GPS and Autonomous Vehicles
Global Positioning System (GPS) is formed by a network of satellites that provides geolocation data (time stamps, coordinates) to compatible GPS receivers. GPS data is commonly used along with a suite of other sensors in autonomous systems for navigation and control. The data provides coordinates in a global coordinate frame (latitude, longitude) that can be used to perform simply point-to-point navigation tasks. For more information about GPS fundamentals, see GPS.gov..
Due to complications with previous plug-and-play GPS modules for DonkeyCar autonomous vehicles, we sought to build our own DonkeyCar-compatible GPS module from scratch. The main flow of our project is as follows: 1. Initialize a list of waypoints. 2. Recieve GPS data from GP-20U7 reciever. 3. Determine current position and bearing of the car with respect to the waypoint. 4. Calculate throttle and steering commands to direct the car to the waypoint. 5. Repeat steps 2-4 until the waypoint is reached. 5. Once the car reaches a waypoint, drive in circle for X amount of time. 6. Repeat steps 2-5 until all waypoints in the list have been visited.