Project Profile

IMAGinE – Solutions for Cooperative Driving

The IMAGinE (Intelligent Maneuver Automation – cooperative hazard avoidance in realtime) project is developing innovative driving assistance systems for cooperative driving. Cooperative driving refers to road traffic behaviour in which road users cooperatively plan and execute driving maneuvers. Individual driving behaviour is coordinated with other road users and the overall traffic situation based on automatic information exchange between vehicles and infrastructure. Critical situations can be avoided or mitigated, thereby making driving safer and more efficient.

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Communication technologies enable vehicles to exchange information with other vehicles about objects detected by on-board sensors in real time, thus providing the technological basis for collective environmental perception. Intuitive human-machine interaction concepts ensure high user acceptance of these technologies. IMAGinE employs advanced simulation systems to analyse to what extent cooperative driving maneuvers increase traffic efficiency.

The IMAGinE project consortium consists of twelve German partners and brings together leading companies from the automotive industry, small- and medium-sized businesses focusing on simulation, an academic institution, and a public road management company. IMAGinE is funded by Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy.


Creating Opportunities Through Cooperation in Road Traffic

Road users are increasingly supported by technical assistance systems that provide them with safety-related recommendations or even directly execute such actions. However, these recommendations and actions are neither communicated nor coordinated with other vehicles.


Moving from Individual to Cooperative Reaction

So far, conflicts between vehicles are addressed individually – either by technical systems or by the drivers themselves. These critical driving situations affect the flow of traffic and may lead to accidents. Active cooperation between vehicles contributes to avoiding these critical driving situations.

The importance of cooperation between vehicles will increase significantly in the coming years and in the future, traffic will be characterized more and more by vehicles with varying degrees of automation. Vehicles with automated driving systems will depend on the cooperative behaviour of other vehicles, for example if environmental perception is only possible to a limited extent for whatever reason.

 

 

Core Innovations

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Core Innovation

Cooperative Maneuver Arrangement


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IMAGinE is the first project to focus on goal-driven interactions between vehicles to coordinate maneuver planning. IMAGinE draws on selected cooperative functions and use cases to demonstrate the validity of the concepts developed in the project. These functions and use cases are tested in simulations and in prototype passenger cars and trucks on motorways and highways.

Core Innovation

Collective Environmental Model


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A comprehensive collective environmental model forms the foundation for cooperative driving maneuvers. IMAGinE is working on enhancing the current approach of processing and fusing sensor data by integrating external object data from the environment. It is the first project to specify and implement a collective environmental model as a basis for cooperative maneuver planning, independent of specific OEMs.

Core Innovation

Communication Mechanisms


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IMAGinE is the first project to work on conceptualising and implementing new messaging and suitable communication protocols necessary to coordinate contextual communication. This requires adapting existing message formats and defining new ones to enable the transmission of data relevant to decision-making among vehicles and between vehicles and infrastructure.

Core Innovation

Human-Machine Interaction


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IMAGinE is working on conceptualising and analysing human-machine interfaces that allow for cooperative interaction between different road users and their vehicles. An important challenge in this processing is developing comprehensive and intuitive assistant concepts that motivate drivers to engage in cooperative behaviour.

Core Innovation

Simulation Environment


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Existing simulation tools depict ego vehicles in a non-coordinated environment. IMAGinE is developing and implementing a generic and extendable simulation environment that – for the first time – facilitates the display of purposeful interactions between vehicles and, building on that, the analysis of cooperative maneuvers of several road users.

Objectives

Collective Perception

V2X communication technology enables the exchange of information between vehicles about their surroundings. Because of this, gaps in environmental perception caused by insufficient equipment, limited sensor range, shading or sensors’ physical limits can be filled in.

This principle of collective perception facilitates a common and shared understanding of the driving situation, which sets the stage for cooperative driving maneuvers. Collective environmental perception generates a common knowledge base among all vehicles equipped with V2X communication technology. As a result, assisted driving functions can lead to considerably improved cooperative driving behaviours.

Real-Time Communication

To maximize the cooperation potential between vehicles, IMAGinE is developing and implementing communication protocols for information exchange between intelligent systems and drivers. Real-time communication allows for timely reactions to highly dynamic and complex driving situations. The project therefore is aiming to create a real-time capable framework for cooperative driving.

IMAGinE by the Numbers

1   funding body
6   cooperative functions
12   project partners
17.9   € million of funding
38.2   € million budget
69   months duration (01/09/2016 – 31/05/2022)*
2,000   person-months of resources

 

*The work of the IMAGinE consortium is proceeding well. IMAGinE was extended until 31.05.2022 to provide the consortium an opportunity to research different concepts of maneuver agreement. Next to the realization of cooperative functions in test vehicles, various simulation approaches will also be applied. The comprehensive project results will be presented at the final event.

News

Successful integration workshop in Frankfurt/Main

On September 23 and 24, the IMAGInE partners from sub-project 4 - system and vehicle integration - met for another integration workshop at the DRIVE Center of partner Hessen Mobil in Frankfurt/Main. Objectives of the workshop were tests for sending and receiving complete Collective Perception Messages (CPM), tests of the cooperative environmental model and tests under realsitic driving constellations.

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IMAGinE system put into operation

From October 8 to 9, 2019, the IMAGinE partners from sub-project 4 (system and vehicle integration) met at the DRIVE Center of partner Hessen Mobil in Frankfurt/Main for another integration workshop. Objective of the workshop was to ensure that all relevant vehicle data is correctly distributed from the partner-specific structures via the IMAGinE system and then into the air as a V2X message.

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