Dock and relax

The Vehicle EO Smart Connecting Car developed in Bremen promises the connection of the advantages of OPNV and individual traffic

At the DFKI Robotics Innovation Center in Bremen, the self-controlling electric automobile EO is currently being developed within the framework of the project "New Mobilitat in the Landscape", which can conclude with others to a roadtrain and thus not only save energy, but also attention. Telepolis talked to Timo Birnschein, which develops the IT for the system.

Mr. Birnschein – What distinguishes the EO from other self-drive cars as they are developed by Google, Audi or BMW?
Timo Birnschein: Oh, much actually. Practical cars with autopilotes are based on normal gasoline or diesel-driven models with automatic transmission. Then the car is controlled via a mechanical or (if present) via response of the CAN bus of the vehicle. So it can be that there "Robotic legs" really get gas and brake. Our car is fully electric, has four drives in the bars and is complete Drive by Wire mobile. So there is no mechanical connection to the vehicle anymore – apart from the brake itself. That’s for emergency trap. Normally, the drives are braked by returning the braking energy. In addition, we can direct both the front and the back – actually you could designate that as the main feature. As a result, we are able to turn on the spot, or even sideways to drive. And should the parking lots be too small, we fold the car just 50 cm together overall our car is not a technical really similar so far. Even normal, commercial e-cars have a central motor, a gearbox and differential – and also axes. All this falls away with us and thus saves a good 500 kg weight. So our car weighs only about 700 kg and is accordingly mobile and efficient.

Dock and relax

Eo. Copyright Image: DFKI GmbH How far is the automatic driving automatic already developed? If the car comes along with rasters, tremors and spontaneous trackswers?
Timo Birnschein: No, the automatic is currently in development. We first work in the simulation environment and thus bring the algorithms to a level that can be tested on the real machine. That means we EO Smart Connecting Car to use this to test the autopilot developed in the simulation in real environment. So the car has no sensors on board, these things are then implemented in the successor to work at the time. The trap you describe are, of course, pay attention. Our current destination is first the development of an autopilot for environments such as parking, as docking is in the foreground. We liked to say the car can say that he should automatically dock to the next charging panels. Or picks me in the middle of the rain from the entrance of my buros, or also autonomously docked to the vehicle moving in front of me to realize a roadtrain. Then within a roadtrain, the front vehicle ames the complete control over all the following vehicles. That’s what we call assisted driving in the association. How does docking work exactly?
Timo Birnschein: Currently we develop an electromechanical interface. This interface can transmit both power and energy and data. The interface is then equipped with visual markers and cameras and allows the autonomous docking process. If two cars with this interface meet on the strain – that works because we can calculate the route planning via the internet – the driver of the rear vehicle on his touchscreen in the car tap on the front vehicle and then put the hands in the slob. The car then ames the control of itself and ride – comparable to applications and developments in space – automatically approaching the front man and docks. But of course only, if this is also charged. However, we ame that drivers of such cars have decided on energy saving and therefore very much like to drive in Column as Roadtrain. The same interface is located on all vehicles and expansion modules at the front and rear and is also genderless. We are working to standardize this interface to make them access to other car manufacturers in this way. Is the roadtrain couple to the energy saving so far only theory, or does that work with several prototypes?
Timo Birnschein: Currently there is only one prototype. Here we have developed a new mobility concept and use the vehicle as a demonstration object for that. Above all, it is about two things: save a lot of energy and make life easier for people. Because only the leading vehicle generates air resistance and all other vehicles roles only. That’s how she is doing, but have no wind resistance.

Dock and relax

In Roadtrain, the EO can also recharge empty batteries. Copyright Image: Dfki GmbH. How fast ride the EO?
Timo Birnschein: The car is currently 55 km / h at about 100 km range, this is indeed suitable for a "new mobilitat in the rivals", as the project is called, in the frame he is developed?
Timo Birnschein: Yes, because we can expand the car functionally by docking, for example, expansion modules. These modules can be, for example, Range Extender, with which the range is drastically expanding. Therein, batteries, diesel electrical generators or fuel cells can be installed. In addition, we develop passenger and pickup modules that can be transported more people and payloads. Each module brings its own drive axle and a power supply. The drive axle is just as folding, as the identical on the car. So we can easily get one from a car and an expansion module "gross car" do. Because the control software regulates the steering in a way that you drive the car, for example, like a minibus, but not like a car with trail! This is a very important aspect. What do you mean – how much will the EO or his successor once cost?
Timo Birnschein: We liked to realize a small series in three to five years. With the full serial maturity we expect about 10 years. The car should be affordable for the normal burger. So the price ended somewhere between 15 and 25.000 EURO. Could there be problems with the permitted, because the car contains so much new? Or are the behavior rather open-minded?
Timo Birnschein: No, the buyers of the small series are coarse companies such as airport or trade fair trade. We first liked the reliability of autopilots and roadtrain formation. However, at the CeBIT we had a visit through an insurance company that were very open-minded and interested in the classification of the vehicle. Our conversations with the TUV have also been very positive. You can apply as an EO test driver?
Timo Birnschein: The list is long.

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