Development and Demonstration of Merge-Assist System Using Connected Vehicle Technology

Principal Investigator:

M. Imran Hayee, Professor, Dir. of Grad Studies, UMD-Electrical Engineering

Project Summary:

One potential area to improve driver safety and traffic mobility is around merge points of two roadways, e.g., at a typical freeway entrance ramp. Due to poor visibility because of weather or complex road infrastructure, on many such entrance ramps, it may become difficult for the driver on the merging/entrance ramp to clearly see the vehicles travelling on the main freeway, making it difficult to merge. A fundamental requirement to facilitate many ADAS functions, including a merge assist system, is to accurately acquire vehicle positioning information. Accurate position information can be obtained using either sensor-based systems (camera-based, RADAR, LiDAR) or Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GPS, DGPS, RTK). For these systems to work well for practical road and weather conditions, advanced techniques and algorithms are needed. This make the system complex and expensive to implement. In this research project, researchers proposed a merge assist system that works by acquiring the relative positioning of vehicles using standard GPS receivers and DSRC based V2V communication. The DSRC equipped vehicles travelling on the main freeway and on the entrance-ramp will periodically communicate their positioning information with each other. Using that information, the relative trajectories, relative lane, and position of all DSRC equipped vehicles travelling on the main freeway will be calculated and recorded in real time in the vehicle travelling on the entrance ramp. Finally, a merge time cushion will also be calculated, which could potentially be used to assist the driver of the ramp vehicle to safely merge into the freeway.

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