Cohda Wireless Developing Truck Platooning Solution

Leading connected autonomous vehicle company Cohda Wireless is applying its technology to develop an advanced truck platooning solution. The Australian-headquartered global leader believes the adaptation of its unique technology for the trucking industry will help shape the introduction of global truck platooning standards such as those being developed by the ENSEMBLE project in Europe.

Cohda Wireless’ was established in 2004 and its V2X (Vehicle-To-Everything) applications are the most widely deployed in the industry. It is the only company to have integrated its V2X software into two car manufacturer platforms. It expects that by 2021, over a million vehicles will feature Cohda technology whilst it continues to secure infrastructure deployments across the US, Europe and Australia.

Cohda recently conducted rigorous testing of its technology at Australia’s newest motor-racing circuit, The Bend Motorsport Park, just outside Adelaide. The tests confirmed Cohda’s platooning solution can deliver impressive gap management of 16ft (5m) +0.4 seconds at 59 mph (95 km/hr), and also overcome many of the connectivity challenges of platooning recognised today.

Dr Paul Alexander, Chief Technical Officer at Cohda Wireless, said that his company is fast-tracking the development of the platooning solution, which is in several ways, unique.

“We are developing a robust solution that can accommodate departures and intruders,” explained Dr Alexander. “In practical terms this means that trucks can leave and re-join the platoon at will without affecting the integrity of the platoon.”

In a typical platoon consisting of three vehicles, the truck in front lays a virtual track for the others to follow by relaying its position up to 30 times per second to the trucks that are following, which are then at liberty to join and re-join the platoon as they wish without destroying the integrity of the
platoon connection. Robustness to intruders or trucks leaving from the middle of the platoon is a unique and valuable feature.

“Another important distinction with our system is that it is ‘fail operational’ because accurate vehicle positioning, particularly spacing, is governed by Cohda’s unique V2X-Locate technology as opposed to a reliance on on-board sensors,” added Dr. Alexander, who received positive feedback from truck OEM company leaders during a recent tour of Europe.

Cohda Wireless’s breakthrough V2X-Locate positioning system was developed to enable accurate vehicle positioning in areas where GNSS positioning performance degrades such as urban canyons, tunnels, parking garages and other scenarios with compromised sky views. This technology has been applied to make the platooning system impervious to weather conditions such as heavy rain or fog that might affect other sensor performance.

Cohda’s Platooning solution will also allow for coordinated braking where trucks are simultaneously aware of the need to brake as opposed to braking taking place in a ‘daisy-chain’ fashion when sensors are in play.

“We believe we can produce a compelling and cost-effective proposition that will advance the introduction of truck platooning on our roads and achieve its objectives of improved fuel economy, reduced driver fatigue and traffic congestion,” stated Dr Alexander.

Cohda’s research and development in this space has been supported by the South Australian Government’s Future Mobility Lab Fund, which aims to encourage and stimulate developments in connected and autonomous vehicles, and position South Australia at the forefront of these emerging technologies.

Cohda has developed several videos to demonstrate its platooning technology.  Click the link to watch the three videos that demonstrate:
1. Autonomous Platooning – The video demonstrates two autonomous vehicles following a lead vehicle around the track at a gap of 20m.  Subsequent tests confirmed Cohda’s platooning solution can deliver impressive gap management of 16ft (5m) + 0.4 seconds at 59 mph (95 km/hr).
2. S-Curve Platooning – A trial demonstrating Cohda’s platooning stack with integrated Cohda special sensors.  Cohda’s V2X technology connects the vehicles whilst its V2X-Locate technology adds even more value by enabling accurate vehicle positioning.   This example demonstrates how the lead vehicle lays a virtual track for the others to follow by relaying its position up to 30 times per second to the vehicle/s following.
3. Exiting and joining the platoon – To be effective, platooning solutions must  be robust and accommodate a broad variety of real-life conditions and circumstances without compromising the efficacy of the platooning system.   Many platooning solutions lack robustness because the system disengages entirely when one vehicle leaves the platoon as the system relies on sensor technology.   This video demonstrates how a truck (as demonstrated with a Cohda Self-Driving Development Vehicle) can leave the platoon and re-join it later without affecting the integrity of the platooning system.   Note that when the second-placed vehicle exits the platoon, the third vehicle autonomously accelerates to reduce the gap.   When the vehicle that exited the platoon wants to re-join, it approaches the ‘landing pad’ behind the last vehicle in the platoon and submits a request to re-join.