Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. 24/7 Space News .




Subscribe to our free daily newsletters



CAR TECH
'Car nation' Germany distrustful of driverless vehicles
By Jean-Philippe LACOUR
Frankfurt Am Main (AFP) Sept 19, 2017


German carmakers are showing off their self-driving cars at the IAA international auto show in Frankfurt, but most people in the car-mad country have yet to be convinced by the technology.

Curious visitors to the biennial trade fair, which lasts until September 24, can entrust their lives to a computer on a specially created car at a test track overlooked by Daimler and Volkswagen's giant stands.

An expert is behind the wheel, if not grasping it firmly, to demonstrate how a car studded with sensors and cameras can perform an emergency stop, react to a sudden lane change or park itself -- even while hauling a horse trailer.

"This is crazy!" one passenger laughed as their vehicle raced towards an obstacle at 50 kilometres per hour (30 mph) before braking sharply without the driver touching the controls.

Rival carmakers and parts suppliers -- Daimler, Volkswagen, Audi, Bosch, Continental and ZF -- came together for the scheme, part of a broader push for acceptance as high-tech US firms like Google and Tesla appear to be streaking ahead.

At present, just 26 percent of Germans say they would ride in an autonomous car, while even fewer -- 18 percent -- would own one, a recent survey from consultancy firm Ernst & Young found.

- OK Computer? -

"The braking was great fun," Lena Dickeduisberg, a student, said after stepping out of the demonstration car, her hair slightly tousled from the ride.

Beyond the thrill of the test track, cars will need to perform such manoeuvres reliably in all kinds of situations if carmakers are ever to attain the highest level of autonomy, known as "level five" -- meaning a car that can do without a driver altogether.

"It will take time, but it's the future," Dickeduisberg smiled confidently. "I believe in the technology."

"What a dream it would be, a car that takes me from A to B while I read the paper or my clients' documents. But maybe I'm just saying that because of my age," said salesman Randolf Mayer, 61.

The two are far from typical among the German public, long wedded to the idea that driving should be pleasurable.

Volkswagen adverts in the 1990s introduced the United States to its self-minted German portmanteau "Fahrvergnuegen" -- or "driving enjoyment".

"Driving isn't just functional, it's got to be enjoyable," said Georg Pfennig, an Austrian attendee.

Automation "makes sense for young people or for the elderly who might have trouble with some manoeuvres", he grudgingly allowed.

Self-driving cars "could drive as a convoy on motorways where everything is automated, but not to go shopping in town", judged Lars Heider, an engineering student.

"Unless everyone is using one, but then you have to be able to afford a self-driving car," he added.

- Money machine -

The auto industry is all too aware of the cost of automation, which remains "very high", said Patrick Koller, chief executive of parts supplier Faurecia.

Joint investments in research and development have become the rule in the field, such as the German carmaker BMW's alliance with US-based chipmaker Intel, Israeli smart-camera firm Mobileye and Italian-American FiatChrysler.

Elsewhere, the Mercedes-Benz maker Daimler has joined forces with the parts supplier Bosch, while Volkswagen is drawing on its luxury subsidiary Audi.

And Audi, BMW and Daimler pooled their cash to buy Here, a company specialising in the hyper-detailed maps that are vital for autonomous driving.

But ordinary drivers must be convinced that autonomous driving is safe before their reticence can be overcome, according to the Centre of Automotive Management (CAM), a research institute near Cologne in western Germany.

Self-driving cars "will save lives", Rolf Bulander, the head of Bosch's mobility division, told AFP, adding that he believed "people will get used" to the increasing power and adaptability of driving-assistance systems.

Enormous sums are at stake for companies like Bosch, which expects revenue from such systems to double by 2019, reaching 2 billion euros ($2.4 billion).

bur-jpl/tgb/mfp/je/js/aph

FAURECIA

VOLKSWAGEN

TESLA MOTORS

DAIMLER

CONTINENTAL

INTEL

GOOGLE

Mobileye

BAYERISCHE MOTOREN WERKE AG

CAR TECH
Wax on, melt off: Roads that deice themselves during winter storms
Philadelphia PA (SPX) Sep 15, 2017
Drexel University researchers have made a discovery that could create roads that deice themselves during winter storms. Their secret? - Adding a little paraffin wax to the road's concrete mix. In a paper recently published in journal Cement and Concrete Composites researchers, led by Yaghoob Farnam, PhD, an assistant professor in Drexel's College of Engineering, explain how substances like paraf ... read more

Related Links
Car Technology at SpaceMart.com


Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once


credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly


paypal only

Comment using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

CAR TECH
Voyager Spacecraft: 40 Years of Solar System Discoveries

Trump names former Navy aviator to head NASA

What's hot and what's not at Berlin's IFA tech fair

'Star Trek' actor Shatner sends message to Voyager

CAR TECH
Rocket fever launches UB students to engineering competition in New Mexico

SLS Core Stage Simulator Will Pave Way for Mission Success

NASA Concludes Summer of Testing with Fifth Flight Controller Hot Fire

ISRO suspects pyro elements failed to separate rocket's heat shield

CAR TECH
Discovery of boron on Mars adds to evidence for habitability

Life on Mars: Let's Try Oman Desert First for Space Mission

Citizen scientists spot Martian 'spiders' in unexpected places

Big dishes band together

CAR TECH
China, Russia to Have Smooth Space Cooperation, Says Expert

Kuaizhou-11 to send six satellites into space

Russia, China May Sign 5-Year Agreement on Joint Space Exploration

ESA and Chinese astronauts train together

CAR TECH
Bids for government funding prove strong interest in LaunchUK

Blue Sky Network Reaffirms Commitment to Brazilian Market

India to Launch Exclusive Satellite for Afghanistan

Lockheed Martin invests $350M in state-of-the-art satellite production facility

CAR TECH
Physicists predict nonmetallic half-metallicity

New microscopy method for quick and reliable 3-D imaging of curvilinear nanostructures

HZDR physicists discover optimum conditions for laser plasma acceleration

Chinese video site offers virtual escape from 'boring' reality

CAR TECH
Could interstellar ice provide the answer to birth of DNA

Climate change for aliens

X-Rays Reveal Temperament of Possible Planet-Hosting Stars

Earth as Hybrid Planet: The Anthropocene Era in Astrobiological Context

CAR TECH
Pluto features given first official names

Jupiter's Auroras Present a Powerful Mystery

New Horizons Files Flight Plan for 2019 Flyby

Juno Scientists Prepare for Seventh Science Pass of Jupiter




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News






The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement