Mike Stevens | May 17, 2010

BRINGING THE modern car one step closer to a future seen in so many science fiction films, Mercedes-Benz has revealed its autopilot-like Automated Driving test programme.

Those hoping for a robotic chauffeur in the near future might need to wait a little longer however, as the system exists only as a means of testing slightly more mundane driver-assistance systems without putting an actual human in danger.

“With future driver assistance systems, we will be able to address even more complex traffic situations and therefore ease the dangers of further accident hot spots – like intersections,” Daimler Engineering Executive Professor Bharat Balasubramanian said.

“Our new automated driving test methods help us to fulfill the extremely high quality and operational safety demands placed on our safety systems more efficiently.”

Mercedes-Benz technicians controlling an automated vehicle remotely with the help of a modified Logitech game controller.
Mercedes-Benz technicians controlling an automated vehicle remotely with the help of a modified Logitech game controller.

The automated driving systems use programmed robotic devices to manage acceleration, braking and steering, all monitored by remote technicians and an on-board computer.

Using this system also allows Mercedes to ensure a greater degree of accuracy in tests that must be repeated many times.

"In order to be able to set trends in the field of safety in future... our test procedures must be able to keep pace with the wealth of ideas generated by our engineers. With automated driving, we feel we are well equipped for the development of the next generation of assistance systems," Professor Balasubramanian said.

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