Precise Positioning for Autonomous Driving in both Indoor and Outdoor Environments

Patrick Henkel, Sai Parimi, Jan Fischer, Ulrich Mittmann, and Robert Bensch

Abstract: Autonomous operations are very attractive at factory and storage premises as they reduce personnel costs and as they require the meeting of less strict standards and norms than the public road sector. However, autonomous operations at factory and storage premises are quite challenging for precise positioning as they include both indoor and outdoor operations. More specifically, high quality GNSS signal reception is limited to outdoor environments. Moreover, metallic walls and/ or doors cause severe multipath errors. LiDAR and Camera SLAM can provide an accurate indoor positioning solution, but the movement from indoor to outdoor as well as from outdoor to indoor remains challenging due to under-/ overexposure of the camera during the indoor/ outdoor transitions. Our solution to this problem includes a very powerful sensor fusion of GNSS RTK/ PPP, inertial, wheel odometry, camera and LiDAR sensors. The raw measurements of the first three sensors (GNSS, IMU, wheel odometry) are tightly coupled in an extended Kalman filter. The raw data (pixels and point clouds) of the visual sensors (camera, LiDAR) are pre-processed in a SLAM and the obtained pose information is then used in the extended Kalman filter. The main objective of the visual sensors is to enable a drift-free positioning in indoor areas without GNSS signal reception. Obviously, the sensor fusion combines the measurements from all 5 sensors, but the main driver of the accuracy depends on the area: Outdoor, the highest accuracy is given by the GNSS RTK/ PPP solution. Indoor, the highest accuracy is achieved by the LiDAR/ camera SLAM. In the indoor/ outdoor transition area, the most reliable position sensors are INS and wheel odometry.
Published in: Proceedings of the 2024 International Technical Meeting of The Institute of Navigation
January 23 - 25, 2024
Hyatt Regency Long Beach
Long Beach, California
Pages: 1074 - 1084
Cite this article: Henkel, Patrick, Parimi, Sai, Fischer, Jan, Mittmann, Ulrich, Bensch, Robert, "Precise Positioning for Autonomous Driving in both Indoor and Outdoor Environments," Proceedings of the 2024 International Technical Meeting of The Institute of Navigation, Long Beach, California, January 2024, pp. 1074-1084. https://doi.org/10.33012/2024.19534
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