Articles, Cognitive Vehicles, Sensor Fusion, Vehicle Automation

Autonomous Driving Innovations at IAA 2017

This year’s International Motor Show Germany (IAA) was inaugurated by German Chancellor Angela Merkel on September 14th in Frankfurt am Main and once again attracted thousands of visitors. One of the most demanded topics was autonomous driving. Both established car manufacturers and newcomers introduced their (non)market-ready innovations. Here are some of the show’s highlights, listed alphabetically.

Audi: towards Level 5 with Aicon

Audi covered all autonomy levels from 3 to 5. The Bavarians presented the semi-autonomous series model A8 and a concept car based on the SUV e-tron Sportback which is intended for highly autonomous driving (Level 4). The vehicle is guided by an empathic AI that is learning permanently and enabling autonomous driving up to 80 mph.

However Audi’s true eye catcher goes by the name Aicon – a concept study for Level 5 automation, means fully autonomous. This electric vehicle was designed for the luxury sector is meant to have a reach of 800 kilometers. Audi also focused on the car’s interior equipping it with a comfortable couch instead of a back seat and rotatable seats in the front row. Each passenger has a personal display, the main screen is situated below the windshield.

The car understands three types of communication: voice command, eye control and of course haptic control. In general Audi put great emphasis on light effects, e.g. for visualizing information about the current driving mode or when somebody enters the car. Another innovation: people can enter the vehicle via their smartphone.

Bosch: parking & assistance systems

At the International Motor Show Germany Bosch presented some of the concepts that the company has already unveiled before. First and foremost there is the valet-parking system used in the parking lot of the Mercedes Museum. Bosch developed the sensors that enable a driverless Mercedes to navigate through the parking lot. Regarding connectivity Bosch uses updates via OTA (Over The Air).

Continental: BEE & CUbE

Automotive supplier Continental followed suit and showcased the projects CUbE (Continental Urban mobility Experience), an autonomous electro shuttle development in cooperation with EasyMile and BEE (Balanced Economcy and Ecology). Latter is Continental’s vision of connected traffic that works by the use of collective intelligence. This vision was perceptible via a virtual reality demo at Continental’s expo stand. Moreover the visitors could marvel at the new 3D Flash Lidar sensor which doesn’t have any mechanical parts. These sensors are much more robust and cheaper than previous models.

Magna: platform for Level 4

The name says it: Magna introduced MAX4 – a scalable platform for Level 4 automation including interfaces for all relevant sensors. It shall be compatible with most manufacturers’ systems. During the previous tests in Berlin Magna used a testing vehicle in form of a Jeep Grand Cherokee.

Valeo: learning how to park

French supplier Valeo mainly drew attention with the system Park4U Home. One can teach the system how to park correctly, the system collects data and learns the pattern. Once learned Park4U can replicate the process by itself. Also worth mentioning: the new Lidar “SCALA” and MyMobius, a customization application analyzing driving behavior.

VW: news from SEDRIC

Obviously Volkswagen was also present at the show. VW went straight for Level 5 introducing its concept for full autonomy SEDRIC. No matter where you are or where you wanna go: according to VW’s vision people can use their smartphone to order a self-driving vehicle (SEDRIC) to move in urban areas or travel long distances. That would mean a radical change in private transport.

These are only a few examples of what the International Motor Show Germany had in store. None the less I think that these are great contributions to what future mobility may look like.

About the author:

David Fluhr is journalist and owner of the digital magazine “Autonomes Fahren & Co”. He is reporting regularly about trends and technologies in the fields Autonomous Driving, HMI, Telematics and Robotics. Link to his site: http://www.autonomes-fahren.de

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