Virtual Vehicle

TrustVehicle - The Car to Trust

Automated driving technologies promise more comfort and road safety. Nevertheless, end-users are very unsettled by innovative systems in new vehicles and question their reliability. These "uncertainties", which relate to the vehicle system but also to the human behavior itself, are one of the greatest challenges in the development and implementation of assistance systems. VIRTUAL VEHICLE heads a European consortium, which is working on the reliability and robustness of new vehicle technologies. The car of the future must be one thing above all: trustworthy!

Parking assistance, lane changing assistant, automatic distance warning system: New technologies around the subject of "Automated Driving" promise more comfort and safety in road traffic. They reduce both emissions and traffic jams and help to make perfect use of the infrastructure. In fact, the basic technologies for fully automated vehicles are already well developed. However, until the vision of automated and accident-free traffic on our roads becomes reality, some more aspects have to be considered: For example, the acceptance and confidence of end-users into the new vehicle generation.

VIRTUAL VEHICLE heads European research project

A consortium of twelve European partners is focusing on this challenge in the recently approved Horizon2020 TrustVehicle project. VIRTUAL VEHICLE takes over the coordination of this 5 million Euro project, under the direction of Daniel Watzenig (Head of the E/E and Software Department at the research center and publisher of a current reference book on automated driving). The aim of this project is to guarantee the reliability, robustness and thereby trustworthiness of the new vehicle technologies, in order to ultimately increase the acceptance of end users.

Reliable functions in all situations

The TrustVehicle project focuses primarily on vehicles with partial automation. In this case, the system only takes control in specific situations, such as automatic blinking, lane changing, or tracking. TrustVehicle is intended to improve automated functions in familiar driving situations, but also in bad driving or unexpected weather conditions as well as in particularly critical situations.

For example, the recognition accuracy of so-called "VRUs" ("Vulnerable Road Users" -   such as pedestrians or cyclists, who are "weaker" and "more vulnerable" than cars) will be closely examined. Due to TrustVehicle the detection accuracy should be increased by at least 3 % (currently <94%).

Austria is strongly represented

With AVL, Infineon, CISC and VIRTUAL VEHICLE, four out of twelve consortium partners are from Austria - a strong signal that the country is more and more involved in the automotive sector and in a position to achieve multidisciplinary and cross-company cooperation. As demonstrated by the world market leaders: The complex challenge of "automated driving" will only be mastered, if concrete cooperation agreements are entered and cross-sectorial projects are lead successfully.

Overview

The three-year project TrustVehicle starts in mid-year 2017, is supported by the European research program Horizon 2020 and is equipped with 5 million euros. The consortium consists of twelve European partners. Among them are well-known car manufacturers (e.g. Ford or Volvo), premium suppliers (e.g. Valeo or AVL), representatives of the semiconductor industry (e.g. Infineon or CISC), as well as universities and research facilities (e.g., VTT from Finland). The Graz Research Center VIRTUAL VEHICLE is leading the project.