Don’t be alarmed, Volkswagen has not developed the robotic car that drives itself in a boring fashion, but a system that integrates a number of safety systems into one package that previews the future of “fully automatic and accident-free driving”. As the name suggests, the systems allows the car to drive itself under the careful eye of the… driver, using a combination of lane assist and ACC adaptive cruise control. So, Volkswagen with the Temporary Auto Pilot System – TAP – tries to challenge Google? It seems like it.
The apocalyptic scenario where robots rule the world is not what Volkswagen is looking for, as the Temporary Auto Pilot System as part of its safety systems leaves the driver the option of intervening at any time he or she wants. The system was developed by Volkswagen as part of the EU funded R&D project HAVEit (“Highly Automated Vehicles for Intelligent Transport”) where the Temporary Auto Pilot System was presented as a complete project.
“Above all, what we have achieved today is an important milestone on the path towards accident-free car driving,” emphasises Volkswagen’s Executive Director for Research, Prof. Dr. Jurgen Leohold at today’s final presentation of the EU research project HAVEit in the Swedish city of Boras. “Nonetheless, the driver always retains driving responsibility and is always in control. The driver can override or deactivate the system at any time and must continually monitor it.”
Volkswagen also propose a semi-automatic setting called Pilot Mode, which helps the driver 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 on the Volkswagen also observes overtaking rules and speed limits.