INTELLIGENT LAND VEHICLE NAVIGATION: INTEGRATING SPATIAL INFORMATION INTO THE NAVIGATION SOLUTION

Stephen Scott-Young (sscott@ecr.mu.oz.au) Dr Allison Kealy (akealy@unimelb.edu.au) Dr Philip Collier (p.collier@unimelb.edu.au) Department of Geomatics, The University of Melbourne, Vic 3010 Tel. +61 3 9344 6806 Fax. +61 3 9347 2916

Key words: intelligent navigation, integrated systems, GPS, DR ABSTRACT Successful intelligent land vehicle navigation systems can only be realised through the integration of navigation data and spatial information. This is evident in the development of modern Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS), where the Global Positioning System (GPS) is used to provide the navigation data, and spatial information contained within an information database is used to provide location details. With plans already underway for the development of a Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS), the next generation of ITS will definitely incorporate satellite positioning technologies. Unfortunately, the performance of any satellite technology is restricted in areas where sky visibility is completely or partially obstructed. There is a fundamental requirement to provide a robust navigation system to support future developments of ITS. Potential solutions include the development of integrated systems, which combine measurements from GPS and other complementary sensors, such as dead reckoning (DR), to improve the continuity of positioning. However, current integration algorithms, such as Kalman filtering, have difficulty in contending with the high dynamics of land vehicles, and challenge the navigation capability of these systems within the environment of ‘urban canyons’. Ironically this is perhaps the one environment where the successful application of satellite technology could most benefit the ITS industry. This paper discusses the integration of the inherent intelligence of spatial information contained within a Geographical Information System (GIS) with measurements received from a navigation system. The spatial information provides additional data that is used to constrain the navigation solution and provide a more accurate and reliable position estimate. With this approach, the solution is not dependent on the performance capabilities of the navigation sensors alone. It enables the use of lower accuracy navigation devices, thereby reducing the cost of navigation systems while still providing a viable solution.

as DR systems suffer from the accumulation of errors over time. apart from assuming a passive role of informing users about objects of interest in their surroundings. For land vehicle navigation applications. ∗ a KVH fibre optic gyro (FOG). With the wealth of information contained in a GIS. This type of integration offers a solution that is capable of improving the accuracy and performance of low cost. . by buildings. GPS only systems are incapable of maintaining continuous navigation capability in environments where the satellite signals are obstructed (e. data can easily be extracted and integrated into the vehicle navigation solution. This is achieved through the integration of measurements provided by the navigation instruments with additional spatial information contained within a map database. Three modes of navigation are tested within this research: ∗ satellite navigation. complex Kalman filtering algorithms used for a more rigorous integration of GPS and DR measurements are often unable to cope with the high dynamics of land vehicle navigation.INTRODUCTION Intelligent navigation is the process of improving the basic solution obtained from low cost navigation sensors for land mobile applications. a low cost GPS receiver is used to provide information on the vehicle’s position. Solutions to this problem commonly involve the integration of GPS with dead reckoning (DR) sensors. The real-time navigation hardware component consists of: ∗ a low cost Garmin GPS receiver. trees etc). In this way. The software module developed in Smallworld MagikTM and Microsoft Visual BasicTM provides a user interface to the navigation software. ∗ an odometer. The Hardware Components The system developed for this project is modular in its design. It therefore enables easy integration with various types of navigation instruments and techniques. This solution often increases the overall cost of the navigation system with little improvement in the solution.g. Additionally. low precision sensors for urban land vehicle navigation. DESIGNING A NAVIGATION SYSTEM The intelligent land vehicle navigation system developed for this research consists of both hardware and software components. the information contained in the database is used as additional measurements within the navigation solution. 64 megabytes laptop computer. a means of accessing the GIS database. ∗ a Pentium 133. as well as enabling intelligent navigation through the integration of measurements from the GIS with those from the real-time navigation system. In the majority of current real-time vehicle navigation systems. and a Geographic Information System (GIS) is used to provide location details.

