An important development direction for the future of the automotive industry is connected and cooperative vehicles. Some functionalities in traffic need the cars to communicate with each other. In platooning, multiple cars driving in succession reduce the distances between them to drive in the slipstream of each other to reduce drag, energy consumption, emissions, and the probability of traffic jams. The car in front controls the car behind remotely, so all cars in the platoon can accelerate and decelerate simultaneously. In this paper, a system for vehicle-to-vehicle communication is proposed using modulated taillights for transmission and an off-the-shelf camera with CMOS image sensor for reception. An Undersampled Differential Phase Shift On–Off Keying modulation method is used to transmit data. With a frame sampling rate of 30 FPS and two individually modulated taillights, a raw data transmission rate of up to 60 bits per second is possible. Of course, such a slow communication channel is not applicable for time-sensitive data transmission. However, the big benefit of this system is that the identity of the sender of the message can be verified, because it is visible in the captured camera image. Thus, this channel can be used to establish a secure and fast connection in another channel, e.g., via 5G or 802.11p, by sending a verification key or the fingerprint of a public key. The focus of this paper is to optimize the raw data transmission of the proposed system, to make it applicable in traffic and to reduce the bit error rate. An improved modulation mode with smoother phase shifts is used that can reduce the visible flickering when data is transmitted. By additionally adjusting the pulse width ratio of the modulation signal and by analyzing the impact of synchronization offsets between transmitter and receiver, major improvements of the bit error rate (BER) are possible. In previously published research, such a system without the mentioned adjustments was able to transmit data with a BER of 3.46%. Experiments showed that with those adjustments a BER of 0.48% can be achieved, which means 86% of the bit errors are prevented.
- Automotive applications
- Connected vehicles
- Differential phase shift keying
- Vehicle safety
- Visible light communication