Drive test region in central Bristol

Intelligent Transport and vehicular communications are rapidly evolving sectors of wireless communications, enabling a variety of applications for safety, traffic efficiency, driver assistance, as well as infotainment to be incorporated into modern vehicles. In addition, intelligent wireless sensors are becoming available on vehicles for safer and greener transport, for example by monitoring environmental quantities or avoiding accidents and ultimately leading to the driverless car.

To support research in this field, the group has developed a detailed deterministic radio wave propagation model (known as ProPhecy). The tool allows platforms, such as cars or trains, to move around a virtual representation of cities such as Bristol and London. Issues such as vehicle speed and direction, carrier frequency, Doppler Spread, antenna position & orientation, undulating terrain and radio blockage by buildings and trees can be incorporated. By combining antenna and channel models with system level simulators for standards such as Wi-Fi and LTE-Advanced it becomes possible to predict data rates and throughputs for virtual drive tests along specific streets in our databases. The work allows 4G and 5G performance to be optimised in future platforms by advising on the type, position and number of antennas to be used. In particular, by predicting the Doppler Spread based on realistic antenna patterns and 3D multipath angle spread statistics it is possible to evaluate the impact of motion on factors such as channel estimation & tracking and adaptive modulation & coding.

The CSN group has considerable expertise (both theoretical and simulated) in the performance evaluation of vehicular communications systems for safety and infotainment applications (working in particular with Jaguar Landover). The CSN group has state of the art simulators for 802.11p, LTE, Wi-Fi and. In addition, the group is addressing the trend towards vehicles made of composite materials and this will influence future antenna design.

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