Volkswagen plans to take its self-driving cars into city traffic.
As a first for the carmaker, Volkswagen Group Research has started testing autonomous vehicles in urban traffic in the major German city of Hamburg.
A fleet of five e-Golf vehicles with laser scanners, cameras, ultrasonic sensors and radars, will drive on a two-mile section of the digital test bed for automated and connected driving in the city.
The test vehicles each contain 11 laser scanners, seven radars and 14 cameras. During every minute of testing, up to five gigabytes of data are communicated, with computing power of 15 laptops in the car trunk, according to the company. The artificial intelligence being used includes deep learning, neural networks and pattern recognition, which aims to register all relevant objects and respond to them without false alarms.
“The tests center on technical possibilities as well as urban infrastructure requirements,” stated Axel Heinrich, head of Volkswagen Group Research. “In order to make driving even safer and more comfortable in future, vehicles not only have to become autonomous and more intelligent, cities must also provide a digital ecosystem that enables vehicles to communicate with traffic lights and traffic management systems as well as with one another.”
The test results are to be incorporated in the group’s numerous research projects on autonomous driving.