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Quick error search ensures environmental truck driving

Trucks that drive after one another, so-called platooning, reduce their respective fuel consumption. This is already done with partly self-driving vehicles, and the reliable exchange of information between the trucks is crucial for this way of driving. But the communication might fail. New research from Halmstad University helps to secure real-time communication between vehicles.

Close up on fast driving truck

Platooning aims to reduce air-drag in a caravan of heavy-duty vehicles, which can significantly lower the use of fuel. This is positive both for the environment and companies’ costs. The trucks communicate with each other to keep exactly the same speed in the platoon.

– The leading vehicle is driven by a human, while the other vehicles follow each other automatically by maintaining the distance to their immediate predecessors. But their directions are still controlled by the drivers, explains Nikita Lyamin.

Platooning and communication

He has written a licentiate thesis, within Computer Engineering, about platooning and communication with ITS-G5, communications standards for vehicles set by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI).

This area, Cooperative Intelligent Transport systems (C-ITS), includes connection between vehicles and between vehicles and roadside infrastructure, for example traffic signals. Being able to support reliable exchange of messages between the trucks in a platoon is crucial for platooning to be efficient, safe and dependable.

– The message delivery might be poor due to a congested vehicular communication channel, improper design of communication protocols or even external attacks, says Nikita Lyamin.

Fast response

– I have looked at current standards available and evaluated the performance of the communication and where its performance may suffer, to identify the reason why something goes wrong. With vehicles moving at a speed of 90 kilometres per hour, you need to quickly detect a problem or an attack.

The detection of problems has to be in place, before the next step is taken, which is to mitigate the effects of an attack and develop countermeasures.

– I propose an algorithm to detect a jamming Denial-of-Service-attack in platooning. The main advantage of this detector is that it has a short learning phase. It does not exceed a second for the algorithm, and has a low detection delay of a few hundreds of milliseconds.

Simulation of platooning

A demonstration of platooning in a simulator.

Another aspect that Nikita Lyamin has studied is how different legitimate ITS-G5 communication setups affect the consumption of fuel.

– The ability of the platoon to keep precise required inter-vehicle distances affects the fuel efficiency in a positive way. ETSI's future requirements for distance in a platoon will be strict and demanding, and we need to study the different options now to understand the standardisation organisation’s solutions. The next step might be to suggest changes.


Updated 2016-12-15