XTENTH-CAR: A Proportionally Scaled Experimental Vehicle Platform for Connected Autonomy and All-Terrain Research

by   Shathushan Sivashangaran, et al.
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Connected Autonomous Vehicles (CAVs) are key components of the Intelligent Transportation System (ITS), and all-terrain Autonomous Ground Vehicles (AGVs) are indispensable tools for a wide range of applications such as disaster response, automated mining, agriculture, military operations, search and rescue missions, and planetary exploration. Experimental validation is a requisite for CAV and AGV research, but requires a large, safe experimental environment when using full-size vehicles which is time-consuming and expensive. To address these challenges, we developed XTENTH-CAR (eXperimental one-TENTH scaled vehicle platform for Connected autonomy and All-terrain Research), an open-source, cost-effective proportionally one-tenth scaled experimental vehicle platform governed by the same physics as a full-size on-road vehicle. XTENTH-CAR is equipped with the best-in-class NVIDIA Jetson AGX Orin System on Module (SOM), stereo camera, 2D LiDAR and open-source Electronic Speed Controller (ESC) with drivers written in the new Robot Operating System (ROS 2) to facilitate experimental CAV and AGV perception, motion planning and control research, that incorporate state-of-the-art computationally expensive algorithms such as Deep Reinforcement Learning (DRL). XTENTH-CAR is designed for compact experimental environments, and aims to increase the accessibility of experimental CAV and AGV research with low upfront costs, and complete Autonomous Vehicle (AV) hardware and software architectures similar to the full-sized X-CAR experimental vehicle platform, enabling efficient cross-platform development between small-scale and full-scale vehicles.


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