BME researchers pioneer cloud-based real-world vehicle control

With a successful demonstration as part of the EUREKA Central System project the development of a central system to support the testing and operation of automated vehicles has reached an important milestone. The demonstration, carried out between 8-10 November by the consortium leader Budapest University of Technology and Economics and consortium member Virtual Vehicle Research GmbH of Austria, was the first time that an external partner used the services of a central system to control the manoeuvres to be performed by the test vehicle via standard interfaces.

During the demonstration, the vehicle was driven along a route designed by the central system based on a digital twin model generated in real time and sent to the test vehicle. In another experiment, low-level control messages were sent directly to the vehicle from the cloud, i.e. the vehicle was driven by the central system. The maneuver was designed to avoid a physical pedestrian or virtual pedestrian. To the best of our knowledge this is the first published experiment in the world where a real vehicle has been controlled in real conditions on a real track via standard interfaces from a cloud-based central system.

Dr. András Rövid, head of the Autonomous Vehicles research group at BME’s Department of Automotive Technologies and the professional leader of the consortium, said after the demonstration, “I am very pleased and consider it a success that we were able to meet the set goals in the tests and demonstrate the operation of cloud-based vehicle control under real conditions.”

Sensors embedded in infrastructure offer a unique opportunity to produce a digital twin model of the environment, including both static and dynamic elements. In our case, the digital twin model is produced in a so-called central system, based on higher level data extracted from various infrastructure sensors, which can be used to implement a number of additional driving support or autonomous vehicle functions provided by the central system, as well as to test them in an automated way. One of these functions is e.g. autonomous obstacle avoidance, where the trajectory to avoid an obstacle is planned by the central system based on the available digital twin model and transmitted to the vehicle. The vehicle, relying on its own control mechanisms, follows this planned path, avoiding a collision. In the EUREKA Central System project, a demonstration of such a function, provided by the central system, was carried out at the ZalaZONE test track with the participation of Hungarian and Austrian experts. The Austrian Virtual Vehicle is a leading international R&D center for the automotive and railway industry, focusing on advanced virtualization of vehicle development.

Testing was carried out at speeds of 20-50 km/h, and the next step will be to test the system at higher speeds.

The development work will enable the automatic testing of advanced driver assistance systems in particular, as well as providing an efficient solution for the control of vehicles from the control center in logistics centers.

Project title: Central System, Testing and verification methods for driving functions and environmental perception systems; Project ID: 2020-1.2.3-EUREKA-2021-00001; Funding: National Research, Development and Innovation Fund

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We participated as a speaker in an international internal training for Bosch development engineers

The Department of Automotive Technologies of BME was a speaker at the in-house training of engineers involved in the development related to artificial intelligence, organized by Bosch for a Hungarian and international audience at the Bosch Budapest Innovation Campus of Robert Bosch Ltd.

The Bosch Summer School, a two-day program for the advanced training of development engineers, was held on 6-7 November this year, with over 100 participants.

This was the first time that a university participant was also involved in the program, which is now in its 4th year. Under a strict confidentiality agreement, our research engineers were able to gain insights into Bosch’s research into artificial intelligence and learn about the current challenges in development.

“It is a great pleasure for us and we are proud that, building on the mutual trust established over many years of cooperation and the expertise of our researchers, we were the first university to participate in one of the major training events of such a significant and prestigious multinational industrial partner,” said Zsolt SZALAY, PhD, Head of the Department of Automotive Technologies after the event.

In the field of camera-lidar fusion based environment detection Mihály Csonthó, in the field of reinforcement learning based motion planning and control at dynamic limits Hunor Szilárd Tóth, and on the investigation of the operation of neural networks in the light of known/unknown, correct/incorrect evaluation criteria, our colleague Dr. Árpád Török gave a presentation.

Dr Zsolt Szalay, head of the department, gave an interview to Index news portal

The topic of the interview goes beyond the scope of the departmental activities, as Zsolt Szalay, Associate Professor of the Department of Automotive Technologies at BME, as a member of the MIT REAP Scale Up Hungary team, together with András Nemeslaki, Professor of the Department of Management and Business Economics at BME, discussed it, how the University of Technology has already started to put into practice the proposals developed for the Hungarian government during the international program led by Boston University to release the Hungarian economy from the trap of mediocre development.

For years, the Department of Automotive Technologies has been focusing on innovation and entrepreneurship as a key principle in its operating philosophy, but the MIT program will also support the correct and successful implementation of the model change at the University of Technology, and the proposal package developed by the Hungarian team during the program could also provide a turning point for the innovation-driven development of Hungarian higher education as a whole.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Regional Entrepreneurship Acceleration Program (MIT REAP) is a global initiative to accelerate growth in participating countries and regions by supporting innovation-driven entrepreneurship. The program involves a team of participants from a country (or region) working with MIT experts to develop a realistic and detailed package of proposals and roadmap for the government of the country that can be implemented in the short to medium term. The implementation of this proposal is expected to lead to a substantial improvement in the openness to start-ups, productivity and innovation of small and medium-sized enterprises. Hungary is the first and so far only Central and Eastern European participant in the 10-year history of the program. BME is also part of the Hungarian Scale-up Hungary team.

The Index article can be found via this link.