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Intelligent vehicles

PACPUS : Per­cep­tion et Assis­tance pour une Con­duite Plus Sûre.


PACPUS is a tech­nol­o­gy plat­form for research locat­ed at the Heudi­asyc UTC/CNRS Joint Research Unit.

The objec­tive behind PACPUS is to pro­vide tools and resources for exper­i­ment­ing on intel­li­gent vehi­cles. It is specif­i­cal­ly intend­ed for the devel­op­ment, inte­gra­tion and test­ing of ADAS (Advanced Dri­ver Assis­tance Sys­tems) func­tions, par­tic­u­lar­ly in rela­tion to autonomous vehi­cles.

The plat­form com­pris­es five exper­i­men­tal vehi­cles, togeth­er with test­ing facil­i­ties and software.

The plat­form is fund­ed by Heudi­asy­c’s two super­vi­so­ry institutions:

and by sev­er­al pub­lic authorities :

PACPUS is also used for joint projects with indus­tri­al partners.

PACPUS timeline

This project was ini­ti­at­ed by :

  • Euro­pean Union Frame­work Pro­grams for Research and Tech­no­log­i­cal Devel­op­ment (Prometheus 1991–1994, Road­sense 2001–2004)
  • French PREDIT Research and Inno­va­tion Pro­gram for Ter­res­tri­al Trans­port (ARCOS 2001–2004, MobiVip 2004–2007, Sari 2005–2008)
  • CNRS ROBEA pro­gram (Bode­ga 2003–2005)
  • CNRS/INRETS CHMAC Research Group (Human-Machine Coop­er­a­tion for Auto­mo­bile Dri­ver Assis­tance 1999–2001).

In 2005 CNRS labelled PACPUS a strate­gic plat­form and helped it acquire the CARMEN test­bed. CARMEN was a demon­stra­tor in the IEEE IV2008 and IV2011 symposiums.


Carmen testbed

CARMEN is a Cit­roën C5 ded­i­cat­ed to the robot­ic per­cep­tion. Sev­er­al prob­lem­at­ics are test­ed on the test­bed : robust and reli­able local­iza­tion, local dynam­ic map, obsta­cles detec­tion, exploita­tion of dig­i­tal maps…

Carmen instrumentation

The exper­i­men­tal car Car­men has the fol­low­ing equipments :

  • a Velo­dyne HDL-64E,
  • a Nova­tel SPAN-CPT for the local­iza­tion (RTK enabled),
  • a front Lidar Ibeo Alas­ca XT,
  • a front 77GHz TRW AC20,
  • a Mobil­eye C2-270 (mea­sure­ment of the safe­ty dis­tance, white lines and obsta­cles detection),
  • sev­er­al vision sys­tems (stere­o­vi­sion, Infrared cam­era, TOF cameras),
  • dri­ver obser­va­tion sys­tems (Face­Lab, Smart­Eye and SMI glasses),
  • a full access to the CAN bus of the car.

DYNA – vehicle dynamics

DYNA is the test­bed ded­i­cat­ed to the vehi­cle dynam­ics devel­op­ment. The car is equipped with the fol­low­ing sensors :

  • 4 Kistler Roa­D­yn mea­sur­ing wheels,
  • a Corrsys Datron Correvit,
  • a Cross­bow IMU VG700AB,
  • 4 Corrsys height sensors,
  • a Ibeo LUX-8L front lidar,
  • a real­time acqui­si­tion sys­tem (2kHz data acquisition),
  • a embed­ded com­put­er with data pro­cess­ing high capabilities.

Addi­tion­nal sen­sors like GPS receiv­er, cam­eras, … could be installed accord­ing to needs of the projet.

All the instru­men­ta­tion of the car was done by the tech­ni­cal staff of the laboratory :

  • the elec­tri­cal pow­er sup­ply and the instal­la­tion of the sen­sors was done locally,
  • the lowlev­el soft­ware uses a real­time Xeno­mai Lin­ux to guar­an­tee the syn­chro­ni­sa­tion and the time­stamp­ing of the data,
  • the high­lev­el soft­ware includ­ing the ADAS mod­ules and the project appli­ca­tions use the PACPUS framework.

IRIS (IRIS is a Robotized Intelligent System)

IRIS is one of the autonomous car of the Heudi­asyc lab­o­ra­to­ry. It was acquired in 2012 in the frame­work of the ROBOTEX project.


APAChE (« véhicule Autonome Parte­naire de Con­duite ») are autonomous vehi­cles based on Zoé cars and are equip­ments of the ROBOTEX project.

APAChE, autonomous car and driving partner

The 2 APAChE cars are equip­ments of the ROBOTEX project and are ful­ly con­trol­lable by com­put­er. The embed­ded tech­nol­o­gy enables the ECUs of the lab­o­ra­to­ry to dri­ve the car by wire. Espe­cial­ly a coop­er­a­tive mode has been devel­opped to trans­form the vehi­cle in a dri­ving part­ner that would enforce your safe­ty on the road.

The vehi­cles are equipped with a ded­i­cat­ed instru­men­ta­tion to car­ry out real experiments :

  • front and rear mul­ti-lay­er lidars,
  • 3 front 24 GHz radars,
  • onboard cam­eras,
  • GNSS local­iza­tion systems,
  • 802.11p radio modems for V2V and V2I communications.


« Vehi­cle In the Loop test­bed for Autonomous Dri­ving » is a 4WD hub to test robot cars. The 4 dynamome­ters will repro­duce the road in accel­er­a­tion and brak­ing phas­es of the vehi­cle and an auto­mo­tive sim­u­la­tor will pro­vide the sen­sors data and the dynam­ics to the con­trol algortihms.

VILAD, Vehicle In the Loop testbed for Autonomous Driving

The VIL test­bed was designed to exper­i­ment repetable and faulty sce­narii with autonomous cars. The envi­ron­ment and vehi­cle dynam­ics are sim­u­lat­ed and the road grip is repro­duced by a bi-direc­tion­nal 4WD testbed.

The com­plete elec­tron­ic archi­tec­ture of the vehi­cle and the robot­ics tasks are test­ed in real-time. As all of the inputs of the con­trol algo­rithms are pro­vid­ed as in the real­i­ty, we can eas­i­ly diag­nose and improve the behav­ior of the robot before test­ing it on tracks.

PACPUS software

The Open­Source PACPUS frame­work is to be found at:


The VERVE euro­pean project, one of the first exam­ples of autonomous dri­ving by a ROBOTEX vehicle

An APAChe car per­formed com­plete cicuits of the SEVILLE test track at UTC’s Inno­va­tion Center:

UMAP Urban Mobility Advanced Platform (Renault)

Heudi­asyc researchers are work­ing with Renault to cre­ate a dri­ver­less car. The PACPUS frame­work is embed­ded in this pro­to­type to pow­er the local­iza­tion and per­cep­tion com­po­nents of the system.


Respon­s­able sci­en­tifique | Véronique Cher­faoui
Tél : 03 44 23 44 87
Mail :

Respon­s­able tech­nique | Stéphane Bon­net
Tél : 03 44 23 52 56
Mail :