German autobahn transformed into test track

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A forward-looking cooperative project badged Testfeld Niedersachsen (Lower Saxony testing area) has begun on the A39 between the Wolfsburg-Königslutter junction and the municipality of Cremlingen in Germany, which has involved the 7km-long stretch of road being converted into a test track for collecting traffic flow information. The initiative is being financed by the State of Lower Saxony and the German Aerospace Center (DLR).

The test area serves as an open research and development platform where various driving scenarios can be simulated. Cameras have been installed along the stretch, which can be used to record anonymized data on driving behavior. The DLR has also installed data collection technology as well as pWLAN technology, which enables direct communication between vehicles and traffic infrastructure.

German car maker Volkswagen is using the road to gather data for developing its assisted driving software. All data collected is anonymized, such that only the vehicles’ trajectories can be evaluated and no data specific to individual vehicles is recorded, such as license plates or the driver’s face.

Dr Frank Welsch, chief development officer of Volkswagen passenger cars, emphasized the significance of the test track: “In order to research assisted driving, data from daily traffic is absolutely necessary. The Lower Saxony testing area allows us not only to collect such data in a completely real-world environment, but also to expand on it using simulations.”

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Rachel's career in journalism has seen her write for various titles at UKi Media & Events within automotive, tire and marine. Currently editor of ATTI, her favourite aspect of the job is interviewing industry experts, including researchers, scientists, engineers and technicians, and learning more about the groundbreaking technologies and innovations that are shaping the future of transportation.

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