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Autonomous drive – a network for the future

Green advisor

Autonomous drive – a network for the future

Tomorrow’s hottest trends are, as always, a much debated issue. Vehicles that can drive without human intervention are being mentioned a lot these days.

“There’s no doubt that self-driving vehicles are the future,” says David Andersson, section manager at Embedded Systems in Gothenburg.

We still have a long way to go before self-driving vehicles can take passengers from point A to point B on their own, but automotive companies are investing. This is apparent in inquiries and employment ads, as well as at industry gatherings and trade shows.    

“Today, more and more vehicles have some form of autonomy, like automatic brakes. That in itself increases road safety. The degree of vehicle autonomy will gradually increase.”

ÅF has the skills necessary to build a driverless vehicle, what with its experts in software, hardware and system safety in embedded systems. To gather these skills and foster interest, we have created a national skills network for what is known as autonomous drive (AD).

Work in the network is concrete and practical and will produce results that can be used by employees and presented to clients. The first step was to build a platform, a sort of remote-control car, to use for testing and developing.

“It’s the foundation for a completely autonomous vehicle,” says David. “We will eventually be able to test the platform in different scenarios.”

The platform was built from scratch, from the controller board on up, which also has helped the network accumulate experience. The design and material was developed by the group in Gothenburg. Similar platforms are used in Stockholm and Linköping, where the network also has operations.

“One goal is for our consultants to be able to further add to their profiles in autonomous design,” says David. “Hopefully, the network will be able to train AD engineers, which would be useful to both the consultant’s CV and to our business.”

“The social interaction is also important,” he continues. “Many of our consultants work on-site with the client. Being involved in projects like this provides an opportunity to collaborate with colleagues at ÅF.”

The network is open to anyone who is interested. As with all voluntary professional development at ÅF, activities take place in the evenings. Participants are paid for half the time they are there and for their dinner, and get a valuable addition to theirTomorrow’s hottest trends are, as always, a much debated issue. Vehicles that can drive without human intervention are being mentioned a lot these days.