Using Low-Cost Radar Sensors and Action Cameras to Measure Inter-Vehicle Distances in Real-World Truck Platooning
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Many modern vehicles collect inter-vehicle distance data from radar sensors as input to driver assistance systems. However, vehicle manufacturers often use proprietary algorithms to conceal the collected data, making them inaccessible to external individuals, such as researchers. Aftermarket sensors may circumvent this issue. This study investigated the use of low-cost radar sensors to determine inter-vehicle distances during real-world semi-automated truck platooning on two-way, two-lane rural roads. Radar data from the two follower trucks in a three-truck platoon were collected, synchronized and filtered. The sensors measured distance, relative velocity and signal-to-noise ratio. Dashboard camera footage was collected, coded and synchronized to the radar data, providing context about the driving situation, such as oncoming trucks, roundabouts and tunnels. The sensors had different configuration parameters, suggested by the supplier, to avoid signal interference. With parameters as chosen, sensor ranges, inferred from maximum distance measurements, were approximately 74 and 71 m. These values were almost on par with theoretical calculations. The sensors captured the preceding truck for 83–85% of the time where they had the preceding truck within range, and 95–96% of the time in tunnels. While roundabouts are problematic, the sensors are feasible for collecting inter-vehicle distance data during truck platooning.
Applied System Innovation 2023 ;Volum 6, 55, 29 s.