Integrated Modeling and Simulation Framework for Freight Transportation in Metropolitan Areas

The objectives of the proposed research is to (1) develop a low-cost automotive sensor prototype based on radio frequency (RF) ultra wideband (UWB) CMOS technology for short range (< 30 m) high resolution (< 5 cm) object detection and (2) test the prototype sensor in a multi-object scattering environment in order to develop the requirements for active safety. Therefore, the successful outcome of this project will be to advance technology and expand knowledge regarding the applicability of this technology to accident scenarios. Extensive research indicates that a new technology, broadly referred to as Active Safety, can be enabled that couples vehicle controls and driver warnings with sensing and communications. These safety systems actively sense the environment and warn the driver or even take over the control of vehicle momentarily to reduce the likelihood of collision. Active safety roadmap applications include hard braking, sensing and mitigation, sensing and warning, stop and go adaptive cruise control, park assist, blind spot merge, side impact sensing and pedestrian detection and protection. In vehicle sensing technology based on radar, lidar, sonar, infra-red, and video imaging are likely to become commonplace in future cars. Communication technologies such as Dedicated Short Range Communications (DSRC) will enhance these in-vehicle sensing technologies through vehicle-infrastructure communication in an Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) to enable a further layer of safety. There are strong technological and economical reasons indicating that a multi-modal sensing scheme in vehicles offers more promise for future cars. The favorable features of a radar-based sensor over lidar or video are the ability to operate at night and poor weather conditions, real time processing of objects, high resolution, and potentially low cost. Therefore, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has allocated a wide frequency spectrum around 24 GHz (22-29 GHz) for automotive radar applications. Many other countries including the European Union have also approved, albeit temporarily, this frequency band for commercial vehicular use. The FCC allocated frequency band allows using the ultra wideband (UWB) technology to achieve a higher resolution for short range vehicular sensing applications such as blind spot detection, side and rear impact sensing, and pedestrian detection and protection. Currently, there is only one supplier that develops such UWB sensors for the high-end automotive industry due to the usage of an expensive semiconductor technology and primitive radar architecture. The principal investigator's research group at the University of Southern California has recently developed an UWB radar integrated circuit based on a low-cost RF CMOS technology [25][26]. An automotive sensor based on these RF CMOS radar chips is expected to have a 10x lower production cost compared to existing systems enabling their widespread deployment. In addition, these high performance sensors significantly reduce the rate of false alarms in a dynamic scattering environment by using the phased array, aka, electronically scanned arrays or beam-forming array, radar technology. This proposed research will focus on developing a high performance sensor prototype based on the UWB RF CMOS chips that will be used toward a feasibility study of this technology for active safety. It addresses the safety and security issues of large metropolitan areas including pedestrian safety, reduction of crash risks, public transit safety, and safety and risk mitigation.