German researchers from Freie Universitat Berlin traveled 80 km in total as passengers during a test drive of their autonomous car “MadeInGermany” over the weekend.
The car is driven by computers – the safety driver behind the steering wheel only monitors the car’s behavior. The autonomous car is a conventional VW Passat modified for “drive by wire.” Electronic commands from the computer are passed directly to the accelerator, the brakes, and the steering wheel of the vehicle. Multiple sensors integrated in the car’s chassis provide information about all cars or persons on the street. They allow the car to avoid obstacles, adjust its speed, or change lanes whenever necessary. The vehicle was shown in full Berlin traffic and covered the 20 km back and forth between the International Congress Center and Brandenburg Gate four times without any incidents.