An overview of Volkswagen Group Research’s projects on future mobility: artificial intelligence, autonomous driving, connectivity, resource optimisation and innovative applications.
The mobility of the future is being created by consistent research and strategic development. The role of Volkswagen Group Research in this is fundamental: the company’s R&D department is working on numerous projects whose goal is sustainable, safe, efficient, intelligent and comfortable mobility. Future Mobility Day showed off some of the main studies currently in progress. Let’s take a look at them together.
SEDRIC – Level 5 autonomous driving experience
SEDRIC is the first self-driving car from the Volkswagen Group. It has been engineered for automated driving to Level 5, meaning complete automation with no steering wheel or pedals. The project is in an advanced phase of development, and different variants have been shown. The engineers are current working on a further development of the Human Machine Interface (HMI) so that SEDRIC is able to offer an all-round perfect mobility experience.
Human Machine Interface for external communication
Still from a connectivity standpoint, the use of an innovative Human Machine Interface outside vehicles can improve driving safety and communication in complex traffic situations. In situations where drivers of passenger cars or trucks have an opportunity to communicate with more vulnerable traffic participants such as pedestrians and cyclists about intentions and plans, hazard moments are largely avoided. Volkswagen Group Research is working on it, at the same time developing an intuitively understandable language for this new form of communication.
A guardian angel for safe driving
The Group has patented a deep learning model for the driver assistance systems which is able to determine the individual driver profile after a driving time of just a few minutes. It intervenes to provide assistance if the current individual driving parameters indicate that this is necessary. This ensures an extremely high level of safety. The typical situations in which the system is activated are at right-before-left junctions, in corners and ahead of overtaking manoeuvres: the system understands the driver’s intentions, and supports them by providing notifications and indications, right through to active interventions in vehicle control where required.
Waste-Heat-Recovery for passenger cars and heavy-duty trucks
The aim of the project WHR (Waste Heat Recovery) is to convert the heat energy dissipated in the exhaust gas from engines into useful mechanical or electrical energy. The recovered energy is supplied directly to the drive unit or to a 48-volt onboard electricity system with an energy store. The WHR system is located downstream of the exhaust gas treatment system and conducts the previously unused heat of the exhaust gas to an Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC). In this vapour circuit, ethanol is heated to a temperature of 190 to 220 degrees at a system pressure of 10 to 30 bar in an exhaust-gas heat exchanger and evaporated. At this point the ethanol vapour is re-condensed in an expansion machine, generating mechanical or electrical energy. Under real driving conditions, selective use of exchange-gas energy allows a reduction in consumption and there is a drop in direct CO2 emissions of 3 to 4 percent.
Fonte: Volkswagen AG