and has an RS-232 serial communication output (Garmin International. 2000). supports the National Marine Electronics Association (NMEA) 0183 electrical interface and data protocol standard for communication between marine instrumentation. because of the high relative positioning accuracy offered by the DR sensors. the position data obtained from the GPS receiver is accurate to ±12 meters 95% of the time (Hooper. The specific NMEA sentences used by the navigation system were the Recommend Minimum Specific GPS/TRANSIT Data (RMC) and Global Positioning System Fix Data (GGA) sentences. Given that the major error accumulation in DR measurements is from distance measurement and that the GPS measurement is accurate to ±12m 95% of the time. 1994). the difference between DR and GPS position calculations should be within: ± (12m + 2% of distance travelled since last GPS measurement used) A flow diagram of the system hardware and data flow is depicted in Figure 1. Data received from the odometer is converted into binary format and included with the information transmitted via the FOG’s RS-232 output. combined GPS/DR navigation. the DR and GPS accuracies were taken into account. To define this tolerance. The DR navigation mode utilises the change in the vehicle direction measurements from a KVH FOG and distance measurements from the vehicle’s odometer. The FOG has an RS232 serial communication output at 9600 baud and is capable of measuring a maximum rotation rate of ±100°/second (KVH Industries. Since the DR system contains no means of absolute positioning. In this research.∗ ∗ DR navigation. Each pulse represents an amount of wheel rotation predetermined by the vehicle manufacturer. The FOG allows for input from a vehicle’s odometer in the form of electrical pulses. The combined navigation mode integrates both the GPS and DR sensors. . the navigation system relies primarily on DR. The Garmin GPS 45TM receiver used can track up to eight satellites simultaneously. 1999). With the recent removal of selective availability (SA). resorting to the GPS navigation solution only when the difference between independently measured GPS and DR positions agree to an expected level. Inc. The accuracy of the DR system is limited predominantly by distance measurement and is approximately 2% of the distance travelled. The satellite navigation mode relies solely on the GPS receiver.. This data is then used to compute distance travelled by the vehicle. navigation requires the provision of a starting location and direction.

to facilitate the data integration between the different hardware. While Magik could have been used instead. Microsoft Visual Basic contains comprehensive serial communication libraries that aided development in the communication between Smallworld 3 GIS and the GPS receiver and FOG. Smallworld 3 GIS includes facilities for integrating applications programmed in languages other than Magik. The programming language of Smallworld 3 GIS is MagikTM.Odometer Odometer GPS GPS Receiver Receiver NMEA sentences Laptop Laptop Wheel rotation pulses FOG FOG DR binary data Figure 1 . The Software Component Implementation of the intelligent navigation system required a platform to provide a user interface to the navigation software.Flow diagram of the system hardware and data flow Unlike the GPS receiver. This was a particular advantage as it enabled interpretation of the navigation device outputs to take place in Microsoft Visual BasicTM. and to analyse and display spatial data. an object-oriented programming language that is also used to implement the majority of the core Smallworld 3 GIS product itself. the FOG does not constitute a low cost instrument. Smallworld 3TM GIS was chosen for this purpose. GPS NMEA sentences RS-232 connection Translation of NMEA Translation of NMEA sentences into the individual components sentences into the individual of the RMC and GGA components of the RMC and sentences by by Visual Basic GGA sentences Visual Basic Satellite navigation data Smallworld Smallworld GIS GIS Figure 2 . Smallworld’s open architecture and comprehensive spatial analysis functionality offered significant benefits in developing the software component of this project.Flow diagram of the data through the navigation system software DR binary data RS-232 connection Translation of binary data into Translation of binary data into the individual DR components the individual DR components (change in direction and (change in direction and distance) by Visual Basic distance) by Visual Basic DR navigation data . such high accuracy devices are not required. However. It was used initially to implement and refine the models for intelligent navigation. subsequent testing described in this paper will show that with intelligent navigation. A flow diagram of the data through the navigation system software is shown in Figure 2.

