Highly exact position sensor enables car2x applications

November 17, 2011 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
By fusing driving dynamics sensor information with GPS data, automotive supplier Continental will make it possible to determine the precise position of a vehicle within its lane. This degree of exactness is required to roll out car2x applications.

Continental's new M2XPro (Motion information 2 X Provider) sensor uses an intelligent fusion algorithm to provide control units inside and outside of the car with a vehicle's motion information together with a precise time base. The ability to determine the vehicle's position very exactly is essential for a number of applications, particularly for car2x communication.

To date, driving dynamics sensors and GPS lack sufficient precision and reliability for car2x applications: GPS connection can be occasionally interrupted when crossing bridges or driving between high buildings.

Many driving dynamics sensors, such as inertial sensors for acceleration and yaw rate, wheel speed sensors and steering angle sensors, are already in use in vehicles fitted with ESC, allowing the vehicle's movements to be recorded and its relative position to be determined with great precision. Continental's new sensor combines the data from these sensors with the GPS data which acts as an external reference for determining the vehicle's absolute position. The sensor fusion within the M2XPro checks the plausibility of all the vehicle's drive dynamics data and makes it available to other control units. This redundancy improves the quality of the data generated. Since the M2XPro is designed so as to make use of the sensors installed in the vehicle and, in addition, to link up with the GPS data, it can be integrated into existing vehicle architectures.

At present, the new sensor exists as a concept study for trialing in prototype vehicles. By 2015, the M2XPro will have been developed to the point that the sensor can be used in the first car2x systems. The M2XPro can then also be combined with the same vendor's intelligent antenna module, allowing precise vehicle data to be made available not only to all the vehicle's own systems but to be transmitted to the surrounding infrastructure as well. "By combining just two components – the M2XPro and the intelligent antenna module – we have made it possible to