Standstill instead of progress: the dream of autonomous driving has burst?

Tesla wants to show the way

Standstill instead of progress: the dream of autonomous driving has burst?

Standstill instead of progress: the dream of autonomous driving has burst?-dream
dpa/Matthias Balk/dpa At the BMW Development Center "Campus Autonomous Driving", the new technology kit is also being worked on for the Inext.

  • Site author Wolfgang Gomoll

It wasn’t long ago that some car manufacturers survive with wild announcements when you hardly have to reach into the wheel yourself in road traffic. The ADAC believes that the dream locks have given way to the automotive reality.

The surprise couldn’t be bigger. When the new Mercedes S-Class was presented to the general public for the first time a few weeks ago, most of them had expected that they would finally offer its customers the driver assistance level three. Means that the driver can keep taking their hands off the wheel on longer passages and devote themselves to other tasks in the car. But even the Mercedes S-Class of Generation W 223 takes only a tiny step and no longer offers more than an intelligent traffic jam assistant. In a first step, it only works for vehicles in advance, corresponding boundary lines and, above all, only up to 60 km / h. Even stranger: This function will only get the Mercedes S-Class in the second half of 2021 and only in Germany.

ADAC checks quality of the "Autobahn assistant"

Volvo and Mercedes in particular had delivered a head-to-head race in the person of Volvo CEO Hakan Samuelsson, Tesla boss Elon Musk and Daimler development board, when their own group products would get through the traffic without an accident. The displacements were supported by the fact that high-tech start-ups such as Mobileye, Nvidia, Waymo, Argo Ai or the large supply companies were geared into the overtaking lane and always announced new trial operations and were therefore on everyone’s lips as supposed drivers of innovation.

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Tesla without a top position in the practical test

The ADAC took a closer look at the current motorway assistants in a comparison. A distinction was made in the points Driver support, driver integration and Emergency assistant. For some surprisingly that the often praised Tesla assistant, installed in a Tesla Model 3 in the ADAC test, only ended up in the middle of the field. A better placement than sixth place prevented the poor driver integration. On the other hand, the Tesla Model 3 was in front of the pure driver support and there were also good grades and 95 out of 100 points first in the case of emergency assistance.

Standstill instead of progress: the dream of autonomous driving has burst?-progress
ADAC The manufacturers’ motorway assistants work so well

But in the overall classification, the Mercedes GLE won with 174 points just before the BMW 3 Series and a "very good" from ADAC. Behind it: The Audi Q8. All three German vehicles did not allow any real mistakes in the three disciplines of driver support, driver integration and emergency assistant and thus left vehicles such as the Ford Kuga or the VW Passat. Models like the Tesla Model 3, the Nissan Juke, Volvo V60, Renault Clio or Peugeot 2008. The last two models only got the grade sufficient after the tests.

You can’t take your hands off the wheel for more than 15 seconds

All models have meant that they were only classified as pure motorway assistants. Because even with models such as the winning trio, you can hardly take your hands off the wheel depending on the speed and traffic situation. From a driver assistance system of official level three with real driving support, all models are still far away and the added value in everyday life is so manageable.

Standstill instead of progress: the dream of autonomous driving has burst?-progress
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For many years, both car manufacturers and large and small suppliers have been on the road with high pressure in terms of automated driving and have indeed brought numerous test vehicles on the streets with new assistance systems. Many tests also take place on closed testing grounds around the world and many vehicles are now also on the road with a corresponding labeling of Tokyo, Munich, Los Angeles and Singapore. And yet in the next few years we will not get much more than intelligent motorway assistants who enter the new models.

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Audi A8: system available, but not unlocked

In itself, the current Audi A8 was already prepared for high -automated driving level three. The system has not yet been unlocked, although it is on the market for more than two years. A activation in the current generation is unlikely to take place. However, the Mercedes developers have promised that the new Mercedes S-Class could be unlocked in the medium term up to 100 or even more in the event of corresponding legal and technical requirements. But at the market launch at the end of this year there is no driver assistance level three, because the roof module with corresponding sensors and the fond camera in the rear should not be introduced until the model year 2022.

