AUTONOMOUS and CONNECTED CARS
at ITS WORLD Bordeaux

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NEXYAD Automotive & Transportation Newsletter #5, the 17th of october 2015



Summary :

– OVERVIEW OF ITS WORLD CONGRESS IN BORDEAUX

– USING NEXYAD ADAS MODULES FOR AUTONOMOUS VEHICLE AND SAFETY/RISK ESTIMATION

– REAL TIME ONBOARD RISK ESTIMATION CORRELATED WITH ROAD ACCIDENT

– NEXYAD IN MEDIA

News about ADAS VALIDATION

NEXYAD has been starting the development of a data base for artificial vision-based ADAS test and validation.

This data base will be relevant and unique because it is fully decribed in two ways :
. reality : position of road and obstacles
. driving situation (i.e. curve in a foggy weather with pedestrian crossing, …) using the methology AGENDA.

To read more :
– « Methodology for ADAS validation: Potential Contribution of other Scientific Fields which have already answered the Same Questions »,
G. Yahiaoui, P. Da Silva Dias, proceedings of the 3rd CESA Automotive Electronics Congress May 2014 Paris, Lecture Notes in Mobility,
ENERGY CONSUMPTION AND AUTONOMOUS DRIVING, Jochen Langheim Ed, Springer, pp 133-138.
– « Validation of Advanced Driving Assistance Systems », G. Yahiaoui, N. du Lac, SafetyWeek congress, Aschaffenburg, May 2015.

Business details :
A part of this data base will be soon available for free on the internet, to the worldwide ADAS and Autonomous
vehicle community (labos and firms).
If you wish to receive the link as soon as it is available, click HERE and fill the registration form.
(Free access to the NEXYAD Artificial Vision-based ADAS Validation Database)
The complete data base should be available soon through an annual membership.
For more information : contact NEXYAD Olivier BENEL +33 139 04 13 60

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ITS World Congress in Bordeaux

ITS Patchwork

From 5 to 9 October, the ITS World Congress held in Bordeaux.
It is the world’s largest gathering on the subject of intelligent transport systems and numerous corporations and government agencies were present to discuss new technologies, communication and robotics which every day are revolutionizing commercial road transport, individual and collective.

From our point of view, three main domains distinguished themselves which are however increasingly closely intertwined: the vehicle, the infrastructure and information.
The most spectacular of them represented by the many autonomous vehicles that lined the stands or went in demo mode near the fairgrounds.

We noted a trend of convergence between the connected vehicle on one hand and adas in the other hand, all autonomous vehicles were also connected vehicles and communicating vehicles : car to x and x to car (especially radio link with fires and road signs.)

The AKKA link in city car without driver of the French IT company has rolled around the lake so the city. This electric car is the result of a call for projects from the agency for the development and innovation of the Aquitaine region and it uses open data from the city of Bordeaux and its neighbourhoods.

Akka - Renault

From Renault, we saw the Next Two a piloted car remotely by a tablet. It parked all alone with no one behind the wheel. We liked particulary that this functionality avoids a walking pedestrian crossing in front of the car. Then it returns to the starting point when you recall it, always from the tablet.

Moveo-Groupement ADAS is a cluster of 8 french SME’s that put their competence in common to develop autonomous car. They showed on their booth the demo car that has been made for ENSIAME University of Valenciennes, entirely robotised by FH Electronics. Nexyad designed the eyes of this car with his vision-based road detection system RoadNex that runs on the framework RT-Maps from Intempora. The other companies showed demos, products, and competence on detection, pattern recognition, eco-driving measurement, human factors, advanced engineering for autonomous cars.

Groupement ADAS - PSA

PSA Peugeot Citröen showed on its stand several R & D results in progress (for example, a work in collaboration with Nexyad : a plateform for simulation Car Easy Apps or CASA) Several autonomous vehicles rolled in urban circuit.

VeDeCoM presented four autonomous vehicles driving around the lake near the Congress place on a 7km open track. These demonstrators, which are dual-mode vehicles (manual driving and driving delegation level 4), combine the French expertise, derived from the public-private partnership research on the autonomous vehicle. We appreciated a lot the capacity of those demo cars to pass all the difficulties of the city, including roundabouts with traffic which are one of the key problems of the automated driving.

Smartlane - Citilog

Smartlane opens up your data silos and allows you to create a secure, accessible and integrated data hub. In this way your own data are carefully combined with external sources in order to provide comprehensive information value.