intelligent navigation on or off. automatically centeringon the automatically centering on the vehicle location and selection ofof vehicle location and selection navigation mode (i. This data can then be accessed via Magik. The road centreline data for metropolitan Melbourne was stored in the Smallworld 3 GIS database. Position Position information information Navigation Navigation device in use device Number of Number of satellites satellites visible to visible to GPS GPS receiver receiver Navigation options. when approaching intersections or when two roads are close to each other. GPS. However.The User Interface The user interface for the intelligent navigation system was designed to minimise the amount of technical information supplied to the user.e. DR both) both) Figure 3 – The navigation system interface Accessing the Database Spatial data is a fundamental requirement for intelligent navigation. thus improving the accuracy of the computed position of the vehicle.. This constraint can be included in the location solution. thus providing the essential link between navigation instrument data and spatial information. such as turning Navigation options. This simple algorithm is effective when the nearest road is in fact the road being travelled. with its primary aim being simplicity of use. such as turning intelligent navigation on or off. the . The user interface designed is shown in Figure 3. GPS. INTELLIGENT NAVIGATION Four principle rules of intelligent navigation have been identified in this research: ∗ closest road ∗ bearing matching ∗ access only ∗ distance in direction Closest Road The first step towards intelligent navigation is to make the assumption that the vehicle is travelling along a road (which is typically the case). DR oror navigation mode (i.e..

shown in Figure 5. The second rule. as is often the case with city driving. (b) Navigation with Bearing Matching correction. Without the ability to determine absolute (a) (b) position. Using DR as the only source of navigation over long periods of time.Measured position Actual position nearest road may not be the road being travelled. further DR navigation becomes Figure 4 . In these situations. the more likely roads without correction. requires that the nearest road to which the vehicle’s position is corrected Actual position must have a similar bearing to the direction of travel. the nearest road can still be the position previous road of travel (Figure 5). bearing matching. As distances are dependent on wheel rotation. . Additional errors in DR navigation may arise. Typically. The threshold of similarity between the vehicle’s bearing (a) (b) and the bearing of the surrounding roads may be adjusted to suit the accuracy of the Figure 5 . when turning a Calculated corner. For instance. This corrects the problems ϕ previously described. the accumulated distance error ϕ: (a) Navigation larger the threshold. this rule alone is not position sufficient. the distance error ϕ. the odometer measurement is affected by tyre condition.Correcting to the nearest road with navigation instruments. Due to accumulation of small distance errors. One such error occurs as the vehicle turns a corner. Clearly. Navigation without correction. The significance of this rule must not be overlooked when navigating using DR. (b) Navigation with correction. The more often the vehicle turns a corner. However. will be incorrectly matched as having the same bearing as that of the vehicle. 1999). the largest error source is introduced from distance measurements. the more frequently accumulated distance error is eliminated. pressure variation and vehicle speed (Madhukar et al. as the closest road rule takes into account only absolute position and not Calculated vehicle bearing.. searching for the nearest road downgrades the position solution (Figure 4).Correcting to the nearest road: (a) increasingly erroneous. The combination of the closest road and bearing matching rules adjusts for this error each time the vehicle changes bearing above the threshold amount. the accumulation of distance error may cause the navigation solution to become invalid. provided that regular change in direction occurs. However. accurate navigation by DR can continue. is removed by intelligent navigation.

