VW Trialing Level 4 AVs in Hamburg

Volkswagen is testing Level 4 autonomous vehicles within Hamburg’s designated ‘digital test bed’, it says.

Five Level 4 e-Golfs, each equipped with 11 laser scanners, seven radar, and 14 cameras for data capture and exchange, have begun trials within a three-kilometer section of the city’s nine-kilometer test bed for connected and autonomous vehicles, which is still under construction and not scheduled to be completed until 2020. V2X capabilities have been installed in the test bed’s traffic lights to aid communication with the e-Golf’s on-board transmitters and this is likely to be employing dedicated short range communications (DSRC) favored both by VW and the European Commission’s regulators.

Volkswagen Group Research claims this is the first time it has trialed Level 4 AVs in “real driving conditions in a major German city” and the trials will involve communication of up to five gigabytes of data per minute. It says the trials will be used to inform VW’s AV research and human back-up drivers will be present at all times, with all relevant data protection legislation adhered to. A strategic partnership on urban mobility and driverless transport was agreed by then VW CEO Matthias Müller and then Hamburg mayor Olaf Scholz in August 2016. The AVs’ AI systems use pattern recognition and neural networks.

Volkswagen Group Research head Axel Heinrich said the trials would “center on technical possibilities as well as urban infrastructure requirements”. Hamburg senator for transport Michael Westhagemann claimed they would help the city present itself “as a model … for intelligent mobility” when it hosts the World Congress for Intelligent Transport Systems in October 2021. Last October, VW announced that self-driving MAN trucks would be tested in Hamburg.

 

 


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