Live platooning trials to start in early 2021 in HORIBA MIRA and European Space Agency project

Nuneaton, Warwickshire-based automotive engineering consultancy, HORIBA MIRA confirmed that its collaboration with GMV NSL to develop new and improved passenger car platooning solutions on behalf of the European Space Agency (ESA) will move into a live trials phase in Q1 2022, encompassing both simulated and physical testing during 2022.

Key points:

  • Project to investigate how platooning groups of cars on motorways can improve road safety, increase vehicle efficiency, reduce emissions, improve utilisation of existing road infrastructure and enhance passenger comfort
  • HORIBA MIRA & GMV NSL’s objective is to deliver new solutions for cooperative positioning and data integrity algorithms to the European Space Agency (ESA)
  • Project confirmed to move to live trials in Q1 2022

The ground-breaking project aims to advance platooning – the process of optimising the co-ordination of traffic streams – by embracing a number of advanced technologies. The first of these is cooperation between all the cars in the platoon to share information about their respective positions on the roadway. Cooperative positioning is enabled with a variety of range-finding sensors, such as radar, with data being shared between cars via low latency wireless communications. Finally, in order for this data to be ‘trusted’ to inform the management of the positions of the cars in the platoon, it is evaluated by an integrity algorithm.

The integration of these technologies will unlock a series of benefits for individual drivers and wider society. A platoon automatically optimises the flow of vehicles along highways and prevents the characteristic phenomenon of waves of braking and acceleration events, known as perturbations, transmitting through streams of traffic when vehicles are manually driven at high levels of density, such as during rush hours.

HORIBA MIRA and GMV NSL’s ground-breaking project to automate platoons of cars travelling on motorways will allow passengers to enjoy smoother driving conditions by optimising throttle and brake profiles, which in turn improves vehicle efficiency and reduces emissions.

The improved throughput on existing highway infrastructure also reduces the requirement for new road building at a period in time where road traffic is predicted to steadily rise. Additionally, a cooperative positioning solution reduces hardware costs, while the use of integrity algorithms assures safety and robustness, and critically can be used to optimise the speed and following distances of the platooning vehicles.

HORIBA MIRA is the expert automotive engineering partner in the project; the company’s Assured CAV division has more than 15 years’ experience in cooperative driving research and development, vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2X) and vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications. It’s responsibility is to implement the relevant hardware and software to support V2X communications and develop the platooning algorithm that will dynamically optimise performance. HORIBA MIRA’s novel vehicle-in-the-loop simulation capabilities will also enable seamless progress from simulation-based development to proving ground trials within 2022.

Tim Edwards, HORIBA MIRA’s Chief Engineer for CAV Technologies, said, “Along with our partners at the European Space Agency and GMV NSL, we are excited to be moving this important project forward into the technical evaluation and testing phases.

“We are breaking new ground with this approach to car platooning, which is an evolution of the developments achieved in vehicle safety through advanced driver assistance systems. With platooning we have the opportunity to also make significant improvements to efficiency by integrating connected and automated driving technologies. And, as congestion becomes less tolerable and the demand for mobility seems set to rise, it brings further benefits of improved traffic efficiency and road utilisation.”

The project is funded by the European Space Agency under the ESA Navigation Innovation and Support Programme (NAVISP) and will inform the ESA’s future developments and contribute to applications of GNSS and communication technologies within the automotive sector.

About GMV NSL

GMV NSL is the result of the merger agreement signed in 2020 between GMV Innovating Solutions Limited, the UK aerospace company belonging to GMV, and Nottingham Scientific Limited (NSL). GMV NSL is a UK-based company specialising in satellite navigation and critical applications. Working across all transportation sectors, New Space, defence and security, GMV NSL offers GNSS based services, systems, solutions, and intellectual property, helping to ensure that navigation and positioning are precise and reliable, secure, and protected, resistant and robust.

Founded in 1984, GMV is a privately-owned technology business group and trading on a worldwide scale in the following sectors: Aerospace, Defense and Security, Cybersecurity, Intelligent Transportation Systems, Automotive, Healthcare, Telecommunications and IT for government authorities and major corporations. GMV provides a variety of space technology-based products, solutions, and services to meet the needs of the constantly developing global market. GMV is currently the world’s number-one independent supplier of ground control systems for commercial telecommunications satellite operators, European leader in the ground segment of Global Navigation Satellite Systems (EGNOS and Galileo), and is heavily involved in the development of new and innovative satellite-navigation applications.

About HORIBA MIRA

HORIBA MIRA is a global provider of automotive engineering, research and test services, with 75 years of experience in developing some of the world’s most iconic vehicles. Working in collaboration with vehicle manufacturers and suppliers around the world, they provide comprehensive support ranging from technology development and individual product tests through to full-vehicle design, development and build programmes.  

Whilst traditionally known for its vehicle test services – including over 40 major facilities and 100km of Proving Ground – HORIBA MIRA is so much more than this. Over the last ten years it has invested heavily in the evolution of its engineering capability and in the development of MIRA Technology Park, Europe’s leading mobility R&D location for developing the latest automotive technology. The unique combination of engineering expertise, advanced testing facilities and prime location of MIRA Technology Park in the heart of the UK automotive industry, enables customers to develop and validate their technology, or vehicle, in one place.

www.horiba-mira.com

About HORIBA

Headquartered in Kyoto, Japan, the HORIBA Group is a global leading supplier of measurement technology and systems for various fields from automotive testing, process and environmental monitoring, in-vitro medical diagnostics, semiconductor manufacturing and metrology to scientific R&D and QC measurements.

About HORIBA Automotive

HORIBA Automotive, a business segment within the HORIBA Group, has developed global leadership in the fields of battery and fuel cell test stands, data management solutions, driveline test systems, engine test systems, brake test systems, wind tunnel balances, emissions test systems and test facility automation. In addition to its product-based applications, it offers a comprehensive suite of vehicle engineering, validation and certification services. HORIBA Automotive is able to offer its customers complete solutions, with full turnkey capability, for all industries using electric motors, internal combustion engines and turbines. These include the automotive, heavy-duty, off-road, consumer goods, marine, defense, aerospace and rail sectors.

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