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Robotic Cars Test Platform for Connected and Automated Vehicles

  • Author(s): Julia Carrillo, Marc
  • Advisor(s): Mease, Kenneth
  • Jin, Wenlong
  • et al.
Abstract

This thesis is about implementing a test platform to carry on research about connected and automated vehicles in a small scale. The main goal is to design, set up and try the platform, together with documenting everything so other people can use it in the future.

The technology needed for autonomous cars is already available. However, a lot of testing needs to be done before they become commercially available, in order for them to be totally safe and reliable.

The test platform to be built had to be able to reproduce the main features of autonomous vehicles (self-guidance, monitoring of the surroundings, wireless communication, etc.) but keeping it simple to manage and low in price, so many vehicles could be used at the same time. For these reasons, the final vehicles were built for less than $300 using an Arduino Leonardo as the main controller, a Zumo Robot Shield as structure, a little Computer Vision Camera named Pixy Cam to monitor the surroundings, and an XBee module for the wireless communication. These robotic vehicles move around circuits created with black tape on white vinyl, so to keep the platform flexible and not tied to any specific place.

Finally, with the basis of the platform set up, the creation of a traffic jam in a ring road without bottlenecks has been reproduced. These has shown the reliability of the platform and its possibilities to use it for traffic management and automated vehicles studies.

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