The 7th IFAC Symposium on Intelligent Autonomous Vehicles 2010

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Communicating Vehicles in Convoy and Monocular Vision-based Localization

Thomas Feraud

Paul Checchin

Romuald Aufrere

Roland Chapuis

This article deals with mobile robotics in convoy. An autonomous vehicle has to follow the
path of the vehicle ahead of it, but without having the vehicle ahead in its field of view. So, the task
for the second vehicle is to follow the leader’s path with a variable time delay. Moreover, relatively
strong constraints are imposed in terms of speed of processing, precision of the localization and for
communication. The vehicles of the convoy have to be localized in their environment without being
detectable. So, the use of active sensors such as rangefinders, radars or laser sensors, is prohibited
in the same way as GPS devices. The communication data rate between consecutive vehicles is low
(10 kbits/s). The presented method allows in this context the replay of a path from input data based
on 3D positions of some points supplied by the leader vehicle. This method combines data acquired
by low cost sensors (odometer, gyroscope) and by a monocular camera through an Extended Kalman
Filter (EKF). Simulation results as well as results of experiments conducted on real data demonstrate the
effectiveness of the proposed approach.


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