At the final presentation of the EU research project HAVEit (Highly Automated Vehicles for Intelligent Transport), Prof. Dr. Jürgen Leohold, Executive Director Volkswagen Group Research, presented the “Temporary Auto Pilot” by Volkswagen: Monitored by the driver, the car can drive semi-automatically up to a speed of 130 kilometres per hour on motorways. It represents a link between today’s assistance systems and the vision of fully automatic driving.
"Above all, what we have achieved today is an important milestone on the path towards accident-free car driving," Leohold at the presentation in the Swedish city of Boras. The Temporary Auto Pilot (TAP) bundles so called semi-automatic functions, that is functions monitored by the driver, with other driver assistance systems, such as ACC adaptive cruise control and the Lane Assist lane-keeping system into one comprehensive function. "Nonetheless, the driver always retains driving responsibility and is always in control," Leohold noted. "The driver can override or deactivate the system at any time and must continually monitor it."
TAP always offers the driver an optimal degree of automation as a function of the driving situation, acquisition of the surroundings and driver and system states. It is intended to prevent accidents due to driving errors by an inattentive, distracted driver. In the semi-automatic driving mode – referred to as Pilot Mode, – TAP maintains a safe distance to the vehicle ahead, drives at a speed selected by the driver, reduces this speed as necessary before a bend, and maintains the vehicle’s central position with respect to lane markers. The system also observes overtaking rules and speed limits. Stop and start driving maneuvers in traffic jams are also automated.
TAP is based on a relatively production-like sensor platform, consisting of production-level radar-, camera-, and ultrasonic-based sensors, supplemented by a laser scanner and an electronic horizon. "One conceivable scenario for its initial use might be in monotonous driving situations, in traffic jams, for example, or over sections of a driving route that are exceedingly speed-limited," Leohold said.