Analysis of a differential global positioning system as a sensor for vehicle guidance


Robert Bodor, Lee Alexander, Chen-Fu Liao, Sundeep Bajikar, Vassilios Morellas, Max Donath

August 1996

Report no. Mn/DOT 1997-17

An ongoing research project examines guidance systems, which can take over control of a vehicle if the driver becomes incapacitated. Part of this project includes an evaluation of a Differential Global Positioning System (DGPS) for vehicle-based lane sensing. This report documents the results of tests of the 5 Hz NovAtel RT20 DGPS receiver. A series of 32 static tests found the overall mean and standard deviation for the offset errors within specifications. In a series of dynamic tests, in which the vehicle was driven around the track at speeds of 20-35 miles per hour, after removing the effect of the GPS receiver's latency, the DGPS determined position exhibited a mean offset error of -17.3 cm (-6.82 in) and a mean standard deviation of 25.5 cm (10.1 in) in the direction of vehicle motion. In the direction perpendicular to vehicle motion, the mean offset was 4.57 cm (1.8 in) with a mean standard deviation of 39.6 cm (15.6 in). With no overhead obstructions in these tests, continuous satellite lock was possible. Tests at higher speeds based on a more accurate methodology are planned for the future.

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