Highly automated driving takes shape

April 19, 2011 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
The HAVEit project is intended to make vehicles safer, more environmentally-friendly and fuel efficient by enhancing their level of automation. After more than three years of research work on intelligent driver assistance systems, seven vehicles demonstrating results will be presented in Borås (Sweden).

Research concepts and technologies for reducing drivers' workload, preventing accidents and reducing environmental impact, these are the objectives of the EU funded R&D project HAVEit (“ Highly Automated Vehicles for Intelligent Transport”). HAVEit research focuses on reducing mistakes made by distracted, overloaded or tired drivers when driving in congestions or long-haul trips. The project has developed coherent vehicle concepts, combining cutting-edge integrated information and sensor technology. These vehicles are able to assist the driver through various, situation-dependent, levels of automation by providing indications or carrying out the driving task independently. The driver still remains completely responsible at any point in time, the researchers reassure. The driver however must monitor the system carefully at any time; if desired, he can take over the complete driving task anytime.

HAVEit was launched in February 2008. The findings of the three-year research project are to be presented on a Volvo test track in Borås (Sweden) on 21 and 22 June 2011. Four of the seven vehicles include the development and validation of innovative safety, comfort and active green driving applications. Here, highly automated driving will support the driver in overload as well as underload situations and can further improve the fuel consumption and efficiency of vehicles. The applications being developed are an Automated Roadwork Assistance and a Temporary Auto-Pilot, both to be demonstrated in a passenger car, with a truck demonstrating the Automated Queue Assistance and an Active Green Driving hybrid bus.

The other three vehicles cover safety architectural issues: The migration from fail-silent to failure-tolerant systems towards a safe platform for possible later development of a fully automated vehicle. The applications to be demonstrated are a Brake-by-Wire Truck for open roads, a Joint System Interaction vehicle and an Architecture Migration Demonstrator vehicle.

All demonstrated vehicles with a high degree of automation have an installed “co-pilot” system which analyses traffic, the surroundings and the current status of the vehicle.