Driverless cars research
Sjoerd van der Zwaan, Chief Technology Officer, 2getthere
“Our specific interest in platooning is that it will enable us to improve performance and capacity.”
As a leading company in the field of automated transport systems based on self driven vehicles, 2getthere will contribute its’ knowledge, skills and experience to the i-CAVE (integrated Cooperative Automated Vehicles) research program. This program will be led by the Technical University of Eindhoven and is funded through a recently awarded grant of 4 million euros.
Within the ‘cooperative vehicle control’ part of the program, 2getthere will work on the development of ‘platooning’: vehicles driving as a ‘virtual train’ by accelerating and decelerating simultaneously and being able to enter and leave the platoon. Sjoerd van der Zwaan, CTO of 2getthere, is pleased that this is going to be investigated. “Platooning is difficult to develop. It has been subject of research for years, but an affordable and practical solution is not available yet. And that is the aim of our work within this research project.”
Within the i-CAVE program scientists, companies and governments together will develop vehicles that can run both autonomously on dedicated roads or cooperatively on public roads. i-CAVE focuses on all important aspects involved in the development of such dual mode systems.
Van der Zwaan is enthusiastic with the funds awarded: “The outcome of this research will contribute to our own technology roadmap. Our specific interest in platooning is that it will enable us to improve performance and capacity (in terms of maximum number of passengers per hour per direction). The results of this project will give us insight into the control algorithms to achieve secure and robust implementation of platooning, as well as insight into the sensors and technology needed.”
It is expected that autonomous vehicles can offer great benefits in the future, but it will take many years before they will be integrated in normal traffic situations. Various governments are participating in this program believing dual mode systems could be the solution for traffic problems, particularly in urban settings.
The i-CAVE program is led by by Prof. dr. H. Nijmeijer of the Technical University of Eindhoven in collaboration with Delft University of Technology and University of Twente. Participants are, besides 2getthere, companies like DAF, Ford, Segula, TomTom, Mapscape, V-Tron, Technolution, Almende, ANWB, ECT, Grontmij, IBM, iCELL, NXP, SIG, TNO, Witteveen + Bos, AutomotiveNL, the municipalities of Eindhoven and Helmond and the Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment.