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Multiple channel communication for autonomous vehicles

The development of a multichannel telecommunications control unit (tcu) for autonomous vehicles enabling it to communicate with infrastructure, aiming at maximum continuity of service.

Context : The autonomous vehicle is coming to the market within a few years. It is expected to save lives thanks to less human error in driving and better sharing of information between vehicles. Also will it enable passengers to spend time on other activities such as leisure, work or rest. Finally, when the autonomous vehicle is operated by a fleet-owner and on demand by the customer through a smartphone/smartwatch application it will accelerate the energy transition in transportation. The end user is not anymore the person who makes the choice of the powertrain technology. For almost all short trips the fleet operator will choose an electric vehicle because it is simply cheaper to operate than a vehicle with a combustion engine. Autonomous vehicles will need communication facilities in order to have full functionality and safety. They will need to communicate with the users, with other vehicles, with infrastructure and with the fleet operator. Having tested with autonomous vehicles since 2014 FAAR Industry has found that communication is not always possible. Some areas are saturated or not covered by any network. One can even imagine that rascals or terrorists jam certain radio frequencies rendering communication impossible. In order to fulfill or complete a mission, an autonomous vehicle must therefor be able to function without or with limited communications for a certain amount of time. And sometimes communication is absolutely necessary. Alternative ways of communication should thus be considered. This project aims to develop a Telecommunication Control Unit (TCU) capable of handling various ways of communication and of smart usage of information to achieve maximum levels of operational performance and safety of autonomous vehicles. The MUCHATCO team will create the next generation TCU for advanced vehicles. It aims at maximum/sufficient operational performance under ANY condition, including radio jamming or absence of communication devices on the end user. Data gathered by the vehicles, the end users, the infrastructure and the fleet operator will be handled with a high level of intelligence to maximize functionality of the mobility system. The next generation V2X communication addresses communications with infrastructure (V2I), with other vehicles (V2V) with users (V2U) and with people around the vehicle (V2P). We intend to include technologies that are less prone to radio jamming, radio network saturation or radio network absence. Also it will be aimed to keep the required bandwidth as low as possible. Vehicle to Human communication will be taken into consideration as many future users of autonomous vehicles will not necessarily have a working smart device. Gesture and verbal communications will enable children, elderly people, blind people or people with an empty phone battery to interact with a smart mobility system that deploys autonomous vehicles. The innovations that will be integrated are : -1- LiFi (communication with light enabling very high data rates with multiple users) -2- Satellite communication (for remote areas) -3- Milticast + Unicast on WiFi 802.11p -4- Multicast + Unicast on 3G, LTE, 5G -5- Internet gateway functionality for remote areas -6- SigFox, Zigbee, LoRa for interaction with smart city and various IoT devices -7- Synthetic speech, voice recognition, Gesture recognition for interaction with humans -8- Software updates over the air (OTA) for increasing functionality over time. -9- NFC (near field communication) Additional functions of the TCU are related to data gathered on the vehicle that will be shared with the infrastructure and fleet operator. Big data analysis behind it aims at improving the functionality of the autonomous vehicle. Detailed descriptions of the innovations we wish to integrate has been documented in a separate Word file. This file will be used for further detailed description that will be made during the first months of the project.
Acronym: 
MUCHATCO
Project ID: 
12 184
Start date: 
01-11-2017
Project Duration: 
36months
Project costs: 
4 300 000.00€
Technological Area: 
ELECTRONICS, IT AND TELECOMS TECHNOLOGY
Market Area: 

Raising the productivity and competitiveness of European businesses through technology. Boosting national economies on the international market, and strengthening the basis for sustainable prosperity and employment.