AUBURN HILLS — The German auto supplier Continental said Friday that it had completed a two-week, 6,000-mile test of automatically driven cars in Nevada.
Continental said the so-called “highly automated driving” test aimed to show that it is possible to have the driver “not serve (as) primary vehicle guidance.”
Continental noted the grim statistics — driver error was the cause of more than 80 percent of all accidents involving personal injury in Germany in 2010.
The company said the concept tested in Nevada is largely based on the knowledge and experiences acquired through the winning entry in the 2007 Urban Challenge of autonomous driving, sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, and during a similar research project in the European Union.
Continental’s “close to production” technologies that powered the auto driving system included MFC 300 stereo cameras, whose sensors can measure the distance and size of potential obstacles, MK 100 electronically controllable braking system and electric power steering.
“The vehicle is able to use close-to-production sensors and logic to detect more complex scenarios and, consequently, is able to relieve drivers of the tedium of monotonous activities, such as driving in traffic jams, by automating,” said Matthias Strauss, project engineer for advanced driver assistance systems in the Advanced Engineering department in Continental’s Chassis & Safety Division.
Traffic jam scenarios were also driven during the test. In situations which exceeded the current capabilities of highly automated driving, such as where road markings could not be detected or if the bends were too tight, the system switched itself off and the driver had to resume control of the vehicle. If the driver failed to react, the vehicle’s speed was gradually reduced until it came to a stop.
Continental’s sites in Frankfurt, Germany, and Auburn Hills have combined their know-how so as to develop and test the system further. In the next step, the gained experiences will help to enhance advanced driver assistance system availability. The results also represent an important step on the road toward realizing the vision of accident-free driving.
More at www.continental-automotive.com.