Grand Cooperative Driving Challenge 2011
The Grand Cooperative Driving Challenge (GCDC) is a competition on autonomous platooning of mixed platoons. The goal is to achieve a smooth and efficient movement of a team of autonomous vehicles communicating with each other. The long-term plan is to introduce autonomous platooning on real highways to improve traffic flow, reduce traffic congestions, and to be able to process an increasing amount of traffic without increasing amount of roads required.
Although presentations on platooning have been shown by a number of research groups already, those presentations assume the same software and hardware running on all vehicles. In contrast, during the GCDC all participating teams will develop their own software and will use different kind of vehicles including passenger cars and trucks. The vehicles only share the same communication protocol and meet minimum standards concerning communication frequency, acceleration, and deceleration.
Schedule and Competition
The GCDC will be held in the Netherlands on the highway between Helmond and Eindhoven. The highway will be closed during this event so that interaction with normal cars is excluded. The competition will consist of several trials driven on May 14 and May 15. During each trial two platoons are created randomly by the vehicles of all teams on two parallel lanes of the highway. The platoons follow a manually driven lead vehicle which varies its velocity several times. The vehicles have to keep a minimum headway time. However, the platoon length should be as small as possible. The winner of each trial is the platoon with the smallest platoon length.
Our team AnnieWAY participates at the GCDC. We build a developer group of six researchers and started our preparation in fall 2010. In two training camps in March and April we foster the further development of our software and hardware setup and perform many test drives with our two vehicles.
Since we are mainly interested in the scientific development of cognitive automobiles we don't see the GCDC as a competition between different research groups only but also as a place for cooperation between different research groups. Therefore, we exchange ideas, information, and some software modules with other teams, especially concerning the communication drivers.
Find a description of our approach at the GCDC in our team description paper.