Correcting to the nearest road taking that for the vehicle to be travelling along road bearing into account: (a) Navigation without road C it must previously have travelled along road B. the direction of the road being travelled.e.Access Only Figure 6 shows a case where application of the closest road and bearing matching rules incorrectly position the vehicle. The fundamental requirement of the algorithm is the ability to search for roads (defined by centrelines in the GIS database) in the vehicle’s vicinity (as determined by the navigation instruments).Road layout scenario Distance in direction This final rule further reduces the accumulation of distance error by calculating the distance travelled by the vehicle in the direction of the road rather than the direction measured by the navigation device. the navigation system can prevent the vehicle from being located on Road C a road that it could not possibly be on. or with lower accuracy 996m navigation instruments. These road centrelines can then be interrogated for information such as distance to the uncorrected navigation solution and centreline bearing. The access only rule is designed to identify and prevent this error from occurring. logic dictates Figure 6 . travelled roads. over several kilometres. a vehicle travelling along road A in the road layout diagram (b) Actual shown in Figure 7. (b) Navigation with correction.Distance error propagated from bearing vehicle and then applying this distance in measurement error. if a vehicle travels 1000m along a road of bearing 60° while 4m measuring the road to have a bearing of 65° (i. larger errors can accumulate. for example. For example. Assuming the only position route to road C is via road B. Road B Road A Figure 7 . This error is avoided by 1000m calculating the distance travelled independently from the bearing of the Figure 8 . 5° in error). By logging previously correction. The . (a) Calculated position Take. Although this 5° may seem insignificant. IMPLEMENTING INTELLIGENT NAVIGATION The four rules of intelligent navigation were implemented using the Magik programming language. an error in distance 1000m of 4m will occur (Figure 8). This is particularly important when navigation instruments of low accuracy are employed.

intelligent navigation rules are then applied to correct the position solution. continuous navigation system.DR navigation without intelligent navigation Figure 12 . Figures 9 and 11 show the same part of the test circuit being travelled without intelligent navigation. The section of circuit shown in these figures is approximately one kilometre in length.DR navigation with intelligent navigation . The 5km suburban test environment was used to determine the performance of intelligent navigation without interference from external factors. PERFORMANCE OF THE INTELLIGENT NAVIGATION SYSTEM The intelligent navigation rules were tested in two different environments.Satellite navigation with intelligent navigation Navigation Start point began here Navigation End point stopped here Figure 11 . If more than one road matches all intelligent navigation constraints. such as satellite signal obstruction.Satellite navigation without intelligent navigation Figure 10 . the closest solution is selected. The 3km urban environment was situated in the Melbourne central business district where GPS satellite visibility is severely restricted and provided proof of concept that an integrated navigation system with intelligent navigation in an urban environment could provide an accurate. On the suburban circuit. Figures 10 and 12 show the results of applying the four intelligent navigation constraints on a small part of the test circuit. the different navigation systems of satellite and DR were tested independently. Figure 9 . For comparison. a suburban test circuit and an urban test circuit.

Additionally. Figure 11 shows the accumulation of error in DR navigation. only supplementing with DR measurements when insufficient satellite visibility occurs. Satellite position Severe errors in Severe errors in GPS position GPS position measurements measurements possibly caused by possibly causedby multipathing multipathing DR position Figure 13 – Navigating the urban environment primarily relying on GPS Figure 13 depicts the results of navigation in the urban environment where GPS is primarily relied upon. errors of up to approximately 20m can accumulate in the DR system (Figure 11). This is reduced to less than 8m over the same distance when intelligent navigation is implemented (Figure 12). During this navigation.It is clear from Figures 9-12 that intelligent navigation is able to provide improved results. Further tests were conducted using a dual frequency GPS receiver system to provide accurate kinematic on the fly (KOF) positions for measurement of the ‘true’ vehicle trajectory. only including GPS measurements in the navigation solution when they agree to the DR results to a specified level (as defined in . These contributed to the subsequent errors in the navigation solution seen in Figure 13. However. This test indicated that the mean RMS error between the intelligent navigation solution and the KOF solution was approximately 12m with a standard deviation of approximately 9m. which also had a mean of approximately 12m and a standard deviation of 9m. The start and end points of the navigation were in fact geographically the same. In Figure 14 this situation is reversed by using the DR and intelligent navigation as the primary navigation tools. over the 1km section of suburban test circuit shown in Figures 9 to 12. multipath and deteriorating satellite geometry often compromised the precision of GPS measurements when signals were reacquired. the advantages of intelligent navigation are apparent in Figure 13. urban canyoning caused frequent and prolonged periods of satellite outage up to 70% of the time. where the DR system and the intelligent navigation algorithm are unable to correct for these errors. Although this is not significantly different when compared with the raw GPS solution.

