Telematics system against wrong-way drivers with the help of GNSS

Professor Thomas Pany (Professor of Satellite Navigation) has attracted funding for the Ghosthunter III project “Implementing wrong-way driver detection using up-to-date commercial technology and cooperative threat warning systems” from the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy.

We hear reports of wrong-way drivers on German motorways every day in radio station warning messages. Statistically, about five motorists every day drive against the traffic on our roads. We then read in the headlines about serious road traffic accidents caused by wrong-way drivers. A crash of this kind occurs approximately every week. Due to the high speeds at which motorists drive on motorways, these accidents are often fatal. Some measures (e.g. clearly visible signs) are being taken to try to prevent such accidents, but so far they have only been moderately effective. In the Ghosthunter project, a system is being developed that is designed to warn all involved motorists quickly and reliably in order to prevent them from driving against the traffic and to prevent the accidents this can cause.

Project phases I and II

The Ghosthunter project has been underway since 2015 and is currently in its third phase. The first phase, which ran until 2017, entailed developing and validating the basic concept, i.e. the detection of wrong-way drivers via GNSS. This involves comparing the GNSS trajectory with a digital map. If there is a significant difference between the actual trajectory and the permitted direction of travel, the wrong-way driver is detected. The second phase (2018–2021) dealt with the porting of the algorithms to commercially available Android smartphones. In addition, a server system was set up to distribute the warning messages, the main focus being on examining the integrity of GNSS positions and digital maps.

Project phase III

Based on the findings from the previous project phase, the current project phase is carrying out further analyses of precise point positioning (PPP) and differential GPS (DGPS). Subsequently, the method that is most suitable for detecting wrong-way drivers will be implemented. In addition, the protection level within which the integrity of the position can be guaranteed is calculated. Ultimately, there will be a software module available that provides a position that is not only exact but also integral.

In addition to positioning, map matching will also be further adapted. In this case, for example, the basis for the map and the corresponding algorithms are adapted by a project partner. In addition, it is intended for a further project partner to conduct a prototype certification of the system. For this purpose, the integrity of the system must be verified. The aim at the end of the project is for an external operator to provide motorists with the wrong-way driver detection and warning service.

unibwm_rc space_project ghosthunter III_collage_EN.jpg

Left: Block diagram and data flow during wrong-way driver detection with a smartphone (© Universität der Bundeswehr München)
Right: Measurement setup for determining the reliability of wrong-way driver detection (© Universität der Bundeswehr München)

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.


Project period: 1 December 2021 through 30 November 2023
Funding by: Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy



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