The five levels of autonomous driving

The terms autonomous and automated driving are often synonymous, there are important differences. These are the five levels of autonomous driving:

  • Level 0: The driver controls the car completely.
  • Level 1: There are assistance systems such as distance control or lane change warning, which only support the driver. This technology is widespread today down to the small car area.
  • Level 2: This is the level at which modern vehicles of the upper middle class and upper class are already located. Sub -automated systems can take over certain functions, such as track guidance or partial automatic parking. Models such as the current Mercedes E-Class, Teslas Model S and Model X or the BMW 5 Series are already dominating the level 2. At Tesla, even more functions were temporarily unlocked, but they were put back after a few incidents.
  • Level 3: This is the (high) automated driving, in which the driver must be able to intervene at any time, but may also turn to other things if the system is activated. With a warning time, the driver can be asked to take the lead again. Level 3 is developed as standard, for example in the Audi A8 .
  • Level 4: At the fully automated driving the driver can even intervene if the system fails, but as a rule the car should take over everything. This level is currently being tested in practice by various car manufacturers and suppliers as well as tech groups.
  • Level 5: At the actual autonomous driving is no longer required. You no longer need a steering wheel or other controls. The occupants become pure passengers.

In cordoned off areas such as parking garages, even level four should then be possible and so the S-Class of tomorrow should even be able to drive or park automatically at the push of a button on the smartphone. This is made possible by new cameras, intelligent sensors and, last but not least. Almost at the same time, this should happen with some vehicles in China from the middle of the year. Among other things, the Chinese premium manufacturer NIO has announced that he will switch from the current 4G technology of his models ES6 / ES8 to 5G technology, which many experts look at as a minimum requirement for a functioning driver assistance of levels three and four.

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Delay: the sensor technology simply does not come along

The reasons for the major delays are not only due to an unclear legal situation, especially in Europe, but in particular also because the sensors and the computing power of the on -board electronics do not yet meet the hard demands of everyday automotive and are simply too expensive. Not only the former BMW development board member Klaus FrOhlich or the CEO of the animal 1 supplier Continental Elmar Degenhardt had now stated that there could only be a breakthrough in autonomous vehicles after 2030. Other experts openly doubt that fully autonomous driving at level five would have no chance of real implementation. The problem remains that the current driver assistance systems only make it easier.

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Parking aid, spacing contemporary and emergency braking work as well as dead angle warning or lane departure assistant without any noteworthy problems. But otherwise you can leave your hands off the wheel on the country road or highway, before the networked level two assistants get out and you have to grab you again. Even the sub-autonomous driving functions of the current Tesla or Cadillac models (Super Cruise) on specified highways are nothing more than a level two plus driver assistance system. The same applies to Nissan, who wanted to ignite the next stage of the driver assistance system per pilot this summer.

5G technology could push autonomous driving

In the next two years, 5G will find the most new or technically referred vehicles. This applies not only to the electric BMW double from I4 / i5, but also to the ID family of Volkswagen, the E-Tron models from Audi or the new Porsche athletes, all of whom on the international markets from 2021/2022 roll. 5G technology, which enables data transmission and thus safety functions almost in real time, should be implemented particularly quickly for vehicles in Asia and the USA. Some smaller manufacturers from China are already promoting that their vehicles are currently traveling with 5G technology. However, the problem is not only the expensive on-board units with 5G antenna technology, but that the 5G network in many regions also only works very regionally because of the small radio honeycombs. If you are traveling on German roads and do not even see 3G or 4G in city centers or on motorways in your display, you may smile about that the 5G network required for the highly automated driving should be available in the next few years. It should therefore still take a while before we can take our hands off the wheel for a little longer – unless you treat yourself to a chauffeur.

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12 thoughts on “Standstill instead of progress: the dream of autonomous driving has burst?”

