A car that can master urban traffic by itself and without a driver – the dream of all those with bad parking skills or missing driving licences. And not too far fetched, at least regarding technology. The latter is now so advanced that an adapted mass-production car can drive into a town autonomously, that is, without the interventions of a driver. And exactly this will be demonstrated in the course of the RoboCup 2009, the intelligent-robot world champion-ships. State Minister Kristina Edlinger-Ploder, Mayor Siegfried Nagl and Graz University of Technology Rector Hans Sünkel will be driven by a driverless VW Passat from the TU campus at Inffeldgasse to the opening celebration at the Stadthalle. The driver’s seat
will remain vacant, but an engineer will be sitting in the front passenger seat for safety reasons, so that he can intervene at any moment. The corresponding stretch of road will
be cleared a short while before to ensure the autonomous car an unimpeded path.
How the family estate car can go it alone
What is special about the exhibited autonomous car is that it looks just like a normal standard car with no trace of robotics or artificial intelligence. Hidden in the car body, however, are three laser scanners – two integrated in the front v environment, in other words, road conditions – buildings, other road users and pedestrians in a radius of 200 meters, thus integrating the car into the traffic flow. The car can orient itself with the help of a small GPS antenna on the roof. The control system for the electronic steering, transmission and brakes as well as electronically controlled acceleration are all integrated in the car. The demonstration car is also competition savvy. The LUX research team of the Hamburg-based “Ibeo Automobile Sensor GmbH” company participated in the US American “Darpa Urban Challenge 2007” with this modified car, which involved over 150 kilometres of autonomous urban driving.
Mag. Alice Senarclens de Grancy
Tel 0316 873 6006
Mobil 0664 60 873 6006