Automated driving tested in urban environment

Feature articles |
By Christoph Hammerschmidt

Within the KoMoDo research project, a number of partially automated vehicles will be tested in an area in and around Düsseldorf, the capital of the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia. The goal is to test various functions of connected and automated driving under real conditions. The test vehicles are to receive information on traffic redirects, etc. directly on the navigation system, or also to report information on the traffic flow, and thus, to identify alternative routes for other drivers. Speed limits or information from traffic lights are fed directly into the longitudinal control of the automated vehicles.

As part of this project, the automotive research institute IKA of the University of Aachen and telecom operator Vodafone are developing a function for automated valet parking. In the future, drivers can simply park their vehicle in the handover area in front of the Vodafone car park and start the parking procedure by means of an app on their smartphone. The back-end has information from sensors that monitor the occupancy status of the parking lots and assign a free parking space. The vehicle then drives automatically into the car park (also over several levels) and parks on the intended lot. Also via the app, the driver can launch the parking procedure at an early stage so that he can pick up his vehicle in the transfer zone.

The IKA develops the necessary systems for environment detection, localization, trajectory planning and control. In addition, the research institute is responsible for linking the test field in Düsseldorf with the existing urban test site in Aldenhoven through a uniform standards-based network structure. Thus, systems and functions can be developed and secured in the controlled field at the Aldenhoven Testing Center before they are used in real test traffic in the Düsseldorf urban test area.

In addition, the IKA will evaluate the driving functions developed by the various project partners in the course of the project with regard to their impact on traffic safety and efficiency, as well as develop a driving simulator to make the developed functions experienceable for everyone.

The KoMoD project has a term of 25 months to June 2019 and is supported by the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure with a total of around 9 million euros.

Apart from IKA, eleven other partners are also involved, including the City of Düsseldorf, the German Aerospace Center DLR, Siemens, Vodafone, Mobileye Germany and TRW Germany.

More information:

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