Since the start of ‘Macao’s first Autonomous Driving Bus Testing Platform’ in 2020, the project shows its impact on research, talent cultivation, social services, and science popularization. Although there was an outbreak of pandemic in Macao in June and July, certain breakthroughs in software, hardware and technology of the autonomous bus have been achieved.
Leading by Prof. Xu Cheng-Zhong, Dean of the Faculty of Science and Technology (FST) of the University of Macau (UM) and the research member of State Key Laboratory of Internet of Things for Smart City (SKL-IoTSC), the research team carried out functional upgrade for the bus in Guangdong-Macao In-Depth Cooperation Zone in Hengqin based on the testing results at UM. Since there was no car factory with transformation experiences for autonomous vehicle in Macao, the research team decided to cooperate with the management committee at the cooperation zone to start a two-month bus trial and upgrade in June 2022 to enhance the automatic driving functions and fulfill the research and testing needs.
During the two-month period, the research team carried out the upgrade and testing of the autonomous driving functions of the bus. In terms of hardware upgrade, laser radar and millimeter-wave radar of the bus mainly used to perceive and detect low obstacles, as well as to perform accurate three-dimensional map reconstruction and autonomous vehicle positioning are upgraded. At the same time, the hardware of the computing platform is enhanced, and a GPU with stronger computing power is equipped for inference of deep learning.
Regarding the algorithm software, the team developed the high-precision map drawing (SLAM algorithm) and map-based high-precision positioning algorithm software based on the new radar sensor. Therefore, the bus is able to have high-precision autonomous positioning and local path planning even if the GPS signal loss or interference. In addition, in regards of scene semantic segmentation and obstacle detection, an efficient segmentation detection algorithm software based on multi-line lidar has also been developed, which enables the bus to conduct accurate environmental perception of high dynamic scenes.
Kou Hoi In, the Chairman of the Legislative Council of the Macao, led more than 30 members, accompanied by Lei Wai Nong, the Secretary for Economy and Finance, and Su Kun, the Deputy Director of Executive Committee, visited the Zhuhai UM Science & Technology Research Institute on 31 August. Prof. Xu Cheng-Zhong introduced the progress of UM’s autonomous driving research and invited guests to take a ride to experience the collaborations among industry-university and research.
The research project is one of the “Key R&D Projects” of the Macao Science and Technology Development Fund (File No.: 0015/2019/AKP). It is developed by the University of Macau, in cooperation with several pioneering institutions in Mainland, including the Shenzhen Institute of Advanced Technology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Baidu, and Hailiang Technology.