Valeo came also with an autonomous vehicle in demo on the road of Bordeaux : the Valeo Cruiser4U fitted with the valeo laser scanner and the valeo camera that uses Mobileye processor. This car was designed to scale in urban and suburban driving, it can change lane, reaching 130km/h.

Nexyad - Valeo

Nexyad was present on two booth at ITS. « Moveo Groupement ADAS » one showing innovative technologies of perception with a suite of software modules RoadNex, single camera based detection of sides of the road and detection of the surface of the road ; ObstaNex, single camera based detection of obstacles on the road and on the sides of the road ; VisiNex onboard, camera based measurement of the visibility ; and SafetyNex, a world unique tool to estimate the risk/safe in driving 100% correlated with accidentology. Nexyad was also present on the PSA Peugeot Citröen booth with the FUI, Moveo labelised, research program CASA.

Citilog showed his incidents detection system on motorways, and management of intersections in cities based on proprietary camera technology. Citilog was on Moveo Groupement ITS Infra booth with other SME’s.

ST - Citilog

ST Microelectronics showcased next generation technologies for automotive applications, with a range of solutions including telematics, positioning, ADAS, digital radio, and sensors. We discovered his partner AutoTalks the pioneer and leader of the V2X Technology.

TomTom makes his navigation more and more precise and efficient. They have fully mapped in 3D the roads of Germany to render, in the future, automated driving possible, and they will do the rest of Europe before the world, they say.

Navya is an electric shuttle 100% French without driver that moves at low speed through an embedded robot and multi-sensor system. Designed for urban mobility, first for closed sites and latter for the first or the last kilometer of a journey, it can accommodate up to twenty passengers safely. Demo on a course in the city of Bordeaux.

Atlatec makes ground reality which is very valuable for validation of ADAS. Put their box in your car, calibrate it and run. Then it stores a mass of data and the software creates automatically high precision 3D maps of the environment with high resolution top view of the road.

Here presented high definition maps combined with cloud technology. The leader of navigation brings to the driver, real-time location experiences through of a broad range of connected devices from smartphones, tablets to wearables and vehicles; and always more informations like road surface horizon (slope/cant track).

Here -

On the ITS World Congress we could feel very clearly that car manufacturers, Tier One and Tier Two Companies, stakeholders in mobility, in general, (including many SMEs) have heavily invested on ADAS and autonomous vehicles. It leads to a multitude of very advanced exhibitions, and present or future availability of high performance sensors at low costs, with associated signal processing, which are also mature.


Nexyad tries Autonomous Vehicle by VeDeCom at ITS World in Bordeaux

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Using Nexyad ADAS Modules for Autonomous Vehicle
and Safety/Risk Estimation

by NEXYAD


INTRODUCTION

The company NEXYAD developped software modules for Advanced Driver Assistance Systems :
. RoadNex (Road detection) : lane detection, detection of the borderlines of drivable area in the lane, detection of the surface of drivable area in the lane.
Sensor : camera (color)

. ObstaNex (Obstacles detection) : obstacles detection (if they have a vertical dimension or – inclusive – if they have their own movement)
Sensor : camera (N&B or color), accel, gyro

. VisiNex onboard (weather visibility measurement) : visibility measurement (quality and distance)
Sensor : camera

. SafetyNex : onboard road safety / risk estimation
Sensor : navigation map, gps, accel or car speed

Those modules were made to develop very efficient ADAS.
There are many ways of comining those modules, depending on the function that should be developped.

LANE KEEPING AND AUTOMATIC BRAKING : FOR CAR MANUFACTURERS AND TIER ONE COMPANIES

For this function, modules may be integrated in a rather complex way :
Nexyad Suite 1
Such an application needs to know where it works and where it doesn’t work (reliability). For that, VisiNex helps because it measures weather visibility and the nit is possible to know in which context artificial vision algorithms are efficient or not. It is also possible to switch setting parameters of artificial vision based algorithms using visibility characteristics, in order to expand the range of good performance of the global system (this is robustness).

NEXYAD applies a validation methodology called AGENDA (see papers in CESA Automotive 2014 in Paris and in SATETYWEEK 2015 in Aschaffenburg). This methodology is the onlt approach that allows to know what the system is supposed to do in a functional point of view, with measurable characterisctics of road scenes.
NEXYAD of course uses the NEXYAD ADAS validation data base : a part of this validation data base for artificial vision-based ADAS will be soon online for free (usable by every researcher or engineer in the world).

Note : the AGENDA methodology also provides a method to measure the similarity of a road scene in the validation data base anda current road scene : this is applied to estimate a confidence score.

