The 2nd Intelligent Transportation Symposium Asia-Pacific Workshop under the theme of “Innovative Transportation Management” was held in Chengdu during June 22-24. With the invitation, BMW China present its Highly Automated Driving (HAD) technologies on a local highway within a designated section. Thus, BMW becomes the first premium auto brand in China to showcase the feature of Automatic Lane Change via a base model of BMW 3 Series GT.
To constantly strengthen the ability of innovation is the key to realize sustainability for the BMW Group. Including China, BMW has been involved in a long-term research on HAD development globally. The envision of ‘zero injuries’ is always encouraging BMW for the intelligent individual mobility solutions, that is more safe, efficient and comfortable.
The workshop was co-organized by China Intelligent Transportation System Industry Alliance (C-ITS) and the Intelligent Transportation Systems Asia-Pacific (ITS Asia-Pacific), with a cooperation from the Sichuan Railway Investment Group Co., Ltd. (SRIG). The VIP guests from the Department of Science and Technology of the Ministry of Transportation (MOT), the Research Institute of Highway (RIOH), SRIG, Beijing Municipal Commission of Transport, the Department of Transportation of Sichuan Province and ERTICO – ITS Europe participated the demonstration.
HAD in three steps
The HAD technologies are based on a precise coordination among a comprehensive integrated sensor system, a high-precision environment detection system, an Artificial Intelligence system for making smart decisions about the most suitable lane and avoiding critical situations in advance, and a robust safety architecture. This enables the three core features for the driver: Automatic Lane Keeping, Automatic Vehicle Following, and Automatic Lane Change. With the HAD technologies, it’s also able to allow drivers to drive “hands-off”, “feet-off”, and “eyes-off”, offering enhanced freedom inside the car and boosting both safety and efficiency.
On the 35-kilometer-long highway in Chengdu, without the intervention of a driver and within a speed range between 0-120km/h, BMW’s HAD demo car performed a series of complicated tasks demonstrating all the three core features listed above.
Among the three features, the Automatic Lane Change sets an important boundary. It is the major difference between the current Advanced Driving Assistant Systems (ADAS), which are already being mass produced, and the HAD technology of the future. With the Automatic Lane Change, cars can choose how to react according to the real traffic situations on the road, ensuring a smooth and safe transition between lanes at all times.
The active sensors, to collect real-time data, are embedded around the car. These sensors detect and complete switching between lanes, a fully precise intelligent function which can effectively lower potential risks caused by the visual blind spots when a human is driving. More than 20 sensors and equipment are fully integrated into the HAD demo car, while the vehicle exterior seems almost no difference from the BMW 3 Series GT in the market.
Till now, BMW has achieved over 8,000 kilometers HAD demonstration in China, on both closed and public roads, under the supervision and control of the specially-trained drivers in the car.
Core competence lies in local Artificial Intelligence development.
The Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems are the key for HAD to free the driver’s hands, feet, eyes and even the brain. Meanwhile, the geographically-based localization is the key to AI development in China.
While driving in different areas, it is necessary for a driver to be familiar with the local traffic environment and comply with the traffic regulations. It is the same with the HAD system localization. Thereof, the AI local development also means the process of learning local traffic regulations, infrastructure and environment.
In China, the public road conditions and traffic environment are complex and ever-changing. This presents a major challenge for AI local development. When analyzing massive data from the sensors, the AI systems need various algorithms to adapt to the different behaviours and habits of traffic participants, as well as the different infrastructures in China, such as traffic lights and traffic signs. These enable the AI system to create rational driving tactics. The technical progress in this field reflects BMW’s core competence of HAD development in China.
The BMW Group has always been collaborating closely with national scientific research institutions and infrastructure stakeholders, including RIOH, C-ITS, and SRIG, actively supporting the industrial development of intelligent transportation in China.
The local research and development is the inevitable path towards realizing HAD in China. With its commitment to being “In China and for China”, and with a local Chinese team, BMW will continue to engage in the collaborations with the local industry, institutions and universities, to further satisfy the demands of the Chinese market.
Francois Fischer, Senior Manager, represented ERTICO – ITS Europe at the workshop and participated in the demonstration. Automated driving is part of one of the current ERTICO’s programmes. For more information on the workshop, contact Francois Fischer.
Original source: BMW