A broadly based European research consortium under the management of the Volkswagen Group is analysing the opportunities for using technologies to facilitate mobility in the future with the aim of achieving a breakthrough in the area of automated driving. The research project L3Pilot launched its four-year development activities in Wolfsburg.

A four-year research initiative is being launched with the project L3Pilot. The focus of research is automated driving on roads in Europe. Under the leadership of the Volkswagen Group, 13 European automobile manufacturers, suppliers, research institutes and universities, and small and mid-sized companies will operate 100 vehicles with 1000 drivers in the public transport system in order to test automated drive systems in conformity with Level-3 and Level-4 under real conditions and in a wide range of applications. The technologies being tested include a broad spectrum – from parking and overtaking to driving in complex city traffic. Overall, the project will collect data in eleven European countries for assessing technical aspects, user acceptance, driving and travel behaviour, and the impact of these systems on traffic and society. The broad spectrum of driving situations means that L3Pilot is the first project worldwide to implement and test such comprehensive functions of automated driving in practice.

“We are confident that the research initiative L3Pilot will create a broadly based and comprehensive platform for realisation of mobility in the future,” said Aria Etemad from Volkswagen Group Research in his function as project coordinator of the EU research project L3Pilot. “The strong integration of the entire European automobile industry and the scientific support by experts in the areas of mobility and automated vehicles will drive this initiative forward and make it successful.”

Alongside technical development, statutory framework conditions for vehicle manufacturers and drivers are being analysed. The focus is on product liability and road traffic regulations.

This pioneering project has been planned for four years and is the biggest EU-sponsored project of its kind. The project budget has been set at EUR68m (US$81m) and is being supported by the European Commission with EUR36m.

The research project L3Pilot includes the following partners:

Vehicle manufacturer: Volkswagen AG (coordinator), Audi AG, BMW Group, Centro Ricerche Fiat SCPA, Daimler AG, Ford, Honda R&D Europe, Jaguar Land Rover, Opel Automobile GmbH, Groupe PSA, Renault, Toyota Motor Europe, Volvo Car Corporation

Suppliers: Autoliv, Delphi Deutschland GmbH, FEV Group GmbH

Research institutes and universities: German Aerospace Centre (DLR), ika RWTH Aachen University, Institute of Communication and Computer Systems ICCS, SAFER, SNF – Centre for Applied Research at NHH, University of Leeds, University of Warwick, Federal Highway Research Institute (BASt), University of Genoa, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Würzburger Institut für Verkehrswissenschaften GmbH (WIVW Centre for Traffic Sciences)

Authorities: The Netherlands Vehicle Authority RDW

User Groups: Federation Internationale de l’Automobile FIA

Insurers: AZT Automotive GmbH, Swiss Reinsurance Company
Small and mid-sized companies: ADAS Management Consulting, European Centre for Information and Communication Technologies EICT GmbH