SAFETY / RISK ESTIMATION FOR INSURANCE COMPANIES

SafetyNex measures the adequation of driving to road infrastructure characteristics.
It generates then a risk if the driver goes too fast when approaching a crossing road or a dangerous curve.
Of course, a poor visibility should lead the driver to drive slower.
In addition, there could be auxiliary inputs that would tell SafetyNex if there are obstacles on the pathway :
Nexyad Suite 2
This scheme is the same than the previous one but the outputs of RoadNex and ObstaNex are used INSIDE the scheme (they don’t provide an output of the global scheme).

DEMOS OF NEXYAD MODULES



REFERENCES

Validation of Advanced Driving Assistance Systems by Gérard Yahiaoui & Nicolas Du Lac
CESA Paper by Gérard Yahiaoui & Pierre Da Silva Dias
Road detection for ADAS and autonomous vehicle
Using the NEXYAD road detection (RoadNex) to make obstacles detection more robust
Real Time Onboard Risk Estimation Correlated with Road Accident
Visibility Measurement for ADAS and Autonomous Vehicle


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Real Time Onboard Risk Estimation
Correlated with Road Accident

REAL TIME ONBOARD RISK ESTIMATION CORRELATED WITH ROAD ACCIDENT :
AN ENTIRELY SOLVED PROBLEM AND A PRODUCT ALREADY AVAILABLE FOR DEPLOYMENT

by NEXYAD

(Version Française ici)

INTRODUCTION

Measuring road safety in the context experienced by the driver is a topic of interest for several activities :
. car manufacturers, who can inform the driver of potential dangers
. autonomous vehicle developers who need to prove that the driving actually minimizes risk of accident.
. fleet managers and insurance companies who wish to measure the risk taken by drivers (how they drive)
. managers of road infrastructure that alway change infrastructure to adapt and lower the risk of accident

The company NEXYAD has been developing since 2001 an embedded onboard module, SafetyNex, to
estimate in real time the risk of accident.

PRECONCEIVED IDEAS ABOUT ROAD ACCIDENTS AND DRIVING STYLE

Many trials have been completed or in progress, particularly by insurance companies and fleet managers,
In order to measure what is called the “driving style”.

The assumption is that some drivers are more “nervous” than others, and that this has an impact on the accident: those that speed up or slow down quite often brutally would be “bad drivers” while those with a quieter driving style would be “good” drivers.
This assumption is contradicted by the facts. There is no statistical connection between the driving style and
the accident.

Formally, one can easily fancy very well that if a driver operates very quietly, without slowing, without
accelerating at 30 km / h, and if this driver passes through a stop road sign without braking … then the driving style is quiet but very accident-prone.
We then see that beyond the possible statistical link (that doesn’t exist), there can be no relationship of cause and effect.

All experiments that were conducted led to this result.
All those that will be conducted, based on more or less intelligent thresholding of the acceleration values are doomed to failure.
Do not confuse eco-driving and safe driving.

Driving style cannot be interpreted itself without context description :
. infrastructure shape and characteristic, on which the vehicle is traveling
. traffic (presence of other road users)
. weather conditions (visibility, grip, …)
. level of driver vigilance (distraction, drowsiness, sleep …)

NEXYAD has developed a scalable solution capable of taking into account all these factors.
SafetyNex is therefore able to estimate the risk of driving using all those variables.
Version 2.1 of SafetyNex, under deployment, takes into account the adequacy of driving style with the type and shape of infrastructure (breaks on route characteristics, turns, pedestrian crossings, intersections …).

This version has been intentionally reduced to « driving style vs infratructure characteristics », because it already gives a 90% correlation with accident and because this version is deployable at very low cost:
. on smart phone
. electronic device (developed by an automotive tier one company), without using the OBD socket)

CORRELATION OF RISK OF ACCIDENT ESTIMATED BY SafetyNex V2.1 AND ACCIDENT

NEXYAD participated in collaborative research programs since 2001, and worked then with experts from the road equipment.

In particular, SARI research program led to detecting what experts call “Break on the route characteristics”. For example, a turn with a big curve may be a danger when it arrives behind a long straight line, while the same curve will not be dangerous bend on a mountain road.

NEXYAD published a paper at the conference on road safety May 6, 2010 in Paris: PRAC 2010
Risk Prevention and Save The Conduct, Session 1 Characterization of road risk vs. infrastructure
« Evaluation du risque routier pour l’aide à la conduite ou le diagnostic de l’infrastructure », Johann Brunet, Pierre Da Silva Dias, Gérard Yahiaoui, PRAC 2010, Mai 2010, Paris.

