Our project is featured in one of Bradley University's "In the Spotlight" article
Autonomous vehicles have become of increasing interest with defense research. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has held its Grand Challenge and Urban Challenge in 2004, 2005, and 2007. These competitions have set some of the most elite schools against one another in a competition to build a fully autonomous vehicle. Recently Google has also announced its “Google Driverless Car”; a fleet of full scale autonomous cars which have logged over 300,000 hours completely accident free. If an autonomous vehicle were to become available on the market, then it would have far reaching benefits; from increasing road safety to allowing those with physical and vision disabilities to drive. For the Smart Autonomous Vehicle in a Scaled Urban Environment (SAV-SUE) project, the team will bring the concept of an autonomous vehicle to a small scale.
SAV-SUE will integrate environment detection via a camera input and a digital signal processor (DSP) for image processing with microcontroller-based vehicle control. Fig. 1 illustrates a high level system block diagram for the system. The camera will be mounted in the cab mimicking a driver’s vision unless the size of the vehicle dictates otherwise. The camera will send signals to the DSP to determine the environment. The DSP will interface with the primary controller which will be a microcontroller. Sensory information will also interface with this primary controller. The primary controller will communicate with the vehicle’s Multi-Function Unit Controller (MFU), which will operate the motors and lights to achieve the desired actions of the vehicle. This vehicle will be the Tamiya MAN TGX 26.540 6x4 XLX replica-quality semi truck cab, built to a 1/14-scale.