The Vehicle as Mobile Sensor in a Collaborative Network
The global increase in vehicle numbers and resulting traffic flow, especially in urban areas, presents a growing challenge to governments and local authorities in terms of road infra-structure and journey logistics. A growing awareness of the harmful effects of vehicle emissions and some social issues in terms of time spent travelling and in vehicles, especially during heavy periods of traffic, has in recent times also led to substantial resources being allocated to resolving problems and improving the negative aspects of these situations. The will to reduce air pollution and road accidents while also improving fuel economy is at the heart of the issues motivating studies looking into technology and changes in driver behaviour. The thesis first discusses some previous research that has sought robust solutions to these matters. The concepts described in this thesis are concerned with on-board vehicular sensors that receive climate and weather data in real-time, such that the control system of the vehicle is informed by and can process this data rapidly, with consequent operating behaviour modification. Coming from external sources such as on-board sensors and regional weather reports, the data is blended with other vehicle sensor data to provide a nascent ‘intelligent’ vehicle. A new contribution to the solution-finding quest in this research domain relates to climate and weather anticipation. In describing the technical aspects of the sensors, their operation and their relationship with a functioning vehicle, the thesis sets out to examine and test the claim that weather detection by means of light and radar data gathering instruments, when used in concert with camera and other terrestrial sensing equipment, can generate a reliable set of data to inform vehicle and cloud based control systems. The integral components for meeting the challenges out-lined above, contribute to cooperative driver assistant functionality in particular for driving safety or fuel efficiency, and the creation of a universally accepted, future autonomous vehicle design.
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