Automotive Intelligence - the web for automotive professionals and car enthusiasts
June 20, 2007
Together with software developed at Stanford University’s Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, the vehicle will be genuinely autonomous.
"After our victory at the last DARPA Grand Challenge, Volkswagen is excited to join the 2007 DARPA Urban Challenge. We see an opportunity to further advance intelligent technologies for use in passenger vehicles of the future. The features developed for the Urban Challenge will ultimately make driving safer and more enjoyable in today’s increasingly dense traffic", explains Dr. Burkhard Huhnke, head of Volkswagen’s Electronic Research Laboratory. And he adds: "In the fuel-efficient diesel-powered Passat we have the perfect car for this challenge, just as our Touareg ‘Stanley’ was for its 2005 Grand Challenge triumph."
Volkwagen won the 2005 DARPA Grand Challenge with a Touareg TDI by the name of Stanley. Using onboard sensors and navigation features, Stanley defeated 22 other unmanned vehicles in a demanding 132-mile championship race taking in rough desert roads, mountain passes, dried-up lakes and tunnels. Stanley completed the race without a single glitch, posting a winning time of six hours and 54 minutes.
The Electronic Research Laboratory
Since its foundation in 1998, Volkswagen of America’s Electronic Research Laboratory (ERL) has focussed its work on providing customers with smarter vehicles sooner. This involves identifying new technologies and accelerating their development for future vehicle production. Based in Palo Alto, California, the ERL is the only Volkswagen facility of its kind in North America. Its location at the heart of Silicon Valley enables Volkswagen to work directly with the world’s leading high-tech companies and start-ups. These partnerships put the ERL in a position to plan and develop innovative features and applications that are then integrated into Volkswagen vehicles for analysis and testing purposes. Further details concerning the Electronic Research Laboratory are available at www.vwerl.com.
* (DARPA - Defense Advance Research Projects Agency, an organisation of the United States Department of Defense)
All Photos: Volkswagen
(June 14, 2007)