PSA progresses rapidly towards the autonomous car

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The PSA Group wants to take position in technologies for driving autonomous not to be left out of the train of the innovation. Now who takes clearly the lead is Tesla, but working on it more and more manufacturers, such as Audi, Ford, or the same PSA Group.

Now the French have 10 prototypes rolling on european roads, having totaled 60,000 miles, or what is the same, 50,000 kilometres since November of 2015, or 40,000 km since April of this year. All of these tours have been made in automatic mode, without intervention of human drivers.

The fleet of prototypes has grown in almost a year of four to 10 units, and the forecast is to finish by 2016 with 15 prototypes operating. how Many more prototypes, the more distance you can cover, and what is more important, the more we can refine the algorithm of driving.

testing began in France, and the first official route of a car without driver in Spain took place at the end of November, a journey from Vigo to Madrid. Specifically, the starting point was the Center of Automotive Technology of Galicia (CTAG), which is collaborating on the development, and the end was the plant of Villaverde.

PSA took that journey to achieve headlines in mainstream press and specialized, as it was a milestone in the history of national car. The quoted CTAG is responsible for the validation of the relationship between the human drivers and the computer that governs the vehicle.On the other hand, Vigo makes the C4 Picasso and Grand Picasso.

have been chosen for the occasion Citroën C4 Grand Picasso, which have enough space to house the computers that allow the car to drive alone, which today are very bulky. The idea is to compress the hardware that do not assume reductions in the habitability and space in the trunk.

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The 60,000 kilómeros have been run in mode “hands off”, that is to say, a driver is always seated and prepared to take control in the case of the system not to operate properly or there is some risk. This functionality does not require that putting their hands on the steering wheel, it is a kind of cruise control more intelligent.

The next step will be to do test with drivers not experts, who may disregard most of the driving, so “eyes out”. In other words, the driver may be reading a book or playing cards. In all cases will be monitoring the process engineers of PSA.

There is a high degree of confidence in the system on the part of its creators, and is being tested in different situations, for which we must ask for authorizations to the DGT. Recall that a vehicle can’t go out there loose without an administrative authorization, to the end of the day are being tested.

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PSA wants to the year 2018 to offer their customers driving semi-autonomous, as does Tesla, and Mercedes-Benz on some models of the segment E. The human drivers is necessary for monitoring, but you can travel long distances without touching the steering wheel or the pedals.

The next milestone will be to 2020, when they expect to offer driving fully automated, door-to-door, without human intervention. The driver will be able to delegate completely in the vehicle any displacement, although the controls will remain for manual driving.

it is Certainly difficult to face all the casuistry possible in an environment as random and unpredictable as is the traffic, hence the need to make so many and so many kilometres of testing with the prototypes. The confidence in the system must be maximal to be able to commercialize it without danger.