Vehicle Black Box System (VBBS)
Satellite navigation has already found widespread use in land, maritime and air applications. The combination of satellite navigation based on GPS together with an augmentation system like EGNOS and other systems (e.g. inertial navigation systems and mobile communication networks) opens up the possibility of using satellite navigation in services with higher added value and of direct benefit to particular sectors.
In general, such services whether have integrity or accuracy requirements more stringent than those that can be satisfied with the standalone satellite navigation system, or they integrate the navigation information into a more complex system. The provision of many of these services without the use of a satellite navigation system would be unfeasible or cost-inefficient. By employing a solution based on satellite navigation, the service provider can obtain cost and other competitive advantages.
Some examples of these services are:
- Law enforcement and security
- Control and track of good
- Fleet management
- Vehicle information provision
The concept of VBBS was originated inside a broader view of the Intelligent Transport Systems, as a way to introduce intelligence in vehicles and road infrastructures. The ultimate objective is to improve security, safety, emergency transports, efficiency in transport processes together with economic competitiveness, comfort, and in much wider sense rationalize management networks and resources.
The purpose of VBBS is to demonstrate the general concept of vehicle control using positioning satellite systems. The EGNOS system is the key for the model implementation allowing for precision and legally accepted position information, that can be a major improvement on vehicle control related matters.
The project will focus the use of positioning data for legal issues, to define and characterize the capabilities of the system and the corresponding field of action. At the same time several services can be implemented over the system extending the simple position capabilities to make it a more versatile system.
The project covers the development of the following constituents:
- Black Box (BB)
- User Terminal (UT)
- Inspection PC (InsPC)
- Beacon (BeC)
- Control Centre (CC)
The VBBS System can offer a family of services within different types of application. These can be identified according to the following structure:
- Vehicle Inspection
- Goods Control
Road Information Broadcast
- Emergency Information
- Travelling Information
The above mentioned services will be tested during project development and will be demonstrated as concept demonstrator. Field tests will also be done to determine the reliability of the system and to prove technological options. For example the baud rates possible for communications between radio BeC and VBBS on-board equipment, according to distances and vehicle relative speed. These tests will confirm the basis for implementation of the aforementioned services.
The VBBS by conception is a black box installed on a vehicle with the ability to store and record information regarding:
- Identification of vehicle
- Owner of the vehicle
- Position, speed
- Data regarding status of the vehicle activity
- Goods bill
This data collection and presentation depends on the existence of external elements like the EGNOS satellite system, InsPC, BeC, CC and UT. There are communication links between some of the elements which can be wireless (like satellite reception or BB data access from the InsPC) or cable (BB data access from the UT).
Part of the information is confidential and secure; other fields of information maybe open depending on the use. The use of EGNOS receiver will give more accuracy and reliability on position and speed data records. The wireless link gives the support to upload and download data.
Optionally the VBBS can have a user interface (UT) that enables the driver to see relevant information for its driving activity. This information is received trough a wireless link. The VBBS will have an interface to other equipments in order to supply navigation information available from the EGNOS receiver.
The Black Box has the main task of concentrate and keep in a database all the information coming from the EGNOS receiver and from sensors. It has the responsibility of generating processed information from positions and log user information. The Mobile may also have a UT for the driver as an option that will be presented later on this document.
The BB will perform the following functionalities:
- Transmit and receive information to/from the BeC and to the InsPC
- Receive EGNOS information
- Capability of processing/management
- The BB must be powered by the vehicle
- The BB must know when the motor of the vehicle is running or not
- The BB must communicate with the UT
- The BB must record information concerning positions
- The BB must record information concerning the owner of the vehicle, activity and bill of goods etc.
- Calculate the status of the vehicle
- The BB must communicate with the EGNOS receiver
- The BB must communicate with the Sensors
- Multitask operating system functionalities
Hardware and software resources will be provided to give support for these functionalities.
The VBBS project started in December 2003 and is expected to end in December 2005.
Vehicle Black Box System has been developed by INOV (Portugal) in partnership with the European Space Agency.
Gonzalo Seco at ESA-ESTEC: Gonzaso.Seco.Granados@esa.int.
Last update: 27 July 2005