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Netherlands studies vulnerable road user interaction for autonomous vehicles

Published: January 22, 2016 | Amsterdam

TU Delft, in collaboration with Dutch sustainable mobility start-up 2getthere has introduced a new project called, “Safe interaction of automated vehicles with vulnerable road users” (SafeVRU) as a step towards autonomous vehicles. 

2getthere will contribute its knowledge, skills and experience to the SafeVRU research program. SafeVRU will develop sensing, intent recognition, and vehicle control strategies for the interaction of automated vehicles with vulnerable road users (VRU) such as pedestrians and cyclists.

Taking into account the complex interaction with multiple VRU, real time adaptive path planning strategies will be developed to minimize risk, with vehicle motion being intuitive and predictable for VRU. The SafeVRU technologies will be validated using real world data, virtual reality labs and fully automated vehicles in the province of Gelderland.

2getthere_SafeVRU_autonomous_vehicles

Sjoerd van der Zwaan, Chief Technology Officer of 2getthere is proud to be part of the research team and explains that this specific program addresses some important safety issues that arise when shifting towards system deployments under mixed operations with other road users. “The outcome of this research will provide us with information on the sensing capabilities of next-generation, high-resolution radars suitable for vehicle applications. It is also interesting because it will offer us valuable insights in how to fuse radar and vision sensor information for robustly detecting, localizing and tracking pedestrians and cyclists. ’

He continues: ‘Furthermore, the research will enhance our understanding of algorithms to model and recognize vulnerable road user behavior so that the system can anticipate and take intent into account, enabling ways to apply proper control strategies to execute anti-collision behavior as well as behavior to make intent clear to other road users as a form of human machine interface.’

The research program will be led by Prof. Riender Happee of the Faculty of Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering of the Delft Technical University in co-operation with the University of Amsterdam (UvA). Other participants include TNO, SWOV, NXP, RDW and the province of Gelderland. The foreseen project period of SafeVRU is 4 years, from 2016 till 2020, and the innovations will enhance road safety and progressively introduce automation.

Source: 2getthere

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