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Autonomous driving

Just like CO2 reduction, “autonomous driving” is currently a hot topic in the automotive industry. Since Pollmann produces components for electric steering systems which are an essential part of self-driving cars.

Very interested in
We have become very interested and involved in this developing field. For experts, “autonomous driving” means that you get in the car, enter the destination, and the car drives from A to B completely on its own.

Completely Autonomously without Driver
Mercedes-Benz has demonstrated that we already have the technology to do this: In 2013, a vehicle based on a modified new S-class retraced the first historic road trip by Bertha Benz from Mannheim to Pforzheim – but this time completely autonomously without driver intervention. See also video

Always under Control
Admittedly, the vehicle was always under control and the driver was able to intervene in an emergency at any time.
Two simple examples will illustrate how complex this process is:

  1. When a driver sees a ball rolling into the street in a residential area, he assumes that a child might run after the ball.
  2. Driving in Cologne during Carnival season: Not every person dressed up in a costume can be recognized as a “human”.

Big Challenges
These two simple examples show the big challenges “autonomous driving” faces when every conceivable situation has to be mapped by a computer. When the computer gets stuck, the driver must be able to retake control of the car in a split second.
Not everything that is technically possible will be incorporated in cars in the near future.

Autonomous driving
“Autonomous driving” still faces many challenges such as, for instance, the legal issues which will not be resolved on a worldwide scale in the next few years. Experts think it will take more than 20 years for “autonomous driving” to become a reality. According to a 2014 study by Frost & Sullivan, the majority of the population wants a self-driving car only if the driver can take over at any time.  

Automated Driving
With this in mind, the automotive industry is focused on “automated driving”. This means automating monotonous activities such as stop-and-go driving in traffic jams, staying in one’s lane, keeping distance on expressways and automatic parking in small garages or parking structures where space is so tight that it is almost impossible to get out of the car.

Support Systems
Support systems like Traffic Jam Assistant (TJA), Automated Park Assistant (APA) and Automated Highway Driving (AHD) will become more and more standard in cars over the next few years.
These assistants recognize dangerous situations early on making life easier for the driver.
It is expected that these systems will be accepted by customers over time, similar to ABS or other support systems.

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