The work that led to this publication were integrated in the available product SafetyNex. This means that by construction, the risk estimated by SafetyNex is correlated to the accident. This is true by construction, and NEXYAD conducted tests on roads, downtown, on motorways in urban areas, etc … and was able to validate this result.

PRINCIPLE OF SafetyNex V2.1

SafetyNet is a knowledge based system (expert system) which applies rules of the experts of the equipment.
These rules are stored in a rules data base in a mathematical form that can adapt to gradual actual characteristics of the infrastructure.

Required inputs are :
. the navigation map and the GPS: To examine the shape and type of the infrastructure located downstream of the vehicle (turns with their radius of curvature, points of interest like pedestrian crossing, crossroads, etc …)
. the instantaneous vehicle speed

From these two inputs, SafetyNex evaluates, by applying the rules, the adequacy of the driving speed of the vehicle to difficulty and danger of infrastructure.

A sporty driver accelerating hard, braking hard, but passing dangerous places at low speed will be scored with a low risk.
A quiet driver that passes through a stop road sing at 30 km / h without braking will be scored with a high risk.
A brutal braking cannot be considered as « bad driving » if it is necessary to avoid an accident …

We see then, that SafetyNex risk estimation is not correlated with the absolute value of acceleration, but with ACTUAL speed adaptation to difficulty and danger of the infrastructure, in real time.

Additional inputs (optional) are already scheduled, and can afford to modulate the estimated risk to increase acuracy of SafetyNex :
. grip (if one has a sensor to connect to the input provided for the purpose of SafetyNex)
. weather report (if one has the temporal and spatial information)
. atmospheric visibility (if one has adequate measure: example: a camera and the measuring module of atmospheric visibility : VisiNex)
. distance to potential obstacles (if it has an adequate sensor : eg radar, lidar, or camera with RoadNex ObstaNex modules)
. a driver distraction factor (if the driver is observed with a camera and / or if one monitors the activity of mobile phone, etc …)

All these additional inputs are already ready to be used by SafetyNex but of course, they increase the cost of deployment, involving sensors (camera, …) and additional computing power before getting in SafetyNex to process signals and images from the optional sensors.

Using SafetyNex V2.1 with only the required inputs already allows a very high correlation of the estimated risk with the accident. We recommend to implement this version, already infinitely more effective than any other onboard measurements.
The interest of SafetyNex is that the future is already assured: Moore’s Law by rapidly lowering the cost of electronics and embedded computing, SafetyNex is ready to process the additional inputs, when users want to integrate cameras and sensors.

TYPICAL USES OF SafetyNet V2.1

. Insurance Companies:

– Pay how you drive
– Predictive modeling of bonus malus: the same accident under the same conditions does not lead to the same conclusions based on accumulated historical and recording the last seconds risk SafetyNex
– Generation of a dumb risk variable, correlated to the accident, to help actuaries refine pricing (big data)

. Fleet managers

. Automotive equipment suppliers:

– Alarm on risk
– Intelligent Navigation able to advise the driver

. Engineers and researchers from autonomous vehicle:

– Driving Quality Assessment generated by the robot

CONCLUSION

Embedded estimation of road risk of accident is now a problem completely solved by a product available for deployment, SafetyNex.
SafetyNex is deployable at Low cost on:
. mobile phones
. electronic device of a Automotive Tier 1 supplier (without plugging the OBD).

And SafetyNex already planned to integrate (once the cost is acceptable) grip sensors and cameras (for example) to estimate traffic and atmospheric visibility, as well as information such as weather and driver distraction.

All of these are already processed by SafetyNex rules based system, so that the tool can quickly evoluate with each decrease in the cost of sensor elements and cost of computing power needed to compute sensors outputs.

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NEXYAD Automotive & Transportation in Media

Logo Les Echos
Les Echos
“when the smartphone becomes a lookout driver”


Logo Le Monde
Le Monde
“Autonomous car is a dream the French Automotive sector”


Le journal de l'Automobile
NEXYAD was compared to Mobileye and considered as a serious player in the competition.
In french magazine Le Journal de l’Automobile, pp 52-54, 18 Sept 2015
« MobilEye a de la concurrence : longtemps en position monopolistique, la société israélienne a désormais un
concurrent qui s’annonce sérieux dans le domaine des algorithmes de gestion des caméras embarquées, Nexyad.
Rencontre avec les ingénieurs français qui pourraient changer la donne »

Proceedings of the 2014 CESA

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General Information

Nexyad was at the CESA Congress (organized by sia) on 3 and 4 December 2014.

