys.org

Floating homes are becoming increasingly popular in Germany – not only as holiday homes, but also as permanent residences. The Lusatian Lake District (Lausitzer Seenland) is particularly suitable for such a lifestyle: with its 23 lakes and a surface area of over 32 000 acres, it is the largest artificial lake district in Europe. Over decades, the region, which is located between the German states Saxony and Brandenburg, had been characterized by open-cast lignite coal mining. In the coming years, this way of life of living on water will help enhance the region's attractiveness and boost its economy. This is also the objective of the Lusatian autartec project, which the two Fraunhofer Institutes based in Dresden, the Fraunhofer Institute for Transportation and Infrastructure Systems (IVI) and the Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems (IKTS), are involved in, as well as other partners from the region such as medium-size companies, manufacturers, the Technical University of Dresden (TUD) and the Technical University of Brandenburg (BTU). They will all work hand in hand to build a floating home on Lake Geierswalde, to the northwest of the city of Hoyerswerda, by 2017. This floating home will not only look elegant, it will also be able to provide for its own water, electricity and heat. "These kinds of energy self-sufficient floating homes do not exist yet," says autartec project coordinator Professor Matthias Klingner of IVI. Many lakes in the Lusatian Lake District are cut off from infrastructure such as water and energy supply. "We want to find a solution for this kind of environment," says Klingner. Standing on a 13 by 13 meter steel pontoon, the house extends over two levels and offers 75 square meters of living space on the ground floor, and another 34 square meters on the first floor. A 15 square meter terrace overlooks the entire lake. The house combines modern architecture and structural engineering with state-of-the-art equipment and building facilities. For example, solar cells are integrated in the building envelope and lithium polymer batteries store the collected energy. In order to save space, the battey systems developed at IVI are integrated into the textile concrete walls or into the stair elements. Researchers at IVI are also working on the efficient provision of heating and cooling systems. A salt hydrate fireplace provides heat on cold winter days: above the fireplace there is a tub filled with water and salt hydrates. "When the fireplace is on, the salt hydrates liquefy and begin to absorb heat," Dr. Burkhard Fassauer of IKTS explains. When the salt hydrates are completely liquefied, the thermal energy can be stored almost indefinitely. In order to release the heat when required, radio-based technology is used to induce crystallization. The principle is known from pocket warmers: to induce crystallization, a metal disc inside is clicked so that the pocket warmer solidifies and gives off heat. When heated in water, the crystals liquefy and the heat is stored until the next click. However, a fireplace is not enough to heat the house during the winter. This is where a zeolith thermal storage unit in the pontoon can help: the zeolith minerals are dried during the summer – a purely physical process in which heat is stored. "In winter, the moist air is enough for the storage unit to give off heat," Fassauer explains. An adiabatic cooling system provides for cool air in the summer. Unlike conventional air conditioning systems, it does not require electricity but uses the principle of evaporative humidification to cool. A surface on the side of the house is landscaped and moistened and the process of evaporation then cools the building envelope. The experts at IKTS are responsible for the water supply in the houseboat. "We are currently developing and experimenting with a closed loop system for drinking and service water," Fassauer explains. To accomplish this, the scientists rely on a combination of ceramic membranes and various electrochemical and photocatalytic processes. Ashore, wastewater is usually treated using biological processes. This is not possible in a floating house. "We must rely on physical and chemical methods. Thus, ceramics provide very efficient ways to bring together processes like photocatalysis, electrochemistry and filtration in a confined space," says Fassauer. Other materials such as steel and plastic would fail in such aggressive processes. The equipment for the circulatory system will be accommodated in the pontoon. Explore further: University of Stuttgart gets a research house for solar heat storage


Engelbrecht J.,Fraunhofer Institute for Transportation and Infrastructure Systems | Forster G.,Fraunhofer Institute for Transportation and Infrastructure Systems | Michler O.,Sudan University of Science and Technology | Collmann R.,FH Dresden
WPNC'12 - Proceedings of the 2012 9th Workshop on Positioning, Navigation and Communication | Year: 2012

In recent years, indoor positioning has become more and more important for industrial and commercial usage. Advanced approaches using leaky coaxial cables (LCX) not only for radio coverage have been developed. This paper deals with the application of LCXs for indoor localization in a public transport test scenario, run by the Fraunhofer Institute for Transportation and Infrastructure Systems IVI Dresden. In this scenario different systems were tested in a real-vehicle environment and compared to each other. In addition those results are contrasted with a synthetic indoor-test carried out in a corridor of the University of Applied Sciences Dresden, in the following referred to as "academic" scenario. Furthermore, the positioning accuracy, which could be achieved by using standard LCXs and two reference systems are demonstrated. © 2012 IEEE.


Hossler T.,Fraunhofer Institute for Transportation and Infrastructure Systems | Landgraf T.,Fraunhofer Institute for Transportation and Infrastructure Systems
Proceedings of the International Conference on Sensing Technology, ICST | Year: 2014

In this work an automated traffic analysis in aerial image sequences recorded by an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) has been developed, which provides the trajectories of the vehicles especially during overtaking. Methods of photogrammetry and image processing are used to detect the vehicles and to determine and track their positions. Camera calibration is necessary in order to transform image coordinates into world coordinates.


Beyersdorfer S.,Fraunhofer Institute for Transportation and Infrastructure Systems | Wagner S.,Fraunhofer Institute for Transportation and Infrastructure Systems
IEEE Conference on Intelligent Transportation Systems, Proceedings, ITSC | Year: 2013

Maneuvering heavy load transports on narrow roads is a challenging task that requires a precise and reliable planning in advance. This paper introduces a novel procedure that improves planning and execution of heavy load transports by using path planning algorithms. The proposed algorithm augments existing approaches significantly to enable path planning for multi-body vehicles with multi-axle steering. © 2013 IEEE.

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