TELE-OPERATED DRIVING

Since the 80’s, research on the subject of “Tele-Operated Vehicles” has been increasing significantly. In addition to the early successes of the EU-Project PROMOTHEUS from the 90’s, the competitions of the U.S. Department of Defense (Darpa Challenges) have left a mark on the public perception. After the Institute of Automotive Technology devoted itself as part of a research topic from the DFG-Collaborative Research Center, it can be stated as a summary that autonomous driving is possible, but only in certain and less complex situations. Some highway or congestion- or Stop-and-Go-traffic scenarios partly fulfill these conditions. For all other scenarios, and especially in the field of urban traffic, it can be definitely said, that in the next few decades no autonomous vehicle will be driving on public roads. The reason is that complexity is too large, including many different road users and confusing road topology. Furthermore, the legal aspect forbids any autonomous vehicles.

Because of the reasons mentioned above, future research at the Institute of Automotive Technology is focused on “Tele-operated Vehicles” and “Semi-Autonomous Vehicles”. This approach, borrowed from Robotics, consists of bringing a human driver into the control loop in order to deal with the complexity of the road. This approach is already been used in the deep sea and space exploration. “Tele-Operated Driving” means in this context that an external operator drives the vehicle using a live-stream video. Here, the operator is connected to the vehicle via wireless data transmission, such as WLAN or cellular network (UMTS, LTE). A server handles the communication and can in addition perform computationally-intensive tasks or provide additional information from the internet. Further, a Car2Server-Communication is simultaneously developed, which apart from the tele-operation, is able to provide information to the driver, like road situations lying ahead.

 

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