Our presence was at three levels:
. Participation in the round table on the development of ADAS
. Publication on a methodology for validating adas (ADAS validation)
. Presence on the booth ADAS Mov’eo Group

The congres was full of contributions, and main important points we noticed are:

. Emergence of new business models opportunities for high-tech SMEs technology in the world of ADAS
. Strong awareness of the need for ADAS test and validation methodology
. Emergence of highly structured sensors strategies for classifying

ADAS in terms of features, cost, operating range, robustness, …

. Round table

Participants in the roundtable were:
. Maria Belen Aranda Colas, Robert Bosch
. Ching-Yao Chang, University of Berkeley
. Thierry Lehay, PSA Peugeot Citroën
. Patrice Reilhac Valeo
. Gabriel Toffolo, Renault
. Gérard Yahiaoui Nexyad

Questions focused on the need for standardization of HMI and on the need to create new job profiles and competences to effectively develop ADAS and autonomous vehicle, and also on the opportunity for SMEs to find new business models in this ADAS field. Also mentioned the need for standards methods and tools For ADAS validation. Nexyad exposed the opportunity for SMEs to use the nomadic systems of image acquisition, computing and storage (smart phones). these new devices make it possible for SMEs to imagine B2C applications.

. Publication of Nexyad

Nexyad presented the AGENDA methodology that was originally developed in the 90 to specify learning and test data bases for training and validation of artificial neural networks applications.

It appears that this methodology is completely adapted to the specification of ADAS validation
databases.

Nexyad is also currently integrating this methodology in an upcoming tool that will send host such a database and easily manage all crossings of road scenes variability factors (work in collaboration with the SMEs Intempora and Civitec).

During the same session other organizations (Daimler for instance) also presented very interesting for the validation of ADAS.

The proliferation of interesting ideas on this key issue is rather good news and suggests a significant advance in the near future.

Compte rendu du CESA 2014

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Information générale

Nexyad était sur le congrès CESA (organisé par la sia) les 3 et 4 décembre 2014.

Notre présence était sur trois plans :

. participation à la table ronde sur l’évolution des ADAS
. publication sur une méthodologie de validation des ADAS
. présence sur le stand groupé du Groupement ADAS de Mov’eo

Le salon a été riche en contributions, et les points importants que nous avons notés ou communiqués sont:

. l’émergence de nouvelles opportunités de business models pour les PME de haute technologie dans le monde des ADAS

. la prise de conscience forte de la nécessité de disposer de méthodologie de test et de validation des systèmes ADAS et des fonctionnalités de délégation de conduite.

. l’émergence de stratégies capteurs très structurées permettant de les classer en termes de fonctions ADAS, de coûts, de distance de fonctionnement, de robustesse, …

. Table ronde :

Les participants à cette table ronde étaient :
. maria Belen Aranda Colas, Robert Bosch
. Ching-Yao Chang, University of Berkeley
. Thierry Lehay, PSA peugeot Citroën
. Patrice Reilhac, Valeo
. Gabriel Toffolo, Renault
. Gérard Yahiaoui, Nexyad

Les questions ont porté sur la nécessité de standardisation des IHM, sur les nouveaux métiers à créer pour développer efficacement les ADAS et le véhicule autonome, et sur l’opportunité pour les PME de trouver de nouveaux business models dans ce paysage des ADAS. A aussi été mentionné la nécessité de disposer de moyens standards de validation des ADAS. Nexyad a exposé l’opportunité pour les PME que constituent les moyens nomades d’acquisition d’images, de calcul, et de stockage (smart phone). Ces moyens nouveaux permettent en effet aux PME d’imaginer des applications B2C.

. Publication de Nexyad :

Nexyad a présenté la méthodologie AGENDA qui avait initialement été développée dans les années 90 pour spécifier les bases de données d’apprentissage et de test des réseaux de neurones artificiels. Il apparaît que cette méthodologie soit tout à fait adaptée à la spécification des bases de données de validation des ADAS.

Nexyad est d’ailleurs en train d’intégrer cette méthodologie dans un futur outil qui permettra d’adresser une telle base de données et de gérer simplement tous les croisements de facteurs de variabilité des scènes routière (en collaboration entre autre, avec les PME Intempora et Civitec).

La session a permis à d’autres organisations (dont Daimler) de présenter des approches très intéressantes pour la validation des ADAS.

Le foisonnement d’idées complémentaires sur ce sujet clé est plutôt une très bonne nouvelle et laisse présager d’une avancée significative dans un avenir proche.