The European agency for global navigation satellite systems (GSA) has kicked off ESCAPE, a three-year, 5.4 million euro project to use Galileo services for automated driving.
ESCAPE (European Safety Critical Applications Positioning Engine) will coordinate relevant industrial and research institutions in Europe to create a positioning engine for safety-critical applications on the road — applications involving highly automated driving.
ESCAPE is led by the Spanish company FICOSA in collaboration with partners from across Europe: GMV from Spain, Renault and IFSSTAR from France, STMicroelectronics and Istituto Superiore Mario Boella from Italy. All partners are important stakeholders of the value chain in the domain of safety-critical applications for road transportation.
By 2019, the ESCAPE consortium will finish the development of an innovative positioning engine tailored to meet the safety requirements expressed by those road transport applications that will involve automation and have the potential to harm or damage people and goods.
The first mass-market GPS+Galileo chipset receiver with multi-frequency capability tailored for the automotive sector is a key element of this innovative positioning device.
ESCAPE will enable a high-grade of data fusion with different vehicle sensors and the exploitation of key technological differentiators such as the precise point positioning service (PPP), the potential use of the Galileo ionospheric model and the provision of an integrity layer to assess the degree of trust one can associate to the position information provided by the device.
The use of the integrity layer is crucial: in safety-critical applications, it can be more important to know whether information is reliable than the precise information itself.
ESCAPE will set a new paradigm among and across the technologies enabling road vehicle automation, following the vision of the companies that joined the project, according to the ESCAPE team. The main keyword of this new paradigm is “safety-oriented,” while the pathway is the integration of multiple sources of positioning information (multiple satellite constellations, multiple signal frequencies, and multiple onboard sensors including maps) and high-accuracy services.
ESCAPE has been funded under the Fundamental Elements program of the GSA, a new European Union R&D funding mechanism supporting the development of EGNSS-enabled chipsets, receivers and antennas, with the major objectives of facilitating the adoption of the European GNSS Systems and improving the competitiveness of the EU industry, by addressing specific user needs in priority market segments.