In Hamburg, VW has already carried out initial tests in public city traffic with automated vehicles. This was the first time that tests were carried out under real conditions. The test was conducted with five E-Golf vehicles equipped with laser scanners and cameras etc. The test was carried out on a three-kilometer long track. The results of the test will be used for the further development and should advance various research projects. The test was a level four test. Autonomous driving is divided into five stages. Level one means assisted driving, i.e. automatic distance regulation, for example. The level tested was level four, where fully automated driving is tested. Level five is then completely autonomous driving. There, transport is carried out completely driverless.
The test was not only used by Volkswagen to collect data, but also to help cities know what to expect. And that the traffic systems can also be prepared for autonomous driving. The main focus here is on communication between the vehicle and the traffic system (e.g. traffic lights). To this end, a nine-kilometer test track is being built in Hamburg, which will be fully expanded from 2020.
During the test drives in Hamburg, a specially trained tester sat at the steering wheel, who checked everything continuously and could have intervened in an emergency.
However, there is a long way to go before autonomous driving can be introduced, as not only is a great deal of research necessary, but also some regulatory adjustments.
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The story behind Volkswagen's success
Volkswagen was founded in 1937. Due to the Second World War, the company initially also produced armaments. In 1938 the plant in Wolfsburg was also built. After the war, the British administered VW, at this time production of the Beetle also began.
At the beginning of the 1950s the product range was then expanded. By 1955, one million VW Beetles had already been produced. Production was expanded in 1956 and the production site in Hanover was added, where commercial vehicles and vans were then manufactured.
From 1973 onwards, the Passat was produced, this was produced according to the modular principle. This standardisation saved a lot of time, making them far more attractive in price. Already in 1983 the second Golf series with robot support was produced.
Through continuous innovation and the conquest of new market segments, VW finally became the group that everyone knows today.