  1. It won’t work so quickly….
    How should it work ? Ultimately, a few cameras and the software are betrayed … to the fact that it controls a car, regardless of the adversity in the area.Starting with the road state, markings, wetness, snow, ice, sun, we continue to the "Competitor" on the street. The trucks, moped drivers, cyclists and of course the pedestrians come to the cars…. I stay with it, it takes another 20 years….at least….

  2. driving pleasure
    Many coming here in the forum do not seem to see what progress autonomous vehicles can represent. Often arguments come like "Autonomous driving is superfluous – I like to drive myself". These commentators overlook a. In principle, a car is a means of transport. That in D many use the car to increase your own self -confidence or see as a possibility "Driving fun" to have little changes in this basic matter. However, one can make M.E. hardly contest.

  3. have fun
    Certainly driving is also fun, but the real purpose of driving is hardly "to have fun". Why else are there a lot of traffic jams every morning? To have fun? Why do truck drivers sit in the driver? To have fun? … I dare to say that most journeys by car/truck are not primarily gamacht, "to have fun".

  4. Autonomous driving
    can only be introduced if there are clear requirements regarding the top speed. No engineer can develop a functioning system for high speeds and take responsibility for this. This hinders progress in this technology. However, the developers themselves have to come up with this demand, but they don’t dare to address this in front of their overwhelming bosses. When automation in mechanical engineering. We could also obtain it when driving autonomists if the specifications were realistic.

  5. Not everything that works is good too
    I don’t think that autonomous driving will prevail. Maximum in situations such as parking garage, traffic jams etc., So we say everything below 15km/h. That’s the nice thing that you have control of driving and it is an incredibly uncomfortable feeling of knowing that the car does everything itself.

  6. how so…..
    If money is invested in such an absolutely superfluous technology. Nobody needs that and buys that. Furthermore, this project is already a "Death". Who is liable in an accident if the vehicle suddenly – autonomously – turns to the right into the abyss ? The manufacturer who sold the car – never and never and the casco or. Liability insurance, especially not.

  7. Unnecessary technology?
    I’m not so sure whether taxi entrepreneurs, transport companies, etc. would describe this technology as superfluous. After all, they could be used in their use.U. a lot of workers and thus also save costs. The liability question can also be solved – this has also been achieved in autonomously driving public transport – there is already.

  8. The dream of autonomous driving has burst?
    What a sustainable finding, who believed in today’s foundations, to be able to leave the car on autonomous driving, the physical background knowledge about the difficulties of implementation, no, lacks! If you think to be able to drive through the area autonomously, please take the steering wheel in your hand, or sit down in a taxi and let the driver drive through the area autonomously, because all the technique that is needed for autonomous driving can leave you and you Landest on the tree.

  9. What shoud that?
    Another nonsense that nobody needs.Far too susceptible and still life -threatening for the occupants. The auto industry doesn’t even get any reasonably clean cars to build .

  10. Who wants to drive autonomously
    If you want to drive autonomously, you can do this without any problems by using Bus Bahn or Taxi! For everyone else, especially those who get nervous when they have to take a seat in the passenger seat, the autonomous driving here is not an alternative anyway

  11. See also: flying cars
    The flying cars that were predicted in the 1960s for the year 2000 have also remained a brain -fitting manner to this day. This is exactly how the self -driving vehicles will be able to. Engineers like to dream when the day is long, but luckily they are always brought back to the ground of the facts by reality, which says that the trees do not grow into heaven and that man does not need this frills and does not accept. Already today we are almost overwhelmed with the exuberant electronics in the car. If this fails and annoys us, the legitimate question arises whether there will ever be self -driving cars, and if so, how it is about the security of the occupants.

  12. Questionable test
    It is clear that it is difficult (actually usually even impossible) to carry out an objective test of complex technical devices. But in the published test of the ADAC on the subject of motorway assistants, the manipulative approach is almost in the eye. Why is only one of the two points "Driver integration" and "Driver support" valued? And why then only the point where the respective vehicle cuts off worse? A look at the values of the Tesla shows it. If you hadn’t done that, Tesla would probably have been a test winner. A tip to the ADAC: You can manipulate such tests more skillfully – here it is M.E. A manipulation on "Beginner".


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