A world’s first in Braunschweig: For the first time, an automatic vehicle is driving in everyday city traffic today.
Leonie in front of the TU Braunschweig main building. TU Braunschweig
In the context of the research project “Stadtpilot”, the Technische Universität Braunschweig has developed a research vehicle in its competence centre Niedersächsisches Forschungszentrum Fahrzeugtechnik: it drives automatically along a given route in normal traffic.
On Braunschweig’s two-lane ring road, the research vehicle “Leonie” is able to conduct challenging driving maneuvers at speeds up to 60 km/h: lane keeping, behavior at intersections, avoiding obstacles, and adjusting distances and speeds to the flowing traffic. The route includes part of the Braunschweig ring road from Hans-Sommer-Straße to the intersection Hamburger Straße, and back. A safety driver ready to intervene in emergencies is compulsory.
Research project “Stadtpilot”
The research project „Stadtpilot“ is the only research project worldwide so far that realizes automatic driving in real city traffic. Already in 2007, the TU Braunschweig participated successfully in the DARPA Urban Challenge, the worldwide leading competition for autonomous vehicles: with the 2006 VW Passat Variant “Caroline”, the team CarOLO was in the finals as one of 11 teams out of the initial 89. Based on these experiences, an interdisciplinary team from three different faculties has now developed the follow-up “Leonie”.
“We have come a long way, from our first vehicle Caroline to Leonie”, Professor Markus Maurer explained. “Whereas, in the competition, we drove in a controlled scenario, it is now necessary to master the real traffic volume. Leonie is confronted by various traffic participants who drive differently, and sometimes even against the rules. It has to adjust its speed to the flowing traffic. And last not least, a substantial safety concept is necessary.”
“To drive autonomously Leonie has to know not only the traffic rules. We teach it all a human also needs to drive. It has to know its own position (through satellite positioning), ‘see’ its environment, evaluate speeds and obstacles (with its sensor concept), assess difficult traffic situations, and recognize dangers in advance. In addition, it must learn to get along with various human drivers in other vehicles”, says project leader Jörn Marten Wille.
It is the goal of the project “Stadtpilot” to drive autonomously around the Braunschweig inner ring road. The extremely complex environment makes the project challenging: the dense traffic on the two lane road is highly demanding for the environment perception; the narrow roads require precise lane planning; and the dense urban built-up area makes the exact positioning difficult.
“Stadtpilot” has been developed mainly at the Mobile Life Campus, the Wolfsburg location of the Niedersächsisches Forschungszentrum Fahrzeugtechnik (NFF). Experts from Control Engineering (Electrical Engineering), Flight Guidance (Mechanical Engineering) of the Technische Universität Braunschweig, as well as the Institute of Transportation Systems of the German Aerospace Center, and the University of Hildesheim. have been contributing to the project. The NFF having research in new concepts for a sustainable automotive mobility as main objective sees the project “Stadtpilot” as an essential research project. It is based at the NFF location in Wolfsburg.
Research vehicle „Leonie“
Leonie is a VW Passat station wagon, 2.0 TDI. With satellite positioning the vehicle can calculate its position in the traffic. Thanks to various laser scanners and radar sensors, Leonie can perceive its environment continuously and process the data.
The State of Lower Saxony has granted an exceptional permission for driving in real traffic (on the Braunschweig ring road). It is based on the expert opinion of the TÜV Nord Mobilität. A safety driver is compulsory. Another driver inputs the data of the traffic signals which are not yet recognized by Leonie.
Since the beginning of this year already, the team of the Stadtpilot project has conducted driving tests on the compound of the former Heinrich-der-Löwe-Kaserne in Braunschweig-Rautheim. Besides Leonie, a second research vehicle, Henry, is being built up within the NFF research field “Intelligent Vehicle”. Henry is not yet ready to drive, though.
Contact:Prof. Markus Maurer
Laser rescue system for serious accidents
29.11.2016 | Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V.
Bremen University students reach the final at robotics competition with parcel delivery robot
19.10.2016 | BIBA - Bremer Institut für Produktion und Logistik
Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.
Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...
In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
09.12.2016 | Life Sciences
09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation
09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine