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Intelligent Urgent Stop



OBJECTIVE: Develop and demonstrate a programmable system which can be activated remotely which considers the dynamics of the vehicle and operating environment to optimally and safely decelerate a large ground vehicle to a complete stop despite current maneuver or terrain. 

DESCRIPTION: As autonomous vehicle technology advances, the Army will need to outfit existing vehicles with ‘drive-by-wire’ kits, which gives the ability to control various vehicle functions through the use of electrical means, in order to fix this technology economically. The automotive industry has already begun implementing some ‘x-by-wire’ technology commercially, such as ‘steer-by-wire’, ‘brake-by-wire’, and ‘throttle-by-wire’, in addition, full ‘drive-by-wire’ kits are also available commercially. Implementing these ‘x-by-wire’ systems can be cumbersome and are often custom to the vehicle or platform being used. Accordingly, many commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) ‘drive-by-wire’ systems often contain inherent performance limitations in order to retro-fit a wide assortment of platforms. These limitations include added latency to actuation, minimal system security, miscalibration, and other unintended malfunctions that may not accompany a custom solution which undergoes extensive testing and validation specific to the platform. While an array of engineered ‘drive-by-wire’ systems for Army vehicles is a long term solution, a potential method to help mitigate the dangers of a malfunctioning robotic vehicle in an operating scenario is an intelligent emergency braking system which can be integrated into a COTS ‘drive-by-wire’ system. In order to overcome the challenges of integrating a COTS ‘drive-by-wire’ system into varying Army platforms, proposals are sought to develop and demonstrate an intelligent configurable urgent stop system that can be activated remotely or automatically and safely decelerate a large ground vehicle to a complete stop despite current maneuver or terrain. The ultimate vision of this project is to build a versatile safety-critical urgent stop system which can be implemented onto current and future COTS ‘drive-by-wire’ systems across varying Army platforms. The system should be capable of incorporating specific vehicle dynamics through an easily programmable interface such that the vehicle will optimally decelerate safely to a stop from any speed. The system should also include a generic interface for an automatic urgent stop trigger that a developer could use to designate speed limits, geographic boundaries, critical message sets, etc. If the ‘drive-by-wire’ system were to cause the vehicle to violate any of these customizable settings, the intelligent urgent stop behavior would engage. In addition, the system should also allow for consideration and identification of characteristics from the operating environment which may affect slip, skid, and braking force necessary to help maintain tractive contact by the vehicle during an urgent stop procedure and avoid uncontrolled skidding or rollover. It is expected that the system may not perform off-road environment characterizations well initially, but can be improved through the use of additional inexpensive COTS sensors. Since the system needs to be compatible with COTS ‘drive-by-wire’ kits, the system should be highly configurable, with low-level functionality accessible through vehicle Controller Area Network (CAN) protocol and any higher-level functionality accessible through a Robotic Operating System (ROS) programmable interface. Lastly, as a safety-critical system, any remote operating devices connected to the system will trigger an emergency stop should connection be lost between the remote and the system on the vehicle. The system should also be capable of operating without GPS. 

PHASE I: Develop a concept design for the system using COTS sensors to perform safe deceleration of a large ground vehicle. The deliverable shall be a concept design report and performance analysis report. The concept design should include a description of the system architecture, algorithms, sensors, computing requirements, and any additional hardware required. The performance analysis should show the effectiveness of the algorithms and approaches in tests conducted in simulation. 

PHASE II: Using the Phase I concept design, the contractor shall develop, integrate, and demonstrate a prototype system that can be activated remotely or automatically to safely decelerate a large ground vehicle to a complete stop despite current maneuver or terrain. The system deliverables shall include: design documentation, interface control documents (ICDs), software, and hardware. The integration and demonstration shall be performed using a ground vehicle (provided by the government) that is already equipped with ‘drive- by-wire’ capability. The environment and operating conditions for the first demonstration should be on improved roads, during the day, and at speeds ranging from 45 kph to 90 kph. 

PHASE III: A potential military application of the intelligent urgent stop system is to integrate into several Army ground vehicle robotic programs, including Programs of Record Leader-Follower (LF) and Automated Convoy Operations (ACO). Potential commercial utilization of the system can include industrial applications, agriculture, mining, and trucking in addition to consumer vehicles. 


1: R. Adomat, G. Geduld, M. Schamberger, J. Diebold, and M. Klug. Intelligent Braking: The Seeing Car Improves Safety on the Road. pages 185–196. Springer Berlin Heidelberg, Berlin, Heidelberg, 2005.

2:  S. Luke, M. Komar, and M. Strauss. Reduced Stopping Distance by Radar-Vision Fusion. pages 21–35. Springer Berlin Heidelberg, Berlin, Heidelberg, 2007.

3:  E. Coelingh, A. Eidehall, and M. Bengtsson. Collision warning with full auto brake and pedestrian detection - a practical example of automatic emergency braking. In IEEE Int. Conf. on Intelligent Transportation Systems, pages 155–160, Sept. 2010.

4:  M. Brannstrom, J. Sjoberg, L. Helgesson, and M. Christiansson. A real-time implementation of an intersection collision avoidance system. IFAC Proceedings Volumes, 44(1):9794– 9798, Jan. 2011.

5:  D. Blower. Assessment of the effectiveness of advanced collision avoidance technologies. Technical report UMTRI-2014-3, University of Michigan Transportation Research Insti- tute (UMTRI), Ann Arbor, MI, Jan. 2014.

6:  D.H. Lee, S.K. Kim, C.S. Kim, and K.S. Huh. Development of an autonomous braking system using the predicted stopping distance. Int. Journal of Automotive Technology, 15(2):341–346, March 2014.

KEYWORDS: Vehicle Safety Systems, Unmanned Vehicles, Robotics, Ground Vehicles, Drive By Wire Control, Autonomous Machine Behavior, Robot Navigation, Collision Avoidance Systems 


Kiran Iyengar 

(586) 282-8750 

Graham Fiorani 

(586) 282-7702 

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