Groupe Renault and Sanef will cooperate to further develop communications between autonomous vehicles and road infrastructure, and testing on toll barrier crossing and work zone approach. The partnership aims to increase road safety and to reach zero fatality, and with the “eyes off/hands off” experience to give time back to travellers which is one of the main objectives for autonomous vehicles.
An operation as simple as crossing a toll barrier or a road works zone, represents a major challenge for autonomous cars to provide continuous travel in eyes-off/hands-off mode. This is a challenge that Groupe Renault and Sanef are well on their way to solving in order to build a comfortable and easy driving experience.
The pilot project for this was launched in June 2016, in Normandy along the A13 motorway using the connected infrastructure (V2X) developed by Sanef, to study the approach and crossing of toll barriers and work zones by autonomous drive Renault vehicles. The experimentation will continue until mid-2018.
How the pilot project on toll barrier crossings works?
- The vehicle receives information about 1 km before the barrier of the toll lanes that are available and compatible with autonomous vehicle driving.
- Before approaching the zone, the vehicle will anticipate its position in the lane and adapt its speed by gradually slowing down according to the speed signs. Approaching such an area is a critical step in the absence of ground marking.
- To ensure its guidance, the autonomous vehicles use virtual lines derived from a high definition map of the site. Access to the dedicated lane is performed at a speed of less than 30 km/h, while the sensors maintain the car in the centre of the lane.
- During the acceleration phase, the virtual lines system is used. Of course, the car is also able to detect the surrounding vehicles and adapt its behaviour and its trajectory accordingly.
- Once the marking on the ground is restored, the autonomous Renault vehicles can continue their route normally.