Broad spectrum of driving situations

Jun 2019

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L3 Pilot
Photo Credits: Volkswagen AG

Since September 2017, a broad-based European research consortium led by the Volkswagen Group has been analyzing the potential applications of technology for future mobility with a view to achieving breakthroughs in the field of automated driving. March 2019 saw the start of trials on public roads. A total of around 1,000 drivers will be testing Level 3 and 4 automated driving technologies over a period of 18 months.

All L3Pilot vehicles are series-production vehicles that have been specially modified to include a range of sensors and technical equipment, including data loggers. The approval procedure for testing these prototype vehicles on public roads had to ensure compliance with the different laws and regulations in each country, including those concerning data protection, insurance and cybersecurity.

The technologies tested cover a wide range of functions, from parking and overtaking to navigating the complex challenges of urban traffic. This project is an opportunity to gather useful data for evaluating various technical aspects, user acceptance, driving and journey patterns as well as the potential impact of these systems on traffic and society as a whole. The project perfectly complements DEKRA’s endeavors in the field of automated and networked driving. At the Lausitz race track in Klettwitz, tests involving vehicles equipped with, for example, emergency braking, cornering and intersection assist functions are conducted on a regular basis. The roads near the race track are used for testing sensors and for NCAP scenarios designed to assess car safety.

The L3Pilot involves not only leading vehicle manufacturers, but also the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile, German Federal Highway Research Institute and Netherlands Vehicle Authority. The four-year project is the biggest EU-subsidized project of its kind. Its total budget is €68 million, with the European Commission contributing €36 million of this.

As part of the L3Pilot project, the German Federal Highway Research Institute is focusing on conducting a user study. Test subjects have the opportunity to test automated driving functions multiple times on public roads and fill out a questionnaire stating their attitudes and impressions regarding their recent experience of automated driving. The results are designed to better illuminate the relationship between people and their cars and ensure that future automated driving functions can be geared more effectively toward the needs of users. The German Federal Highway Research Institute is also involved in developing a safety impact assessment of road accidents with injuries and extrapolating the results at EU level.

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