ERROR CAPABILITY TESTING An important aim of implementing intelligent navigation is to reduce the accuracy requirements of the navigation devices. In order to test the ability of the navigation system to cope with lower accuracy bearing measurements. However.Continuous navigation in urban canyons The most significant impact of intelligent navigation is on the DR solution. over longer periods of time intelligent navigation prevents the accumulation of errors to which DR navigation is prone.the section DESIGNING A NAVIGATION SYSTEM). This enables sustained navigation in DR mode without requiring input from absolute positioning devices. This factor is important for navigation within the urban environment where the ability to gain regular absolute positions from GPS may not be possible due to obstructions. thereby reducing the cost. A random error of ±30° was introduced to each measurement. Satellite position DR position Figure 14 . only the FOG provides an issue in terms of cost. An alternative to the FOG would be to use a low cost digital magnetic compass. an error was added to the FOG. thus allowing for a 60° window of error (Figure 15). Of the equipment required. While over the short term the amount of error correction is small. such compasses are restricted in accuracy by electromagnetic interference generated by the vehicle. The intelligent navigation system was able to detect when GPS measurements were in significant error and enabled 100% continuous navigation in the urban environment. .

however. Without absolute position capabilities. It is important to note. that all roads in this area intersected at approximately 90°. intelligent navigation was able to compensate for errors up to ±30°. Integration with other navigation devices (such as GPS) would enable errors to be avoided or corrected.DR navigation with intelligent navigation and random error of ±30° Clearly. If roads were to intersect at around 60°. Intelligent navigation. Figure 17 shows the result with intelligent navigation. largely eliminates this accumulation of errors. bearing errors greater than 30° could render intelligent navigation ineffective. This factor is . The most significant impact of intelligent navigation is on DR navigation. DR navigation is prone to the accumulation of errors that eventually render the solution meaningless.DR navigation without intelligent navigation and random error of ±30° Figure 17 . However. Figure 16 . however. enabling sustained DR navigation without requiring input from absolute positioning devices.60° 30° 30° Figure 15 . limitations must be expected.60° window of error Figure 16 shows the results of introducing the 60° random error when travelling the same section of the suburban test circuit as in figures 9 to 12 without intelligent navigation. with a high degree of error. CONCLUSION The integration of spatial information with measurements from low cost navigation sensors has proved highly successful in improving the continuity and accuracy of the navigation solution in urban environments.

Intelligent navigation requires no additional equipment other than that already available in commercial “in-car” navigation systems. Dr Allison Kealy is currently a lecturer in the Department of Geomatics at the University of Melbourne. U. KVH E·Core 1000 Fibre Optic Gyro Technical Manual. Nayak. Inc. after which she spent 2 years in industry providing technical support for GPS/GLONASS manufacturers Ashtech Ltd. 14-17. inertial navigation and geographical information systems and their integration.. as the intelligent navigation system is able to provide 100% continuity of the navigation solution.. ION GPS ‘99. yet significantly reduces the accuracy requirements of navigation instruments.. 1994. GLONASS and integrated systems. His research interests include. 537-544 BIOGRAPHICAL NOTES Stephen Scott-Young is a final year Bachelor of Geomatics/Bachelor of Science (Computer Science) student at the Department of Geomatics. GIS User. Shenoy M. pp 18-19 KVH Industries. Aug. R. Hence lower cost instrumentation can be successfully implemented without compromising navigation performance. 1999.. Sept. UK in 1996. Garmin International.A. GPS-DR Integration Using Low Cost Sensors. specialising in the research areas of GPS. Inc. J. 2000.. Ray.S. His research interests include global positioning. pp. 2000. U. 41. GPS 45 Personal NavigatorTM Owner’s Manual and Reference. Tennessee. Madhukar. The University of Melbourne. Australia. .A. Hooper. G. and geoid modelling by least squares collocation.. GPS deformation monitoring. The End of SA.particularly important for navigation within the urban environment. KVH Industries. Allison received her PhD in Geodesy from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne.. Dr Philip Collier is a Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Geomatics at the University of Melbourne. B. A. R.S. – Sept. 1999. dynamic least squares adjustment. K. Nashville. REFERENCES Garmin International. R.

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