Opel Joins Driverless Pilot Aimed at Urban Mobility

Opel has joined a German autonomous driving pilot in a bid to develop a fully functioning driverless city-focused prototype within the next two years.

The joint project STADT:up hopes to realize viable automated driving services for urban environments by the end of 2025. The title STADT:up derives from Solutions and Technologies for Automated Driving in Town. Opel is involved in the project funded by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection.

Its specialists at the Rüsselsheim Engineering Center will develop the vehicle’s environment recognition based on artificial intelligence (AI) and the translation into the situation-specific reaction in automated driving. The kick-off event of the consortium project with 22 project and development partners has now taken place on the campus of Robert Bosch in Renningen, Baden-Württemberg. In addition to further findings, by the end of 2025 a prototype from Opel will demonstrate complex environmental recognition in urban areas.

The prototype must be able to handle complex inner-city traffic scenarios safely and respond adequately to all situations within milliseconds. The field of tasks for autonomous driving ranges from the comprehensive perception of the environment and the localization of road users through the prediction, interaction and cooperation with other vehicles to the behavior and maneuver planning of the own vehicle.

The automaker will deploy sensors including camera, LiDAR and radar to all possible scenarios until they are implemented in the computer system. This is where the AI ​​experts at the Rüsselsheim site come into play. In addition to improving the robust performance, the aim of the research activities is to improve the traceability of the decisions of deep neural networks and to use them to check the plausibility of an automated driving system.

In addition to automotive groups, leading supplier companies, technology partners, universities and research institutes are also represented in the project managed by consortium leader Bosch. The final event planned for the end of 2025 with the joint presentation of the demonstrators developed in STADT:up is hoped to be the highlight. Opel aims to use its own test vehicle to demonstrate the performance of the environment recognition it has developed.

Frank Jordan, Stellantis’s head of innovation, Germany, said: “By participating in the STADT:up project, Opel is further advancing automated driving in urban traffic on behalf of Stellantis. The engineers at the Rüsselsheim Engineering Center draw on many years of experience in this field. At the same time, we are strengthening our good cooperation with research institutions outside the company and continuing our commitment to supporting young scientists.”

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in Europe. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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