Semi-automatic car system unveiled by Volkswagen
Monday 27 June 2011
German automaker Volkswagen has unveiled a "temporary auto pilot" function which can drive its vehicles semi-automatically and could be a feature of production vehicles within the next five years.
The company said June 23 that the system was the final outcome of the EU "Highly Automated Vehicles for Intelligent Transport" project (HAVEIt), which was launched in 2008 to investigate automated driving solutions.
Temporary Autopilot can handle the cars at speeds of up to 130 km/h on the highway, Volkswagen said, keeping the car on the correct course and at the right distance from the vehicle ahead.
It uses systems commonly found on modern cars, such as lane departure sensors, collision radars and cruise control, to provide what Volkswagen describes as a "link between today’s assistance systems and the vision of fully automatic driving."
By computing information fed to it from a variety of sensors, including radar, camera and ultrasound sensors, as well as laser scanners, a vehicle on "Pilot Mode" can drive at a driver-selected speed, slowing for vehicles ahead, reducing speed before a bend and maintaining the car's central position on the road.
However, Volkswagen stresses that the driver remains in absolute control and must continue to monitor their journey, keeping focused and able to intervene if a safety-critical situation were to arise.
This is in contrast to the automated "road train" demonstrated earlier this year by a team of academics and Volvo in Sweden, where the cars could drive themselves if led by a manned convoy leader.
Another key difference is the time likely to be needed to implement the system, with Volkswagen describing it as being "based on a relatively production-like sensor platform."
The HAVEit project coordinator, Dr Reiner Hoeger, said this week that technology used in the temporary auto-pilot, and the other systems created as part of the project, "could be further developed and start series production within the next five to ten years."
Life & Style blogs
Penis size study: what's 'normal' anyway?
Drugs Live cannabis trial: Hash is less harmful than any other drug, expert claims
What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
Penis size: is there a correlation with sexual satisfaction? A scientific look
Apple and Google users being spied on for a decade because of 'Freak' security flaw
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin and says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'
Boris Nemtsov shot dead: Outspoken Putin critic who had expressed fears for his life is killed near the Kremlin
- 1 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 2 Drugs Live cannabis trial: Hash is less harmful than any other drug, expert claims
- 3 Turkish Airlines flight TK 726 crash-lands on Nepal runway amid dense fog
- 4 Penis size: Study revealing 'what's normal' sends international media into meltdown
- 5 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
£30000 - £37000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A 2nd / 3rd Line IT Support Eng...
£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This firm are focussed on assis...
£7 per hour: Recruitment Genius: A vacancy has arisen for a General Processor ...
£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A great opportunity has arisen ...