Test track for automated and connected driving in Berlin opens
News from Sep. 19, 2019
On 19 September, the 3.6-kilometer test track between Ernst-Reuter-Platz and Brandenburger Tor was opened after 29 months of preparation. Fraunhofer FOKUS, in cooperation with DCAITI of TU Berlin, offered test drives in automated cars and demonstrated the advantages of vehicle-to-x communication, such as warnings of hazards at construction sites and cyclists.
For 29 months, sensors were built, vehicles retrofitted, software developed and everything connected with each other. Now the test track between Ernst-Reuter-Platz and Brandenburger Tor is ready for operation. As part of the research project “The Digitally Connected Protocol Route - Urban Test Field for Automated and Connected Driving in Berlin” (DIGINET-PS), automated and connected driving will be researched and further developed under actual traffic conditions to improve public traffic flows, the environmental situation and the safety of road users. The test track was opened on September 19, 2019 by the Federal Minister of Transport Andreas Scheuer, the Governing Mayor of Berlin Michael Müller and Prof. Dr. Christian Thomsen, President of the Technische Universität Berlin.
The Daimler Center for Automotive Information Technology Innovations (DCAITI) at the Technische Universität Berlin and Fraunhofer FOKUS work very closely and successfully together on DIGINET-PS. At the opening they offered automated drives on the test track and showed various vehicle-to-x applications:
- Green wave (traffic light/vehicle communication)
- Hazard warning construction site and animals (communication road infrastructure/car)
- Hazard warning breakdown vehicle and emergency braking (communication vehicle/vehicle)
- Cyclist hazard warning (communication road infrastructure/vehicle/cyclist's smartphone)
- Data exchange is possible via WLAN-V2X (ITS-5G) as well as via LTE-V2X.
Various platforms and software tools developed by the researchers are used in the project for connected and autonomous driving:
- Integrated Testing and Evaluation Framework/ ITEF: Fraunhofer has developed the Integrated Testing and Evaluation Framework (ITEF) which allows the planning, coordination, and evaluation of field tests with more than 100 vehicles. In ITEF, scenarios can be created for various functions to be tested, in which the routes to be driven, the configuration of the vehicles and the driver requirements are defined. In DIGINET-PS, the ITEF software enables the planning and coordination of cooperative automated test drives, for example for driving in a convoy.
- Local Dynamic Map/ LDM++: Highly accurate digital maps are indispensable for automated, connected driving. LDM++ from Fraunhofer FOKUS links the digital HD map with current environmental data, e.g. the speeds of neighboring vehicles and weather information, thus contributing to smooth, safe traffic.
- Fraunhofer lidar labeling tool/ FLLT.AI: So that the research vehicles of Fraunhofer FOKUS and DCAITI to be able to move automatically, i.e. autonomously, on the test track, they first had to learn to “see“. They collect data with cameras, radar and laser scanners. The challenge, however, is to interpret the objects in the environment correctly. FLLT.AI was used for the AI training, with which the image data of cameras and lidar sensors were semi-automatically analyzed and annotated.
- Virtual Testing of Connected and Automated Driving/ VSimRTI: Before automated and connected driving can be tested under real conditions in downtown Berlin, extensive simulations were carried out. VSimRTI is a comprehensive framework for the integration of individual simulators that facilitates the simulation of smart mobility scenarios.
The Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure is funding the DIGINET-PS project within the “Strategy for Automated and Connected Driving” with 4.63 million euros.