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Autonomous in Zurich

Freie Universität Berlin Demonstrates First Autonomous Driving on Roads in Switzerland

№ 131/2015 from May 12, 2015

The autonomous vehicle MadeInGermany developed at Freie Universität Berlin is the first such vehicle to be allowed to drive on the streets in Switzerland. It received an exemption from the Swiss Federal Department of Environment, Transport, Energy, and Communications, and this week it is driving autonomously in downtown Zurich. The exemption was made possible through the commitment of the Swiss company, Swisscom AG. Within this context policy makers and representatives from industry are at a meeting in Zurich discussing the need for action for the infrastructure of the future in Switzerland. The car was developed in the AutoNOMOS Laboratory of the computer science professor Raúl Rojas and has been driving on the streets in Berlin since 2011. It has also driven in the United States and in Mexico City.

The Berlin robotics experts want to be involved at an early stage in helping to shape appropriate solutions to promote the proliferation of autonomous vehicles. The driving is supported by the sensor and automation experts at Autonomos GmbH, a spin-off company of Freie Universität headed by Tinosch Ganjineh. Computer scientists at Freie Universität are continuing to develop the scientific foundations. The head of autonomous vehicles at the Institute of Computer Science, Dr. Daniel Göhring emphasized: "After working intensively in recent years to ensure that our car perfectly and completely autonomously 'understands' many situations in German road traffic, we are now working on getting it to learn more about the small differences in the rules of the road in other countries."

The scientists are convinced that in addition to the information from the sensors installed on board such as laser scanners, radar, cameras, and GPS, there is great potential for tapping other sources of information through increased networking. This could help to further optimize the vehicle handling. "For this purpose it is essential that we talk intensively with experts from other fields about the requirements and that we work closely with scientists who are working on the same things in neighboring countries," stressed Göhring.

Press photos for royalty-free use in the context of this press release can be found on the website of Swisscom AG: www.swisscom.ch/de/about/medien/press-releases/2015/05/20150512-MM-selbstfahrendes-Auto.html

Further Information

Prof. Dr. Raúl Rojas, Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, Freie Universität Berlin, Tel.: +49 30 838-75102, Email: rojas@inf.fu-berlin.de

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