Continental, along with the Frankfurt transport authority (VGF) and Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences (Frankfurt UAS) today launched a three-day, autonomous vehicle trial on the university campus. Continental’s driverless CUbE (Continental Urban Mobility Experience) will be put to test as a shuttle service for students at Frankfurt UAS, which will drive to the buildings on campus, replacing the existing walking routes. The purpose of the trial is to share knowledge among Continental, EasyMile and VGF with the aim of determining the future requirements for driverless vehicles and usage models jointly and in a realistic manner.
During the trial, the requirements for driverless mobility and usage models are to be investigated jointly and in a realistic manner, Continental noted. It said the Frankfurt UAS campus provides the ideal conditions for this, since students, employees and visitors can use the CUbE as a shuttle as often as they want during the trial period. Passengers will then be asked to complete a short questionnaire about the journey, added the company.
Dr Andree Hohm, Head, Self-Driving Car project, Continental, said with this trial, the company is making future mobility concepts a reality and at the same time collecting valuable empirical data. Continental is leveraging its expertise in automation and mobility concepts to develop solutions for the urban traffic of tomorrow and to improve the quality of life in urban environments, he added.
The changing mobility situation in cities is also an important issue facing the company, noted Michael Rüffer, General Manager, VGF. He said some of the technology used in this project is key components of the driver assistance system developed at VGF for its trams, which reduce and prevent accidents. VGF wants to use this technology on a wider scale and have the opportunity to trial it here, added Rüffer.
Continental said that Frankfurt UAS has also noticed the trend toward driverless and electric mobility and is researching this field in its “New Mobility” specialist group. The group’s research area of autonomous driving relates to Frankfurt UAS’s main areas of research - demographic change, renewable energies, mobility and logistics.
To further expand Continental’s global expertise in driverless vehicles, work is being undertaken on local developments for such mobility systems in the US and Japan, the company said. This means that more Continental CUbE vehicles will also be out and about in these countries in the future, it added. Continental also said it is working hard on the mobility of the future to achieve the long-term goal of Vision Zero – the vision of accident-free driving.