Lessons from a 2000+ mile automated drive
“The position accuracy of the RT3000 meant that we could engage our vehicle’s automated system far more than we ever expected”. Those are the words of Sara Sargent, Engineering Project Manager at leading researcher of automated vehicle technologies, VSI Labs, after completing a 2000+ mile automated drive from Minneapolis to Santa Clara.
In all, over half of the road trip – known as the Automated Drive West – was completed with VSI Labs’ HD-map-based system engaged. This surpassed the team’s expectations, who had anticipated challenges that would limit the system’s ability to perform lane keeping and map-enhanced adaptive cruise control (ACC).
“We knew we’d pass through regions without accurate lane models, sufficient data coverage or nearby RTK base stations”, Sara explains, “these conditions make it harder for our vehicle to know where it is on the road, meaning we’d likely have to disengage the automated functionality”. But the VSI team were pleasantly surprised when their system took many of these stretches in its stride.
“Even when we didn’t have access to RTK corrections, there were still substantial periods where we could keep the system engaged. The OxTS device was able to maintain position accuracy to within 30 cm during these prolonged connectivity drop-offs, which was sufficient to bridge the gaps – a big hooray for us!”.
The device – an RT3000 Inertial Navigation System (INS) – gives automotive engineers a source of ground truth in their development process. Combining the best of GNSS positioning technology with a high-grade MEMS Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU), it provides real-time position, orientation and dynamics measurement – even in difficult environments.
To find out more about the HD-map-based system, the Automated Drive West and what else the team observed, watch the on-demand guest webinar.