Hamburg Becomes Testing Ground for Volkswagen Level 4 Autonomous Vehicles

In 2021, the German city of Hamburg will be hosting the World Congress for Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS), where autonomous driving will probably be in the spotlight. To have something to show, Volkswagen announced this week it is officially entering the highly-automated car industry with a fleet of five test vehicles.
Autonomous Volkswagen e-Golf 6 photos
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Starting next year, e-Golf cars equipped with laser scanners, cameras, ultrasonic sensors, and radars will be doing some driving on their own on a 9 km (5.6 miles) connected stretch of road currently being constructed in Hamburg.

These Level 4 tests will mark Volkswagen’s first entrance in an industry that is projected to take off over the next decade and provide city residents with services like autonomous car sharing.

“The tests center on technical possibilities as well as urban infrastructure requirements,” said in a statement Axel Heinrich, Volkswagen’s head of research.

“In order to make driving even safer and more comfortable in future, vehicles not only have to become autonomous and more intelligent – cities must also provide a digital ecosystem that enables vehicles to communicate with traffic lights and traffic management systems as well as with one another.”

Each of the five e-Golf cars is equipped with eleven laser scanners, seven radars, and 14 cameras. The cars can handle 5 GB of data per minute thanks to the computing power “equivalent to some 15 laptops” hidden in the trunk.

The artificial intelligence powering the e-Golf will have the ability to read data on everything that goes on around it in milliseconds and make the appropriate decisions. For the best results, Volkswagen will test deep learning, neural networks, and pattern recognition software.

For the moment, Volkswagen did not precisely say what it intends to do with the resulting technology, but for a while now it has hinted that the future ID family of cars will be, at least in part, connected and automated.

press release

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