Audi was set to make the concluding presentation for the UR:BAN cooperative project for October 7 in Düsseldorf. This four-year project involves 31 partners who are working to develop traffic management solutions as well as driver assistance for urban traffic.
The German carmaker became involved in the project because it wants to make city traffic flow smoothly and safer. Dr. Horst Glaser, Head of Development for Chassis and Driver Assistance Systems, commented that developing driver assistance systems raises safety when it comes to urban traffic.
Glaser adds that the role of Audi in this project was to focus on systems that aim to assist the driver with regards to steering and braking in serious urban traffic situations. As such, the project required a way to reliably scan the vehicle environment, Glaser concludes.
UR:BAN is an abbreviation of the German acronym which means “Urban Space: User-oriented assistance systems and network management.” This Germany-wide cooperative project started in April 2012 and is expected to end in March 2016.
This project brings a total of 31 partners from different industries that include cities, the automotive and supply industry, communication technology and software companies, electronics manufacturers, research institutes, and universities.
The main objective is to develop traffic management systems and driver assistance specifically for the cities. Funding for the project was given by Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy (BMWi) which provided around EUR 40 million.
The project has three major subject areas which include Cognitive Assistance, Human Factors in Traffic, and Networked Traffic System. This project also centers on people as drivers, pedestrians, cyclists, or even traffic planners.
Under the Cognitive Assistance area, the objective of the project was to be able to comprehensively scan the vehicle environment through a 360° all-round view. The principle is that when drivers and cars can better perceive the environment, the better they can avoid possible collisions caused by braking or swerving.
An important part of this is a design system that can consistently avoid any false activation. Audi has been running tests for this system on three cars. One of these cars is the Audi A7 Sportback which can be seen in action demonstrating this technology in different traffic scenarios.
The demonstration is set to be part of the concluding presentation this Wednesday. This particular vehicle comes equipped with a close-to- production sensors. It has a video camera and laser scanner at the front as well as a dual radar system.
It also has a side and rear radar system. Furthermore, this demonstration will also feature the control components that have managed to aid three piloted driving Audi RS7 concept vehicles obtain driverless records for the years 2014 and 2015 on four racetracks which are the Ascari, Hockenheim, Oschersleben, and Sonoma tracks.
New Audi models like the Audi A4 and Audi Q7 already have collision avoidance assistance that helps reduce the risk of being in an accident. Audi discloses that it is applying the findings of this project to refine its current assistance systems. In this same cooperative project, there is a sub-project which AUDI AG also heads, dubbed the “Effectiveness, Assessment and Legal Issues.”
Its goal is to sort out the legal framework of the driver assistance systems developed in UR:BAN. For instance, one of its tasks is to clarify the different issues that concern the eligibility for approval of the systems like the automatic emergency steering system. Under the subject area of “Human Factors in Traffic,” Audi intends to highlight and investigate the different interactions between environment and car especially in an adapted human-machine interface.
Thus, the aim is to be able to not just register but also to systematize various urban junctions as a way to define the appropriate warning and information strategy. There are currently 20 employees involved in this project, coming from different areas like MMI vehicle concepts ergonomics development, accident research, and automated driving functions pre-development.
Audi has been a pioneer when it comes to piloted driving. Since 2009, the brand has been staging different driving demonstrations on international racetracks, public roads, and even a salt flat. All of these are part of the company’s development work.
The technologies developed for piloted driving have already managed to deliver not just improved efficiency and safety but it has also saved time and even made it more convenient. The brand intends to get the first piloted system into production for the Audi A8’s next generation model.
This technology allows it to take charge when it comes to driving the vehicle in stop-and-go traffic up to a maximum of 60 km/h or about 37.3 mph.