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Opel Working with Ko-HAF to Make Automated Driving a Reality

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Opel Insignia test car in front of Opel headquarters in Rüsselsheim

Opel Insignia test car in front of Opel headquarters in Rüsselsheim

Opel is working to make highly automated driving in real traffic on the German motorway a reality through its part in “Ko-HAF – Kooperatives hochautomatisiertes Fahren”, a German project researching cooperative highly automated driving.

Ko-HAF, which began in June of 2015 and will end in November of 2018, recently presented its half-term results on May 18th in Aschaffenburg, Germany.

Cooperative, highly automated driving systems allow drivers to perform other tasks, but must warn the driver if approaching obstacles require him or her to take back the wheel, meaning vehicles must be able to “see” further ahead than possible with their own sensors. Ko-HAF is developing a Safety Server; so that vehicles can send information about their current road environment to the server, which will use that information to create a precise map that is available to vehicles when they request it.

For its part in Ko-HAF, Opel is focused on the computerized maps and the process of disengaging the car from the automated driving condition when it needs to return control to the driver. Rüsselsheim engineers have designed the architecture, interfaces, and protocols of the Safety Server, which the project is currently testing.

Opel has also been working on the development of a self-localization process for the vehicle, designing algorithms for visual mapping and localization that are then merged with information from back-end and onboard maps, movement sensors, and the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS). The localization process is being tested on an Opel Insignia at the Opel Test Center and on the Ko-HAF test route on the motorways around Frankfurt am Main.

Opel is also focused on the driver’s actions, with the company’s engineers developing software and a system of sensors to detect and classify the driver’s actions while the car is driving automatically.

Opel says it is currently building a prototype that will display the essential functions of cooperative highly automated driving on the road, such as automatically entering the motorway and merging with traffic, driving on the motorway and overtaking other vehicles, and exiting the motorway automatically. A demonstration of the Opel prototype in actual traffic will occur at the final presentation of Ko-HAF in September of 2018.