| 24th June 2011
Volkswagen leads the way after revealing new driverless technology.
Volkswagen has revealed a new piece of driver-less technology as part of a European Union research project.
As part of the Highly Automated Vehicles for Intelligent Transport (HAVEit) research and development programme, launched to improve technology and reduce accidents on the road, VW presented the technology, nicknamed ‘Temporary Auto Pilot’ (TAP).
TAP is a semi-automated driving system which will drive the car on its own at speeds of up to 80mph on motorways. Drivers will not have to interfere with the system but will also have to monitor the road and their surroundings, interfering when necessary.
Volvo has pioneered a similar technology where the system maintains a safe distance from the car in front and brakes if that distance changes. The VW system stands out when cornering and stop start conditions where it will use road markings to dictate the angle of the steering wheel and the correct course of action.
According to the German manufacturer, the revolutionary technology is a culmination of current systems including adaptive cruise control (ACC) and lane-keeping technology.
Prof. Dr Jurgen Leohold, executive director at Volkswagen Group Research, commented:
“Above all, what we have achieved today is an important milestone on the path towards accident-free car driving. 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."
According to Leohold and Volkswagen, TAP remains some way from fulfilling its own ambitious production target despite using sensors, radars and cameras that are ready for mass production, however it seems more likely to be introduced in ‘monotonous driving situations’ initially.
The news secures Volkswagen’s position at the forefront of car technology after it was also deemed the safest manufacturer in a recent survey that found VWs were least likely to be stolen by car thieves with the Phaeton, Tiguan and Sharan topping their categories.
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