The L3Pilot self-driving vehicle tech research project — backed by a broad consortium of Europe-based firms and operating under the management of Volkswagen Group — recently launched in Wolfsburg, Germany.
The 4-year research initiative will see 13 different Europe-based auto industry firms (auto manufacturers, parts suppliers, and research and education organizations) testing Level 3 and Level 4 self-driving vehicle tech — with more than 100 vehicles and 1,000 test drivers expected to be used during the work.
The self-driving vehicle tech in question includes everything from automated parking systems to nearly fully autonomous driving systems meant to operate in crowded urban areas.
“We are confident that the research initiative L3Pilot will create a broadly based and comprehensive platform for realisation of mobility in the future,” commented Aria Etemad from Volkswagen Group Research in his function as project coordinator of the EU research project L3Pilot. “The strong integration of the entire European automobile industry and the scientific support by experts in the areas of mobility and automated vehicles will drive this initiative forward and make it successful.”
The project will include data collection in 11 different countries in Europe, providing researchers with information on matters such as: technical problems, market/user acceptance of the tech, impacts on traffics and pedestrians, etc.
The press release provides more: “Alongside technical development, statutory framework conditions for vehicle manufacturers and drivers are being analysed. The focus is on product liability and road traffic regulations. This pioneering project has been planned for four years and is the biggest EU-sponsored project of its kind. The project budget has been set at 68 million euros and is being supported by the European Commission with 36 million euros.”
Here’s an overview of the various partners on the project:
◊ Vehicle manufacturer: Volkswagen AG (coordinator), Audi AG, BMW Group, Centro Ricerche Fiat SCPA, Daimler AG, Ford, Honda R&D Europe, Jaguar Land Rover, Opel Automobile GmbH, Groupe PSA, Renault, Toyota Motor Europe, Volvo Car Corporation
◊ Suppliers: Autoliv, Delphi Deutschland GmbH, FEV Group GmbH
◊ Research institutes and universities: German Aerospace Center (DLR), ika RWTH Aachen University, Institute of Communication and Computer Systems ICCS, SAFER, SNF – Centre for Applied Research at NHH, University of Leeds, University of Warwick, Federal Highway Research Institute (BASt), University of Genoa, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Würzburger Institut für Verkehrswissenschaften GmbH (WIVW Center for Traffic Sciences)
◊ Authorities: The Netherlands Vehicle Authority RDW
◊ User Groups: Federation Internationale de l’Automobile FIA
◊ Insurers: AZT Automotive GmbH, Swiss Reinsurance Company
◊ Small and mid-sized companies: ADAS Management Consulting, European Center for Information and Communication Technologies EICT GmbH
Quite a collection, no? I wonder if it’s enough to allow Europe-based firms to catch up to Google/Waymo though?