2015/11 Vodafone Innovation Days, Düsseldorf, Germany

The 11th Vodafone Innovation Days were held in the Düsseldorf Vodafone Innovation Park the 9th to 12th of November 2015 (Fig. 1). External companies and internal employees were invited to learn about innovative LTE applications in specialist presentations, laboratory tours and several show cases. Our Galileo Online: GO! consortium was also present at that event. Firstly, we gave an overview about our project at a presentation booth, secondly, we used that opportunity to present the current status of our project related to communication, localisation and autonomisation in a show case.

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Fig. 1: Vodafone Tower at Vodafone Innovation Park

The show case’s objective was to illustrade the essentiality of high-precision, reliable position and route information for the operation of autonomous vehicles. The fusion of GNSS and inertial (IMU) sensor data meets these requirements. As a proof, the RWTH Aachen University mobile testing platform (Buggy; Fig. 2) was developed as a show case within the scope of the GO! project. Subsequently, it was introduced to a larger audience at the Vodafone Innovation Days. The technical realisation of that show case was done by RWTH Aachen University, Vodafone and SCISYS Germany GmbH.

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Fig. 2: Buggy – RWTH Aachen University mobile testing platform on the parking deck

The GO! show case took place at a near parking deck which was separeted during the Innovation Days for several show cases. The visitors were excited about the Buggy test runs which were broadcasted via live video stream to the 18th floor of the Vodafone tower as well as about the impressive view to the parking deck from the windows. The show case demonstrated an autonomously driving Buggy equipped with a satellite navigation system. Buggy’s task was to follow a predefined route based on sensor fusion algorithms. The live video stream and an immediate data evaluation via a central server during the show case emphasised the current and future possibilities of network and communication technologies.

In preparation for the show case, the buggy was driven remotely beforehand through a predefined, marked-out course. Inside the course, the buggy had to circumnavigate some traffic cones in slalom and to return to its starting point in a wide turn. The route was surveyed by a high-precision geodetic satellite navigation receiver. Then, the measured data were integrated into an open street map and were available to the buggy during its autonomous drive as a reference or target route, respectively. By integrating current satellite data and using automatic control, the buggy followed the predefined route autonomously. In addition, the drives were recorded by two cameras. The ego perspective as well as the perspective from the parking deck was streamed live to a screen on the Vodafone tower’s 18th floor. Apart from the video data, the position data, map data and deviation from the pre-defined target route were shown on the Screen (Fig. 3). This demonstrated an overall deviation of less than 30 cm compared to  the pre-defined route. There was only one outlier in the rear corner of the course due to a partial loss of satellite reception.

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Fig. 3: Live video stream and data evaluation of Buggy’s test drive