Autonomous Driving & Driver Assistance Systems

Driver assistance systems and autonomous driving are among the most active research areas in current vehicle development. Self-driving have the potential to considerably increase safety on public roads and offer new possibilities for modern transportation concepts.

Contact

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Klaus Dietmayer
Raum: 41.2.222
Telefon: +49 (0)731 50 27000
E-Mail | Homepage

To realize the vision of self-driving cars, the Institute of Measurement, Control, and Microtechnology develops new methods and algorithms, which render reliable driving in complex scenarios possible. This includes new approaches for environment perception, localization, situation analysis, decision making and mission planning, trajectory planning, as well as functional safety. For demonstration and testing under realistic conditions, the institute maintains two automated experimental vehicles.

Interior of an experimental vehicle

Experimental Vehicles

The institute has two test vehicles (AV-MRM-1 in dark grey and AV-MRM-2 in white) that are both allowed and technically equipped to drive automatically on public roads. The vehicles have two standard Linux-PCs and a real-time system for safety-related functions. Based on an individual sensor concept they can perceive their environment and act accordingly by making decisions and afterwards calculating trajectories that are being processed by the control system. All relevant software modules are developed and tested at the institute.

Sensor concept

The sensor concept of our test vehicles is based on a 360° surround view using cameras, radar sensors and laser scanners. The different sensors have only partly overlapping field of views and are based on completely different sensing methods. The main task of the sensor fusion system is thus to combine those sensors in a way that provide an optimized view of the environment.

Experimental vehicles
Sensor concept based on LIDAR, RADAR and cameras

Software Modules

The software modules necessary for the operation of our automated test vehicles were developed in our group and are continually improved. The figure shows the basic architecture of these modules and the information flow.

Basic Architecture of the Function Modules

We use stereo-cameras and mono-cameras, radar sensors of different resolution in both, angle and distance, as well as different lidar sensors. Further sources of information are a highly accurate digital map with localization features and other attributes as well as a GPS system, on the basis of which the exact position of the own vehicle in the map is determined by the localization module. Using all of these input channels, the current dynamic environment model is determined by means of grid mapping, multi-object tracking and classification methods. This environment model includes an individual dynamic model for each traffic participant which comprises the current dynamic state (location, speed, etc. ), class membership (cars, pedestrians, etc.) as well as a local reference to the digital map (track allocation, etc.).

The underlying module for situation understanding then determines implications between the objects. For example, a pedestrian to a pedestrian crossing is a special situation for which an automatic car has to take care of. The situation prediction module then attempts to predict the probable temporal development of the situation in order to plan the action of the automated vehicle according to the criteria of safety and comfort. Finally, the trajectory planning then determines a secure and executable vehicle trajectory that is executed by the underlying vehicle control.

Software-Architecture

Test Route

The Institute for Measurement, Control and Microtechnology has the permission to operate their experimental vehicle autonomously in public road traffic. This allows to develop and test the vehicle in a real environment.

As a test route, the employees of the institute selected both, urban sections and rural sections around the university. The area covers a wide range of challenges such as passing roundabouts and intersections, the correct behavior on crosswalks and traffic lights, as well as compliance with prescribed speed limits. The illustration on the right shows the test area with markings on the respective challenges.

Test route of the institute

Videos

Since 2014, the Institute for Measurement, Control and Microtechnology is able to successfully drive the above-described route in automated operation. The video on the right shows a ride of the AV-MRM-1 on this route.

More videos can be found under the following links:

Autonomous driving on the test route of the institute

Press

The application area autonomous driving and driver assistance systems has been regularly represented in the local as well as in the national press over the past years. Further, the public service broadcasting authorities showed several TV contributions about our projects.

2016

 2015

 2014

 2013