A method to locate the position of the target vehicle with the aid of infrared signal-direction discrimination for short-range vehicle-to-vehicle communications is proposed in this paper. With the use of two one-dimensional (1-D) signal-direction discriminators mounted on a vehicle with a lateral separation between them to measure the coming directions of the signal emitted from another target vehicle, the position of the target vehicle relative to this detecting vehicle can be located by triangulation. The aforementioned 1-D signal-direction discriminator is composed of two planar receiving modules forming a specific geometric structure, which leads to different responsivities of these individual receiving modules for a signal incident from a definite direction. The coming direction of the signal is determined by comparing the signal strengths received by these individual receiving modules. With a proposed hardware and software implementation, the position of the target vehicle can be accurately determined within a longitudinal range of 50 m. Owing to the restriction of the width of the vehicle, the separation of the signal-direction discriminators mounted on the vehicle cannot exceed 1.8 m. This leads to the consequence that in the remote region any small inaccuracy of the measured signal directions may cause very large position error. However, our measured results reveal a specific characteristic of the distribution of the measured positions for the target vehicle at a definite location. This allows us to design deliberate statistical algorithms to accurately extract the position of the target vehicle in the remote region. Using the simplest statistical algorithm, we are able to locate the position of the target vehicle with acceptable accuracy within a longitudinal range of 80 m. In this paper, we show the feasibility and applicability of this method. Furthermore, improvement is foreseeable with more deliberate design of hardware and software.
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