The Spanish city of Vigo is home to an important autonomous driving test by auto giant PSA. The hands on research is concentrating on car-to-chassis-communications on several different car brands, including Open, Citroen, and Peugeot. The Automotive Tech Center of Galicia is also a partner in the Spanish research. Their goal, according to a company spokesperson, is to see how well vehicles can communicate with each other when moving through the complexity of urban traffic. This is one more step in the levels of autonomous driving that the car maker is pushing forward on.
Areas of collaboration are focused on automated valet parking; urban autonomous driving; pedestrian safety; and regulating vehicle speed via computer algorithms. There will be a separate set of tests conducted focusing primarily on interactions with stoplights. A spokesperson for Groupe PSA says that these new tests will build on the results of previous tests already carried out in China and Galicia last year. Autonomously connected vehicles that will pass most government safety inspections are only a few years away, according to this same spokesperson.
These latest tests in the city of Vigo are under the auspices of the European Automated Driving Progressed by Internet of Things group. The year-old group wants to use the internet of things and its nascent technology to improve on existing automated driving technology. There are currently five other project test areas: Versailles, france; Daejeon, SK; Brainport, the Netherlands; Livorno, Italy; and Tampere, Finland. Trial runs of autonomous vehicles have already taken place in several countries. For instance Hyundai Motors put an autonomous truck on a highway in South Korea last year; the Scient vehicle went about forty kilometers with a load of about forty tons. The trip took place between Uiwang and Incheon, and was without incident.
Most automotive experts predict that limited autonomous driving will begin within the next two years, on restricted roadways. But the experts also say that it won’t be going mainstream much before 2030.