We successfully completed our first tests at Turweston Aerodrome last week.
The plan was to check and ensure the robustness of the drive-by-wire system, to train our safety drivers and to do basic path following.
We also took the opportunity to collect some data from the ultrasonic sensors that are on the StreetDrone.ONE which we will use for system safety.
For testing the drive-by-wire system, we carried out a number of test runs using teleoperation from the driver. We drove on the track forward, backward and changing steering at various speeds. The system performed satisfactorily. We also performed a full brake test to work out a safe driving speed and stopping distance in a case of emergency stop. Further details are presented in this blog post.
On the final day, we tested a basic path following to make sure everything worked together. We integrated the drive-by-wire (dbw) system with a path follower, PID motion controller and a basic gps and imu localisation in this open space environment.
We managed to achieve the objective of testing the dbw with the feedback control for the path following. However, precision was not there as we expected. The basic imu and gps sensor localisation would not give very accurate positioning and tends to drift away or jump around to within 5m accuracy. To resolve this issue, we are working on a better localisation using RTK GPS (like a simpleRTK2B) using RTK corrections over NTRIP.
Our next test will focus on path following using the high quality localisation and we also hope to start with path planning within the open space. More updates will follow!