Automated Vehicles will be Commercial Vehicles and Used Primarily in China
Where is automated driving headed? According to the keynote speaker at the ATZ "Automated Driving" conference, the technology will find its purpose predominantly in the commercial vehicle sector and in China.
"The question is not whether or not automated driving will come, but when and where it will be implemented". With these words Dr. Alexander Heintzel, Editor-in-Chief ATZ | MTZ | ATZelektronik | lightweight.design opened the international ATZ conference "Automated Driving - From Driver Assistance to Autonomous Driving" (formerly "Driver Assistance Systems") in Wiesbaden. Last year's conference focused more on SAE's Level 3 of automated driving, this year's, which took place for the fifth time in cooperation with Continental and Etas, was meant to focus on Levels 4 and 5 and examine what will happen to automated driving in 2025 and beyond, explains Heintzel.
Automated driving: predominantly in the commercial vehicle sector and in China
Dr. Thomas Dieckmann, Head of Predevelopment at Wabco, answered to the question where automated driving will be used in his keynote lecture "Trends of Autonomous Driving in the Commercial Vehicle Industry". According to Dieckmann, "automated driving is primarily a topic for commercial vehicles". The first major application scenarios for driverless operation are conceivable in the platooning sector and on the motorway. In addition to working on driverless technology, which has to be slowly optimised from small areas of application, the further development of driver assistance systems is an equally important field for Wabco, as it can help provide better support to commercial vehicle drivers. Dieckmann estimates that selective (Level 4, hub-to-hub) applications of driverless technology could take place in the first half of the 2020's, particularly in China.
The way automated driving is developing in China is the topic of the keynote lecture "Smart Cities in China – Challenges and Opportunities for Automated Driving" by Hermann Meyer, Vice President Smart City Solutions at Continental Teves AG & Co. oHG, Germany. According to Meyer, China is consistently driving forward intermodal transport, mobility services (Mobility as a Service) and automated driving. There are currently around 500 Smart City projects in China. For this reason, and because the Chinese are very open to innovations such as autonomous driving, Continental is focusing on the Middle Kingdom and wants to further expand its business there. The company's activities cover four sectors: driverless mobility (people movers such as the Cube), "smart cooperation" (integrated mobility solutions; cooperation with Chinese cities), automated parking and intelligent intersection solutions. Meyer predicts that automated shuttles will be disruptive in interaction with other mobility solutions and services.
About the ATZ "Automated Driving" Conference
Other topics on the first day of the conference included systems design for AD vehicles, the safeguarding of highly automated driving functions, automated driving from the point of view of vehicle insurance and liability issues in automated driving.
The focus of the fifth ATZ conference "Automated Driving – From Driver Assistance to Autonomous Driving" was on the areas of deep learning, sensor technology and functional safety as well as human-machine interaction. However, the conference did not only provide a technical overview of the current state of automated driving, but also opened up the opportunity for experts from this industry to obtain comprehensive information on the insurance aspect in parallel. The ATZ conference took place in Wiesbaden from 2 to 3 April 2019.