While many drivers don’t particularly like the idea of autonomous cars, at least for their own use, having that capability does seem to be needed for credibility among the non-auto-adept public. Fiat Chrysler chose merely to help Google with its self-driving efforts, supplying cars and learning from what Google needed to modify them; Peugeot participated in L3Pilot, a European project including other automakers.
Today, in Germany, L3Pilot is reporting the results of four years of SAE Level 3 automated driving tests. 16 Stellantis prototypes were part of the effort, which included 70 cars overall, 14 pilot sites in seven countries, 200,000 km of automated driving on motorways, and 22,000 miles of automated driving around town. While the number of miles was not quite as large as industry leaders’ experiences, the variety of vehicles may have been greater than most other research efforts combined.
Level 3 automated driving does not require driver input, but the driver must be ready at a moment’s notice to take back control when the system demands it. The system works with high speed driving, including automated lane changes (as does GM’s Super Cruise); it also has remote parking (by now old hat), path memory for parking in familiar areas, and a “traffic jam chauffeur,” for low-speed driving on congested roads.
The next EU-supported project, Hi-Drive, will run from 2021 to 2025 and address higher levels of automated driving.