The Electric Vehicle Enclave (EVE) Autonomous Vehicle Infrastructure Demonstration Pilot is a state-of-the-art project showcasing infrastructure-based autonomy in a complex residential environment. This project is designed to tackle some of the key challenges for autonomous vehicle penetration. Today’s state-of-the-art in autonomous vehicles is highly limited to highway driving and is not optimized for adverse weather conditions and high-risk areas where there is heavy congestion or pedestrian activity. Additionally, the state of the industry is highly reliant on onboard processing, control, and sensing for the autonomous vehicles, resulting in a high cost per car.
In this project, S2E Technologies combines infrastructure-based controls and sensing with an optimized onboard unit assembly. S2E will minimize the need for hardware on the vehicles, while at the same time gaining from the constant monitoring and robustness of sensors on the infrastructure. The actual demonstration area will be at the residential neighbourhood of EVE Park, but this system is designed to be flexible and adaptable for all high-risk pedestrian areas. Once this technology is proven at this site, S2E will package the concept and commercially deploy it in school zones, urban, road construction, and other residential areas.
Moreover, since S2E is integrating the sensors and processing in the infrastructure, the same infrastructure will communicate with a possible community-wide autonomous shuttle and autonomous utility vehicles (for landscaping, snow removal, package delivery, and waste management).
In this first pilot, the objective is to provide an autonomous valet service for a community in London, Ontario, called EVE Park. EVE Park is a net-zero energy neighbourhood of 60 town- homes in West 5, a master-planned community in London, Ontario. The project will be part of West 5’s DC 100 per cent renewable micro-grid. Hence, all of the vehicles will be renewably- charged. EVE Park is an innovative neighbourhood, where residents prioritize sustainability, technology, and sharing lifestyles. It is a great platform for testing new technologies and business models.
As part of their living experience, residents will access this electric car-share fleet, where the cars would operate autonomously (Level 4/5) within the communities private roads; alternatively, residents can be driven at Level 3 capabilities off-site on public roads. Residents can summon cars from the automatic (rotary) parking tower from their mobile application and it would drive autonomously through the neighbourhood to pick them up. Similarly, after being dropped off, the residents would exit the vehicle for the vehicle to go park itself. This concept introduces several critical components, including: (1) central system computing; (2) logistics information systems; (3) infrastructure components; (4) path-planning; (5) vehicle calibration; and (6) cybersecurity measures.
To address each of these technical elements, the first part of the project will be dedicated to systems design, research, and prototyping with multiple academic teams.
The research will be evaluated by the industry and public sector teams. The objective of the research and prototyping stage is to establish functional specifications, system requirements, full system designs, contingency plans, and prototypes for the six components. Once complete, S2E will develop prototype systems on both the University of Waterloo (UW) and the NRC London campuses.
The UW prototype will test the vehicle navigating on a predetermined route that is mapped and equipped with hardware on the local infrastructure. It will evaluate the sensor calibration, navigation requirements, controls, simulation validation, V2X communication, cybersecurity measures, and many other elements outlined in the deliverables document. On the NRC campus, S2E will deploy a parking tower system to evaluate the parking SCADA system, mobile application integration, communication with the car, and electric vehicle charging elements (wireless, vehicle-to-grid, and automatic connection of charger to car robotics).
From these prototypes, S2E will develop the final design for the residential development. It is anticipated that after the installation, there will be multiple data collection, measurement, re-calibration, and evaluation studies. From both of the prototypes and the demonstration project, there will be a well-tested commercial offering ready for deployment.