Building an augmented map for road risk assessment

Demmel, Sébastien (2013) Building an augmented map for road risk assessment. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.

Abstract

Recent road safety statistics show that the decades-long fatalities decreasing trend is stopping and stagnating. Statistics further show that crashes are mostly driven by human error, compared to other factors such as environmental conditions and mechanical defects. Within human error, the dominant error source is perceptive errors, which represent about 50% of the total. The next two sources are interpretation and evaluation, which accounts together with perception for more than 75% of human error related crashes.

Those statistics show that allowing drivers to perceive and understand their environment better, or supplement them when they are clearly at fault, is a solution to a good assessment of road risk, and, as a consequence, further decreasing fatalities. To answer this problem, currently deployed driving assistance systems combine more and more information from diverse sources (sensors) to enhance the driver's perception of their environment. However, because of inherent limitations in range and field of view, these systems' perception of their environment remains largely limited to a small interest zone around a single vehicle. Such limitations can be overcomed by increasing the interest zone through a cooperative process.

Cooperative Systems (CS), a specific subset of Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS), aim at compensating for local systems' limitations by associating embedded information technology and intervehicular communication technology (IVC). With CS, information sources are not limited to a single vehicle anymore. From this distribution arises the concept of extended or augmented perception. Augmented perception allows extending an actor's perceptive horizon beyond its "natural" limits not only by fusing information from multiple in-vehicle sensors but also information obtained from remote sensors. The end result of an augmented perception and data fusion chain is known as an augmented map. It is a repository where any relevant information about objects in the environment, and the environment itself, can be stored in a layered architecture.

This thesis aims at demonstrating that augmented perception has better performance than noncooperative approaches, and that it can be used to successfully identify road risk. We found it was necessary to evaluate the performance of augmented perception, in order to obtain a better knowledge on their limitations. Indeed, while many promising results have already been obtained, the feasibility of building an augmented map from exchanged local perception information and, then, using this information beneficially for road users, has not been thoroughly assessed yet. The limitations of augmented perception, and underlying technologies, have not be thoroughly assessed yet. Most notably, many questions remain unanswered as to the IVC performance and their ability to deliver appropriate quality of service to support life-saving critical systems. This is especially true as the road environment is a complex, highly variable setting where many sources of imperfections and errors exist, not only limited to IVC.

We provide at first a discussion on these limitations and a performance model built to incorporate them, created from empirical data collected on test tracks. Our results are more pessimistic than existing literature, suggesting IVC limitations have been underestimated. Then, we develop a new CS-applications simulation architecture. This architecture is used to obtain new results on the safety benefits of a cooperative safety application (EEBL), and then to support further study on augmented perception. At first, we confirm earlier results in terms of crashes numbers decrease, but raise doubts on benefits in terms of crashes' severity.

In the next step, we implement an augmented perception architecture tasked with creating an augmented map. Our approach is aimed at providing a generalist architecture that can use many different types of sensors to create the map, and which is not limited to any specific application. The data association problem is tackled with an MHT approach based on the Belief Theory.

Then, augmented and single-vehicle perceptions are compared in a reference driving scenario for risk assessment,taking into account the IVC limitations obtained earlier; we show their impact on the augmented map's performance. Our results show that augmented perception performs better than non-cooperative approaches, allowing to almost tripling the advance warning time before a crash. IVC limitations appear to have no significant effect on the previous performance, although this might be valid only for our specific scenario.

Eventually, we propose a new approach using augmented perception to identify road risk through a surrogate: near-miss events. A CS-based approach is designed and validated to detect near-miss events, and then compared to a non-cooperative approach based on vehicles equiped with local sensors only. The cooperative approach shows a significant improvement in the number of events that can be detected, especially at the higher rates of system's deployment.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 63669
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Supervisor: Rakotonirainy, Andry, Monacelli, Eric, Gruyer, Dominique, & Larue, Gregoire S.
Keywords: cooperative systems, vehicle-to-vehicle communications, IEEE 802.11p, augmented perception, risk assessment, near-misses events, empirical evaluation, advanced simulations
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Accident Research & Road Safety - Qld (CARRS-Q)
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Schools > School of Psychology & Counselling
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 23 Oct 2013 05:49
Last Modified: 24 May 2016 00:58

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