Vehicle-oriented research has been pursued for many years now at SCL. Its results materialized in various forms ranging from research initiatives and R&D project proposals through conference and journal publications to industrial R&D contracts. However, a comprehensive demonstration of the vehicle-oriented research output has always been problematic within the Institute due to its limited facilities available in respect of this application field. Demonstrations were mostly limited to component and subsystem levels, except for those – related to tightly-scheduled and well-defined project tasks implemented for, or in cooperation with industrial project partners – relying on their testing platforms and measurement facilities.
In vehicle-oriented research and development arena, the development of autonomous vehicles and their integration into the traffic is one of the greatest challenges of our era. In many present day vehicles one can already find traits of autonomous behavior and functionality that supports the driver. These systems can make autonomous decisions based on measurements carried out within, over and in the proximity of the vehicle to avoid accidents, to decrease the mental load on its driver and to improve car and traffic safety. A key step in creating autonomous vehicles is to improve the reliability of the measurement and detection systems. This includes the development of reliable data processing and various detection algorithms, their solid implementation on vehicle platforms, furthermore, testing and verification of these systems in various environments. Exactly these are the tasks to be completed in this project. Our aim -- as it is described in an article in ERCIM News Special Issue on Autonomous Vehicles -- is to create an environment for automated vehicle R&D and to carry out various demonstrations in conjunction with this R&D environment.