Pilot Installation for Connected Driving

The institute's research group Connected Driving operates a pilot installation with intelligent infrastructure sensors in real traffic on a public junction in Ulm-Lehr. The main focus of our research lays on the support and cooperative behavior of connected automated vehicles. The installation serves for prototypical evaLulation of our research. Additionally, we use the installation to research on integrating other traffic participants, on the reliability estimation of communicated information, and on the communication technology itself.


Dr.-Ing. Michael Buchholz
Room: 41.2.219
Phone: +49 (0)731 50 27003
E-mail | Homepage

Technical Characteristics and Functionality

The pilot installation was initially estabilshed together with partners within the project MEC-View, which was funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi). As part of the project ICT4CART funded by the European Union, the institute completeley took over and extended the installation. Further extensions are taking place with partners within the project LUKAS, which is also funded by BMWi. The pilot installation is also used for our research in projects 5G-IANA, EVENTS und PoDIUM, all funded by the European Union.

The pilot site in the center of the suburb Ulm-Lehr comprises  T-junction and the respective three access roads, which are surveilled by infrastructure sensors. With the help of the sensors, the installation perceives the number, type, position, and movement of traffic participants. Based on this data, traffic participants can adapt their behaviour and perform cooperative manoeuvres. The goal is to enhance energy efficiency, comfort, and safety for all traffic participants in this complex urban environment.

Currently, the installation comprises twelve cameras, eleven fixed-beam lidar sensors, four laser scanners, and nine radar sensors, which are mounted at six light poles and two auxiliary traverses in the junction area. All sensors are directly connected to respective Sensor Processing Units (SPUs), which process the data and send them via an LTE/5G cellular mobile communication network to a Multi-Access Edge Computing (MEC) server. Additionally, the pilote site features ad-hoc communication via ITS-G5 und 60GHz WiFi.

The sensors' raw  data are evaluated on the SPUs to extract the relevant information on the traffic participants (type, position, dimensions, etc.). These extracted data are then communicated to the MEC server, where information fusion and tracking are applied to yield an enviromemt model of the junction. This model represents the dynamic state of all traffic participants. To counteract latencies caused by communication and data processing and to allow for a predictive planning of the behaviour, a prediction of the environment model is additionally computed. This information can then be sent to connected traffic participants like an automated vehicle.

We also research on an additional services on the MEC server that centrally analyses the traffic situation and, if helpful for traffic flow or safety, initialises and coordinates cooperative manoeuvres between the connected traffic participants. This service shall include not only automated vehicles, but also manually driven ones as well as bicyclists and pedestrians which are connected via mobile phones.

Sketch of the pilot installation for connected driving
Sketch of the pilot installation for connected driving
Kreuzungsbereich der Pilotanlage Lehr mit Traversen aus der Vogelperspektive
Junction area at the pilot site
Stereo cameras und laser scanners mounted on an auxiliary pole at the pilot site in Ulm-Lehr
Sensors of the pilot installation

Permissions and Data Protection

The pilot installation is placed in the public area of the city of Ulm, which supports and has approved its operation by the Institute of Measurement, Control and Microtechnology at Ulm University.

The installation perceives personal data, which are processed and stored for our research. More information on data privacy can be found on "Verkehrsinfrastruktursensorik: Informationen zur Datenverarbeitung" (German only), inlcuding links to additional data processing explanations for specific projects (if appropriate).

Kamera an einem Leuchtenmast an der Pilotanlage mit verschwommenem Fahrzeug im Hintergrund
Camera at the pilot site