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August 1, 2007

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Volkswagen's completely autonomous Touareg Stanley goes on world tour

The Volkswagen Touareg Stanley has been on exhibit since the start of this month in the “i-Space” of the Science Centre in the island state of Singapore. This area is dedicated to current technological developments.

Stanley immediately became a magnet for visitors. The two multimedia stations at which visitors can interactively experience details about the technology of the vehicle and the development of the Stanley project are especially popular. Singapore is the prelude to Stanley’s world-wide museum tour.

Following Singapore, Stanley will be visiting Johannesburg in September, where he can be seen at the Scibono Discovery Center from 22nd September through 31st October 2007. Stanley will next be presented in the Traffic Centre of the German Museum in Munich from 22nd December 2007 through 17th February 2008. Plans are being made for further exhibits in Europe.

This vehicle made automotive history late in 2005. During a race through the American Mojave desert, the prototype autonomously drove a distance of 212 kilometres.

Stanley is the first vehicle ever to cover such a long distance without a driver and without external intervention. The name of the vehicle is derived from Stanford University, the California university which, together with Volkswagen ERL (Electronics Research Laboratory) and Volkswagen Research and Development, put Stanley on the road.

Stanley combines numerous driver-assist systems which are already available in production. These are complemented by laser detectors, stereo optical devices, radar sensors and an especially precise GPS system. The integrated technology package guided the vehicle through the Grand Challenge course safely and successfully.

The Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C., the largest technical museum in the world, honoured Stanley’s historical achievement last year with a special exhibition. Now the Grand Challenge champion is going on tour through some of the world's most important high-tech exhibit centres.

The Singapore Science Centre is one of the most successful hands-on centres for fans of technology. A million visitors are expected in the current exhibit year.

Preparations are already being made at top speed for the next DARPA Challenge. The "Urban Challenge", in which driverless vehicles will compete against each other in finding their way through an urban environment, will begin on 3rd November. A Passat estate with the name "Junior" will be starting for Volkswagen, the ERL and Stanford University.

*DARPA – Defence Advance Research Projects Agency, an agency of the Department of Defence of the United States of America

July 27, 2007

Photos: Volkswagen


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