Continental's senior vice president for systems and technology, Ralph Lauxmann, says fully automated driving will be available by 2020, but its use will be severely restricted. He explained why to Automotive News Europe Correspondent Olive Keogh.
Everyone wants to know when automated driving will arrive. What's Continental's view?
We believe it will be 2020 when the driver will be able to hand over the full driving task to the car. Even then this will not be on public roads. It will be in restricted areas where only similar cars will be allowed. It's very complex to manage a traffic situation with vulnerable road users and other variables with the current systems.
Today's systems are pretty advanced. What's the next challenge?
Capacity and reliability. Right now we don’t have the sensors or ECU [electronic control unit] calculation power to realize all the functions we want. With regards to completely new things, it will be around services such as supporting parcel deliveries to vehicles.
What functions would more advanced sensors deliver?
The ability to detect everything around our cars. Currently we can build an environmental model of a driver's surroundings accurate to 300 meters. The next challenge is to go beyond that. This involves using a kind of swarm intelligence to get more data and sharpen the existing environmental model but also enlarging it to look around corners.