In the farming domain, the following use case is defined:
  • Autonomous Control Platform

The overall goal of this use case is develop building blocks, test systems and methodology blocks that will facilitate later design, implementation and V&V activities of automated farming systems. The developments will leverage automotive systems, components and methods but extend and apply them to the specific requirements encountered in this particular domain. The domains of agriculture/farming are closely related to automotive, but at the same time introduce several distinct requirements that go beyond classic automotive functionality (e.g. obstacle detection under low visibility conditions) and thus need to be adequately addressed. This refers to the fact that most of the supporting measures such as “white border lines on the roads” or Traffic signs etc. are not available in typical farming environments. Thus more focus has to be put on GPS navigation and obstacle detection despite bad visibility in transverse (“ahead” of vehicle) direction. In addition it is essential for farming that tracks once used are reused at high precision in order to minimize compression of the soil due to the weight of the vehicle moving over the field. In particular, this task will focus on:

  • Mandatory sensor fusion to obtain necessary overview of environment, obstacles, crop status etc.; combination of several sensors with both similar and distinct features and operation modes (UAVs with aerial view, cameras, laser scanners, multi/hyper-spectral cameras)
  • Solutions for challenging environmental conditions: Dust, rain, fog, hidden obstacles, no road-marks etc.
  • 24/7 continuous operation and control possibilities via distant control stations
  • Selection, adequate provisioning and integration of most suited sensors and actuators, networks and network architectures, as well as processing hosts to fulfill the requirements of automated farming; minimization of over-provisioning needs
  • Evaluation of the applicability of building blocks from automotive systems and, if needed, adaptation of them for the automated farming scenario
  • V2V and V2I communication and integrated control approaches paving the way for coordinated and cooperative fleet operation of several different vehicles (e.g. harvester and crop storage truck)