USA-based supplier of connected car services and transportation analytics Inrix Inc. has explained its role in the UK’s AutopleX consortium, which aims to significantly enhance autonomous vehicle (AV) capabilities in difficult traffic situations.
AutopleX is the first project that brings together private sector, public sector and academic stakeholders, and multiple data sources, to tackle one of the biggest challenges facing successful AV deployment: navigating complex road patterns and traffic conditions.
The AutopleX project will advance the capability of AV technologies beyond current SAE Level 2 and 3 capabilities by combining three distinct data sources, on-vehicle sensors, information from/to infrastructure (V2I), and real-time local dynamic mapping, to improve perception of a vehicle navigating complex junctions.
Funded by a £4.7m (US$6.6m) grant from the UK’s Center for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV) and led by Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), AutopleX will develop fully- and semi-automated vehicle technologies through simulation and public road testing, both on motorways and in urban environments in the West Midlands.
As well as JLR and Inrix, the AutopleX consortium members include Highways England (HE), Ricardo, Siemens, Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) and the University of Warwick. Inrix will provide real-time, historical and predictive data, including road hazards, traffic speeds and roadway restrictions to Jaguar and Land Rover project test vehicles to enhance their safety and performance.
The consortium aims to develop self-driving cars with technology that enables them to ‘see’ at blind junctions and through obstacles, with the cloud-based Inrix data assisting the JLR test vehicles in safely navigating challenging traffic environments on routes around the Midlands and Coventry city center where onboard sensor capabilities are limited.
“We will provide road hazards, traffic speeds and restrictions that will be used to improve the safety and effectiveness of the vehicle executing complex maneuvers, including navigation of roundabouts and merging into traffic,” explained Avery Ash, autonomous vehicle lead at Inrix. “The ability for AVs to identify upcoming route and roadway conditions based on real-time data will significantly improve their overall driving performance.”