Ghosthunter – Telematics system against wrong-lane drivers with the help of GNSS

Wrong-way drivers on highways and freeways are an enormous danger to themselves and other road users. In Germany, about 2,000 such incidents of wrong-way driving occur every year, resulting in about 20 deaths per year. In order to significantly reduce the number of accidents, reliable and quick warnings are essential. That is why, as part of the Ghosthunter project, a warning system is being developed which uses only the GNSS position of road users to detect any wrong-way drivers.

While Ghosthunter I focused on the development and validation of the basic concept, Ghosthunter II focuses on implementing algorithms in a modern Android smartphone with a two-frequency GNSS receiver and on establishing a cloud-based server system for the cooperative exchange of warning messages between users. The result will be a demonstration app and a server module for the distribution of warning messages to Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems (C-ITS), the user fleet, and authorities and organizations with security tasks, i.e. police and fire services.

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The scientific focus is on examining the integrity of the developed warning system. Research priorities include analysis and improvement of integrity and accuracy of GNSS positions. One particular challenge is the fact that the GNSS receiver built into smartphones is a low-cost component. Map matching, which was developed by the Institute of Engineering Geodesy (IIGS) at the University of Stuttgart and means matching a position to a digital road network, is also checked for reliability.

The integrity, i.e. reliability, of GNSS position is monitored with receiver autonomous integrity monitoring (RAIM) algorithms. These algorithms were originally developed for aviation to ensure that the rate of false alarms and missed detections is reduced to a minimum. Once the project is completed, one possible implementation would be to incorporate the system into future vehicles and to introduce a legal standard.

The project is an initiative of the Space Administration of the German Aerospace Center. It is funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy.


Professor Thomas Pany (Satellite Navigation) has attracted funding for the Ghosthunter II project “Implementing Wrong-Way Driver Detection Using Current Commercial Technology and Cooperative Threat Warning Systems” from the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy.


Project duration: October 1, 2018 – March 31, 2021
Funding by: Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy