- Intelligent Transport Systems
- Principal researcher: Antonio F. Gómez Skarmeta
- Research group: Intelligent Systems and Telematics.
Inside the GSI/ANTS(A Non sTop workerS) research group , and the Information and Communications Engineering Department, a group of people works on Intelligent Transportation Systems. Working in this aspect requires a great knowledge in many fields. The people inside this group comes from different areas, although all of them belongs to the Computer Science Faculty, University of Murcia. The components of this "subgroup" are:
Most of the abstraction levels considered in ITS are considered in our works, from sensor and actuator researching, to on-board services for the final user. Firstly, the reseach group was involved in the autonomous navigation problem. Soon, the satellite positioning systems and, specifically, the satellite based augmentation systems (SBAS), using the European EGNOS, were taken into account. With the aim of improving the position obtained from GNSS architectures, several works have been carried out using inertial sensors, in frames of the inertial navigation systems (INS). Using mulsisensor fusion techniques, it is possible to improve the position in places where the line of sight to the satellites is not available. From this solid basis of a reliable positioning subsystem, some works about on-board services began in parallel. The location based services (LBS) concept is essential in our work. Road pricing, road safety, human machine interface, and location aware information are the cornerstones in our perspective. In this sense, not only the hardware components are important, but also the software and service architectures are indispensable for our objectives. Most of the services considered in ITS, including our designs, are more and more dependable of an efficient communication platform. For this reason one of our most promising lines are focused on the design of novel vehicular networks inside the VANET field, and using recent improvements in 3G networks. Our works are focused in design, modeling, simulation and even experimental evaluation of vehicular networks.
The people in charge of vehicular researching inside the ANTS group carry out a wide variety of tasks related with Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS). Covering both vertical and horizontal solutions, our research comprises from basic to service level researching. Next points summarize our current research lines:
GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite Systems) y SBAS (Satellite Based Augmentation Systems). Navigation systems are key elements in ITS, because locating the vehicle is essential for practically any service or solution. Apart from our studies and experience in the American GPS, our research group is concerned about the existence of other GNNS, such as the Russian GLONASS and the future European GALILEO. Our work in this line comprises the analysis of such complementary navigation systems and, in general, the application of GNSS jointly with SBAS in order to improve the position quality. Our studies in the position integrity through SBAS are also relevant. Using integrity information provided by SBAS architectures (such WAAS or EGNOS), it is possible to monitor the integrity of the positioning subsystem by means protection level calculations.
Inertial Navigation Systems (INS) and multi-source information fusion. Although the usage of a satellite-based navigation system is useful for most of vehicular services, GNSS failures due to the lack of line of sight to satellites is an important issue for safety of life applications, or even general services at locations of null coverage, such as urban canyons. In these situations, the usage of INS sensors and the integration of all the information provided by them into the positioning solution is a key issue. Our group performs such work using several fusion techniques, by means of Kalman filtering procedures and interacting multiple models (IMM). A more reliable navigation system is obtained and, according to our researching, most relevant integrity information about positioning can be obtained if the whole navigation equipment (GNSS and INS) is considered.
ITS Architectures. As a part of the national plan for transport perspectives in Spain, the ANTS research group are discussing and developing recommendations and best practices for the development of a national strategy in ITS, bringing out the need of a common architecture for ITS applications to obtain sustainable benefits. The application of telematics to intelligent transport systems can be found as the key to success. In this line, our group is actively participating in the European Commitee for Standardization (CEN), by means of the Technical Committee 278 (Road Transport and Traffic Telematics).
Vehicular communications based on infrastructure networks Networks are becoming a necessity in computing environments nowadays, and the vehicle is not exempt from this fact. The tasks carried out by our team deal with this idea, communicating vehicles among them and creating a data channel between vehicle and infrastructure. Our research is based on cellular networks to cope with both technological challenges, and real prototypes, partially inherited from the rest of our research lines, are used to perform real tests. Electronic vehicle identification (EVI) is also a hot research line, and RFID technology is being tested as a suitable solution for vehicle detection and tracking.
Vehicular Ad-hoc Networks (VANET) and geographic routing. Our group has a wide experience in the MANET field, very important at first stages of VANET research. Now, being aware of specific mobility issues of VANET, our group is interested in novel routing protocols using geographical information. Geographic routing is one of the main researching lines in VANETs, and our works in this field cover the design of novel protocols and communication architectures, performance modeling, and simulation, considering realistic mobility patterns. Experimental evaluation through field trials in the VANET field is also of great interest for our group.
Location Based Services (LBS), ubiquitous computing and traffic information management. Such techniques are being applied in the vehicular field, in order to provide added-value services to drivers and passenger, and improve the information processing and the operator tasks at the road side. Using positioning data it is possible to provide location-based services to vehicles and adapt the information the user receives from the infrastructure according to his preferences. This way, our work comprises the creation of a service-oriented architecture for the on-board computer, by means of service composing technologies such as OSGi, and the development of a whole information management system at the infrastructure, through web designs and distributed computing environments. Obviously, this work use the results obtained from the rest of research lines, such as the vehicular network technologies and the usage of the enriched navigation system.
Road Pricing and Electronic Fee Collection (EFC). EFC solutions are becoming a reality in most European countries, due to administrations are finding electronic toll as a means of deploying road pricing schemes where people who more use the road infrastructure pay more. Our team has experience in such field, implementing solutions based on GNSS positioning for tracking vehicle travel, and solutions centered on infrastructure-based detection. The German toll architecture is currently being analysed, and a possible implementation of a equivalent system in Spain is being evaluated. Different technologies in this field are being evaluated, in order to chose the one which better fits in Spanish roads and studying its social and economical impact. In this line, the tariff type to be applied is considered, taking into account the costs given by building and maintenance of roads, inherent EFC cost, and other external costs.