HAVEit project proves series maturity of automatic driving

June 24, 2011 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
During the final event of the European HAVEit research project 17 industry and science entities presented their contributions to technologies aiming at automatic driving. The event proved that several building blocks are rather close to series maturity.

At the event in Boras (Sweden), the presentations included an assistant system that steers a car through a highway construction site, an overtaking assistant that automatically passes by upon pushing a button or a system for trucks that recognizes if the vehicle approaches a traffic stall and automatically reduces speed.

All of these highly automated driving functions have been developed within the scope of the HAVEit (Highly Automated Vehicles for Intelligent Transport) research project partially funded by the EU. The systems were demonstrated in seven experimental vehicles in Boras as well as the near-by Volvo test track in Hällered. Among the companies and research institutes participating in the project were Volkswagen, Volvo, Continental AG, the German aerospace research center DLR and French transport technology research center IFSTTAR.

“In view of increasing traffic density, the growing flood of information available to drivers and the rising average age of the population, highly automated vehicles will characterize the future of mobility. Automation will relieve drivers of some of the stress of driving as it guides them through traffic more efficiently, using more environmentally friendly technology”, said HAVEit project coordinator Reiner Hoeger.

Highly automated vehicles can take over three main driving functions: steering (lateral automation), path planning (longitudinal automation) and high-precision navigation. The aim is to make driving easier for people and create highly automated systems which they can use intuitively. As part of the HAVEit project, three automation modes which can be selected and activated by drivers were developed and implemented in all demonstration vehicles. In the first mode, the driver steers the vehicle alone, assisted by already-available standard driver assistance systems, such as lane keep assist or an emergency brake assist. In partly or semi-automated mode, the vehicle drives with longitudinal automation, so drivers no longer have to accelerate or brake.

At the level of high automation, lateral automation comes into play, meaning the driver no longer has to steer. Despite the