High Precision Navigation System for Trucks - Parking Assistance System for Long Truck-Trailer Combinations using Low-Cost GNSS Sensors

Transport and logistic companies limit the use of long truck-trailer combinations due to their difficult manoeuvring in urban areas.

The ANavS navigation assistance system uses Multi-GNSS RTK for positioning of the truck and trailer with centimetre level accuracy. The precise knowledge of the tilt between the truck and the trailer is the key for precise steering wheel guidance information and the prevention of jack-knifing during reversing. The rear-view camera provides an additional livestream to enable a safe and fast reverse parking even during heavy passenger traffic and/ or in narrow streets.

Users and their needs

The following key user needs have been identified for drivers of any vehicle with a trailer:

  • precise information on current tilt between truck and trailer
    to prevent jack-knifing
  • precise steering wheel guidance information
    for reverse driving of any vehicle with a trailer
  • visual awareness of rear area during reverse parking process
  • a solution that can be easily mounted on any trailer
  • status information showing availability of system

The actors intended for the use of the system are:

  • Logistics and transportation companies (their benefit is the reduction of truck transportation costs by the wider use of long-truck trailer combinations and a decreased number of damages).
  • Truck drivers (end users, their benefit is the enhanced safety and efficiency in the reverse parking process).
  • Truck manufacturers (their benefit is the installation of the system as a differentiation strategy).
The service is targeted initially for logistics companies and truck drivers in Germany, but is easily scalable for European use thanks to the availability of GNSS signals and satellite imagery.

Service/ system concept

ANavS offers its multi-sensor modules, processing modules and camera modules at a low price.

The position information is provided as a service for annual license fees. The license also includes access to new software releases. ANavS also offers a calibration service for the sensors. The calibration can be performed by the end user based on a calibration software. The licenses can be purchased from ANavS and the software can be downloaded from a website.

Space Added Value

The added value of using satellite navigation instead of terrestrial based assets is the acquisition of globally available, free, weather independent and precise (with appropriate processing algorithms) real time positioning and attitude information

The added value of using satellite imagery is to provide a map to the driver. The relationship between the current positions of the truck and trailer and the final parking position can be analysed from top view, which is especially beneficial if the parking requires a curved trajectory and/ or there is a substantial tilt between the truck and trailer.

Product Benefits

The project stimulates more frequent use of long truck-trailer combinations, increasing their safety by enhancing the information given to the driver, permitting a higher amount of freight tonnage per truck and per driver, reducing costs in personnel and fuel, as well as emissions and environmental impact. The service also permits inexperienced drivers to practice the process of reverse parking, improving their accuracy and timing.

Product Features

The precise navigation system consists of the following components: Two ANavS Multi-GNSS/ INS sensor modules for each truck and trailer, the ANavS camera module for the trailer, the ANavS precise positioning module for determining the positions, attitude, tilt and steering wheel guidance information from the raw sensor data, and an App for visualizing the camera video stream and steering wheel guidance information. The precise positioning uses RTK corrections in RTCM standard obtained from a local reference station (e.g. from ANavS) or commercial service provider via internet. The navigation system also uses Earth observation maps being downloaded e.g. by a smartphone.

Current Status

User scenarios, needs and user requirements have been established. The method for tilt determination based on ANavS’s PAD system (system integration of antennas, receivers, power and data storage and inertial sensor fusion with GNSS, providing accurate heading) has been validated. Three prototypes have been successfully tested in the Proof of Concept. A CCN is in preparation.

Project Managers

Contractor Project Manager

Dr. Patrick Henkel
Advanced Navigation Solutions – ANavS
Heßstraße 36
80798 Munich
Germany
+49 89 89056721

ESA Project Manager

Tony Sephton
ECSAT
Harwell Science & Innovation Campus
Didcot
OX11 0QX
United Kingdom

Status Date

Created: 21 May 2009 - Updated: 15 February 2014