ŠKODA AUTO and the VŠB - Technical University of Ostrava are collaborating on new technologies for assistance systems as part of their joint ‘Follow the Vehicle’ project. The aim is to have autonomous cars follow a manned lead vehicle. Two correspondingly configured ŠKODA SUPERB iVs are currently undergoing test drives on the campus of the VŠB - Technical University of Ostrava.
The principle behind the ‘Follow the Vehicle’ project is ‘two cars, one driver’. The lead vehicle is driven by a human, determining route, speed, lane and other parameters. Data required for steering input, acceleration and braking is transmitted to the autonomous car by radio, which follows the lead vehicle at a distance of up to ten metres.
Before the start of the journey, both vehicles are provided with a digital code. The test vehicles, two ŠKODA SUPERB iV, are equipped with state-of-the-art technology in the fields of smart city and intelligent transport systems. Car-to-X technology ensures communication between the test cars and other vehicles as well as with the traffic infrastructure. Data is exchanged via ETSI ITS-G5, the standard for vehicular communication, and the 4G, LTE and 5G mobile networks.
Standard factory - installed as well as special sensors, radar - and camera-based systems and a specially fitted communication unit for data processing allow the SUPERB iVs to identify images and 3D objects. They read a variety of different data, such as the vehicle’s current location and driving-related parameters. The system monitors the car’s surroundings and current traffic in real time.
ŠKODA AUTO continues to be fully committed to the Czech Republic’s technical and vocational education, as can be seen in its collaboration with the VŠB - Technical University of Ostrava (https://www.vsb.cz), for instance. The vehicle electronics and computer science students have been heavily involved in the ‘Follow the Vehicle’ project, allowing them to gain valuable practical experience and establish business relations with the ŠKODA AUTO engineers.