Section: Application Domains

Vehicular transportation systems

Car industry

Car industry has been already identified as a potential homeland application for NCS [67] , as the evolution of micro-electronics paved the way for introducing distributed control in vehicles. In addition, automotive control systems are becoming the more complex and iterative, as more on-board sensors and actuators are made available through technology innovations. The increasing number of subsystems, coupled with overwhelming information made available through on-board and off-board sensors and communication systems, rises new and interesting challenges to achieve optimal performance while maintaining the safety and the robustness of the total system. Causes of such an increase of complexity/difficulties are diverse: interaction between several control sub-systems (ABS, TCS, ESP, etc.), loose of synchrony between sub-systems, limitations in the computation capabilities of each dedicate processor, etc. The team had several past collaborations with the car industry (Renault since 1992, and Ford). In addition, in the ANR project VOLHAND, in progress, the team works on developing a new generation of electrical power-assisted steering specifically designed for disabled and aged persons. More recently, a grant with IFP has been signed with the aim of studying the potential in terms of energy saving and traffic improvement of communicating vehicles.

Intelligent transportation systems

Throughout the world, roadways are notorious for their congestion, from dense urban network to large freeway systems. This situation tends to get worse over time due to the continuous increase of transportation demand whereas public investments are decreasing and space is lacking to build new infrastructures. The most obvious impact of traffic congestion for citizens is the increase of travel times and fuel consumption. Another critical effect is that infrastructures are not operated at their capacity during congestion, implying that fewer vehicles are served than the amount they were designed for. Using macroscopic fluid-like models, the NeCS team has initiated new researches to develop innovative traffic management policies able to improve the infrastructure operations. This activity is currently focused on automatic model calibration and traffic prediction, two important items to implement efficient Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) such as traffic responsive ramp metering and varying speed limit as well as producing relevant user information. The team is currently setting up a consortium with local authorities involved in traffic management to build to a demonstrator called GTL (Grenoble Traffic Lab). One target of this activity is to transfer part of the developed technology to a start-up named Karrus.