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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:
- Initialize a list of waypoints.
- Recieve GPS data from GP-20U7 reciever.
- Determine current position and bearing of the car with respect to the waypoint.
- Calculate throttle and steering commands to direct the car to the waypoint.
- Repeat steps 2-4 until the waypoint is reached.
- Once the car reaches a waypoint, drive in circle for X amount of time.
- Repeat steps 2-5 until all waypoints in the list have been visited.