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Published July 4, 2007

It can automatically adjust the distance to others, it can avoid obstacles and dangerous situations, and it can even find the way back home on its own. These are some of the capabilities of the horse - the prefered means of transport of the human being until it was exchanged by powerful cars about a hundred years ago. The car industry is still struggling to emulate the intelligence of the horse.

Active safety systems increase safety by use of technology that can prevent accidents before they happen. Examples of such systems are ABS brakes and ESC (Electronic Stability Control). In the future, we will see more systems that avoid collisons based on detections of obstacles - from "adaptive cruise control" that maintains a constant distance to the car ahead to systems that detects and autmatically maneuvers the car away from children playing in the street.

Such control systems are the topic for the EU project called CEmACS. Several european reserach institutes participate in the project, among them SINTEF ICT,  Applied Cybernetics and the industrial partner DaimlerChrysler. 

SINTEF's contributions to the project are on the development of  state estimators that estimate information that is necessary for active safety but cannot be meaured.  Most crucial is information about the velocity of the car, which is calculated based on feedback from MEMS-based sensors for acceleration and gear rate.  Steering wheel deflections and wheel velocity is also important. Additionally, it is important to have a proper nonlinear model of the car.

The most challenging part of the work is that the estimator has to work well under different condtions, for instance on snow and wet and dry asphalt. Hence, the observer must be adaptive. The picture below is from testing of the observer on snow and ice in Arjeplog.

The reserach on the velocity estimator has resulted in several scientific publications, among them four journal papers (two of which have been published in Automatica) and five conference papers. 

Contact person:

Lars Imsland, Phone: +47 73594366, e-mail: