The race to Autonomous Driving


Driving without a driver – even if there is still a Vision, the battle for the market is in full swing. First cars are already being tested. Without the driver it is not yet.

Into the car, comfortable to sit back, read the newspaper, check your mail, or just a little snooze – previously this was only possible, if you could afford a private driver who steered a way through the traffic. In the future, this pleasure could also be the mass given. Convenient mobility, more safety, less environmental impact – these are the promises of driverless driving. Autonomous is the big Trend and not just in the automotive industry.

The conventional car makers are looking, in the meantime, the help from the IT industry such as Microsoft or Deutsche Telekom. In addition, new competitors are entering the market. Driving providers like Uber are working on concepts for self-driving cars. Even IT giants like Google, Apple or the Chinese Internet giant Baidu scenting new business models.

How Autonomous Autonomous?

All of the actors are already testing eagerly a variety of vehicles, which travel more or less autonomously. In California, in Germany, Israel or China. Some people have it so much better than the Rest and can sleep behind the wheel? So far, the car can relieve the driver of some or multiple tasks. Some cars can monitor blind spots and help to keep the track or to take the Parking space. This semi-automation, at least in the upper classes of vehicle are already everyday life.

The next stage, the full automation is on a good way. In this case, the car is driving alone, the driver must hold hands but ready to intervene at any time. Sleep? .

At the fourth level of Automation, the “situation, conditional automated Driving”, is taken from the driver in certain situations, such as in a traffic jam, the work. Then the driver could, at least temporarily, to something else. However, the manufacturer did not expect such cars before 2020.

Still later, the next automation-stages, such as fully automated Driving in certain environments, for example in city traffic. Truly Autonomous Driving, so with cars that need no driver, only the last step. Such vehicles bring their owners to work and then back alone in the Garage, but still music of the future.

Who is with whom

As the digital challenges To the Autonomous immensely, will increase the importance of the Automotive suppliers, according to a study by Deutsche Bank Research. You have a lot of innovations are expected. And new suppliers will be added. In addition, the market participants ‘ cooperation in several sectors.

For example, BMW has entered into a partnership with chip producer Intel, the US supplier Delphi, the camera technology specialist Mobileye and supplier Continental. The German car maker and its partners have announced at this year’s consumer electronics show CES in Las Vegas until the end of 2017, a prototype fleet with 40 highly and fully automated driving 7-series BMWs, and on highways and city traffic in the United States, Israel, and Germany. The auto supplier Continental is also working with Chinese Internet giant Baidu to develop solutions for Autonomous Driving.

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The Moral of the machines

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The Moral of the machines

Also, the Conti-competitor and world’s largest automotive suppliers, Bosch is a Partner of Baidu. Together, they want to test in the future, on a Chinese highway, a partially automated vehicle. In a similar test Bosch is involved journeys in Germany, the USA and Japan. Bosch announced in March of this year, the “brain” for self-driving cars to deliver and wants to bring in 2018 the first of the smaller fleets of robot Taxis on the roads. However, should only be starting in 2022, no driver on Board.

Also has done Bosch, Daimler. Together, the two announced in April that they want to bring by 2020 a completely self-driving cars for city traffic in a series on the market.

Other large car manufacturers are already using test licenses on the go. So Ford and Volkswagen are allowed to test the first vehicles on American roads. Volkswagen is conducting research on the robot Taxi “Sedric”, and plans, by 2025, self-driving electric vehicles. Ford also wants to bring at the latest from 2021 Autonomous vehicles without a steering Wheel and pedals on the road.

“Sedric” of VW was unveiled at the Geneva auto salon in March 2017.

Apple and Google are part of the mix also

Not only the conventional car manufacturers and suppliers to test for some time, fully automated prototypes, and also completely new competitors cavort in this area of research. Google and Apple apply in terms of their innovation power and financial strength as a major competitor to the conventional car maker. Apple – the group originally stood for Computer and Smartphones – according to the media, worked on reports, since 2014, to a private electric cars, wants to focus on the development of technology for self-driving cars. Since April, Apple may test in California, vehicles in, a little later, an Apple-converted Lexus was seen SUV’s on the road.

Google may already be testing longer. 2009, the Internet giant Tests the robot was started in the car on the road and continued with the project even established car companies under pressure to act. Basically, Google and Apple would endeavor, in the meantime, but rather to cooperation with car manufacturers, it says the DB Research. So Google’s daughter company Waymo has recently self-driving Minivans for everyday use. In the area of Phoenix in the U.S. state of Arizona can apply to the inhabitants of the rebuilt Chrysler Vans. However, they are accompanied by a trained test driver to safety. The test fleet of robot cars will be expanded to 700 vehicles. In addition, Waymo plans the technology in vehicles from other manufacturers. By 2015, Ford was in the conversation – in the meantime, Ford designed car but your own Robot.

Google does not intend to pursue the development of its own self-driving cars without steering Wheel and pedals for the time being, further, stated in the media. Rather they wanted to cooperate with car manufacturers.

Since March of 2017 is also the driving service Uber robot car in California tests. The Chinese car service, Didi Chuxing, Apple has participated with one billion dollars, is also in California active. A total of more than 30 companies have permission to test their self-driving cars on California’s roads.

Without a driver – allowed from 2019?!

Still, the technology is not to the extent that cars can actually drive without a driver. In addition, many issues are still unresolved. The Autonomous oodles of data To be collected. But how can this data be protected and who has insight into the data? And how is it prevented that Autonomous vehicles can be hacked and manipulated?

Also, ethical issues are still unclear. How should a vehicle behavior if it is to approach the choice of an old man or a boy? A woman or a man? Due to such issues, only semi-automated Driving in Germany is allowed to date. The automation systems have to be “at any time by the driver of the vehicle can be overridden or deactivated,” wrote the lawmakers. The last responsibility of the person thus still.

Driverless cars could of the traffic chaos in Shanghai something to alleviate – or at least less stressful.

In the United States is to be permitted from 2019 to fully automated Driving, says the süddeutsche Zeitung. This means that the driver would no longer be needed as a fall-back solution. China, tear in front and allow to drive six driverless vehicles in 2019 in Shanghai. You are not allowed to transport persons and goods on public roads up to 50 kilometers per hour. But here, too, a monitoring station on-Board cameras control the rides and can intervene, if necessary, by remote control, so the Süddeutsche Zeitung.

As of 2021, then cars will take to the Chinese market, which may be partially or completely driving without human intervention. In China it is estimated that between 2026 and 2030 is widely used in the automated Travel far, so at least it provides a concept for the auto industry competent authority.