Advanced science.  Applied technology.


Cooperative Sensor Sharing System


SwRI has conducted joint research with the French research group Institut National de Recherche en Informatique et en Automatique (INRIA) with the goal of developing a unique method to enable vehicles to cooperatively share sensor data, greatly enhancing a vehicle’s awareness of its environment. This capability has numerous benefits for cooperative vehicle systems.


Initially developed for a pedestrian protection system, the cooperative sensor sharing technology has been expanded to include cooperative perimeter patrol and cooperative vehicle platooning. The joint research developed a set of core algorithms applicable to the range of vehicles, sensors, and communication protocols, allowing vehicles to share information about the position, direction of travel, and speed of a pedestrian crossing a street. A vehicle could now become aware of the pedestrian simply through the shared knowledge of another vehicle. If a collision with the pedestrian was possible, the vehicle could then take action.

Key Elements of the Cooperative Sensor Sharing System

  • Vehicle-, sensor-, and other hardware-agnostic
  • Sensor data is abstracted to meaningful meta-data (raw sensor data is not shared)
  • System is scalable to any number of vehicles
  • System is extensible to a variety of applications


The system was first demonstrated in Versailles, France, in 2008 and then in New York City, as part of the 2008 ITS World Congress. Both autonomous and manned vehicles were used in the demonstrations, and the two separate demonstrations used very different vehicle and hardware types. The core concepts developed in this work have been expanded to other cooperative vehicle domains, such as cooperative perimeter patrol and cooperative vehicle platooning. SwRI and INRIA were jointly awarded a patent for this work in 2011.

Related Patent

  • Cooperative Sensor-Sharing Vehicle Traffic Safety System