Volkswagen Group cars will get to drive by themselves in traffic

Of the numerous technologies the German carmaker’s electronic research wing revealed recently, details of Traffic Jam Pilot and Autonomous Parking are furnished below.

Audi A8
Next-gen Audi A8 (in 2016) will feature Traffic Jam Pilot.

Traffic Jam Pilot is said to be the first step to autonomous driving. The system takes complete control of the car in traffic conditions, at speeds of up to 64 kmph. This technology was previewed in an Audi A7 concept car, and Volkswagen has thus far undertaken several thousand kilometres of testing this feature.

This autonomous driving through traffic is achieved with help from laser sensors, laser scanners, ultrasonic cameras and stereo cameras, which are existing technologies utilised for new functions.

Jörg Schlinkheider, ERL’s head of driver assistance systems, said that it was necessary for cars with Traffic Jam Pilot to have HD maps, beyond sensors and cameras, that can guide the car by informing what is present beyond the detection range of said input devices. The information feed will be manipulated by complex algorithms installed in a decider system, which is an ECU as big as an iPad.

Schlinkheider added that the system under development is scalable, meaning, it will one day find its way into all of VW Group cars, ranging from entry level Golf to most expensive model, Audi A8.

Autonomous parking is another tech that allows driver to park the car using a smartphone, standing outside at a distance. The smartphone app can be precisely operated, with ability to instantly stop the car in case of unforeseen obstruction in its path. Autonomous parking has a tolerance of 20 cm on each side, enabling really tight parking. This feature will also debut in 2016.