Press releases

Press releases from the test area for autonomous driving.

Please note: These texts are only available in German.

Ready for Mobility Concepts of the Future: Successful completion of the Baden-Württemberg Autonomous Driving Test Field

State provides 2.9 million euros in funding for design, construction, planning and expansion of TAF-BW / Over 200 km of mapped roads / 18 projects currently using the test field

Research findings of the project partners of the Baden-Württemberg Autonomous Driving Test Field (TAF BW) from the set-up as well as first results from numerous research and development projects running on the test field will be presented today, Friday, at the Fleischmarkthalle in Karlsruhe. The infrastructure set up for automated driving and the mobile control center of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) will also be presented. Under the consortium leadership of the FZI Research Center for Information Technology, the event marks the conclusion of the construction of the test field, which can continue to be used by companies and funded projects. On the following day, the cities of Karlsruhe and Heilbronn invite to a citizens' dialog around the TAF BW.

Completion of construction

Since the opening of the TAF BW, which is funded by the Ministry of Transport of the state of Baden-Württemberg, in 2018, companies and research institutions have been able to test applications and traffic concepts of the future around connected and autonomous driving in everyday traffic. The funding is under the umbrella of the "Strategic Dialogue Automotive Industry BW" led by the Baden-Württemberg State Ministry. The TAF BW considers both individual transport and local public transport in equal measure. As part of a specialist event with high-ranking representatives from industry and science and the Baden-Württemberg Minister of Transport Winfried Hermann, findings from the expansion and initial research results will be presented in the form of lectures and an exhibition with demonstrators on November 12, 2021. "The Autonomous Driving Test Bed is another milestone in Baden-Württemberg's mobility history. Important impulses were given during the project period and needs for action on the state and federal level were identified," explains Prof. Dr.-Ing. J. Marius Zöllner, professor at KIT as well as board member at the FZI Research Center for Information Technology, which leads the consortium.
The test field, which is funded by the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Transport, is a joint project of the research institutions Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Fraunhofer IOSB, Heilbronn University, Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences (HKA), and FZI, as well as the municipalities of Karlsruhe, Bruchsal, and Heilbronn.

The state is providing funding of around 5.5 million euros. Of this, 2.9 million euros have been provided directly by the Ministry of Transport for the conception, planning, construction and expansion of the test field. It is funding the accompanying "bwirkt" study on TAF BW with around 0.4 million euros. The Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts, together with the Ministry of Transport, is funding a further 2.2 million euros for five SMART Mobility research projects at various universities in the state that are using the test field. Construction of the test field began in 2016, and it went into operation in May 2018. In total, TAF BW has been used by 18 projects so far."At the Baden-Württemberg test field for autonomous and connected driving, innovative power and expertise from business and science come together. Sustainable mobility concepts are being developed and tested together with local authorities and the state government. This is an important step in developing climate-friendly transportation solutions, moving toward a digital society and improving mobility. Last but not least, it is also about securing the competitiveness of Baden-Württemberg companies in a global competition for the future," explains Minister of Transport Winfried Hermann.

The test field is ready for funding projects and industrial users

The operation of TAF BW will be continued by the Karlsruhe Transport Authority (KVV): "As operator, KVV is available to all interested customers from industry and research as a service partner for test field use. We are pleased to be actively involved in shaping this innovation process for the mobility of the future," explains KVV Managing Director Dr. Alexander Pischon. In addition to offering a comprehensive range of services of networked infrastructure, it includes over 200 km of all types of public roads in Karlsruhe and Heilbronn and is unique in its diversity. Both a user-oriented and demand-driven expansion of the TAF BW and technical and scientific support of the test operation are possible.

Several projects that would like to use the TAF BW in the future are already in the starting and application phase. For example, an intelligent logistics solution for goods deliveries on the last mile is being researched upstream as an example. Its traffic, economic and social impact is also being investigated.

About the Baden-Württemberg Autonomous Driving Test Field

At the Baden-Württemberg Autonomous Driving Test Field (TAF BW), companies and research institutions can test future-oriented technologies and services related to connected and automated driving in everyday road traffic, such as automated driving of cars, buses or commercial vehicles like street cleaning or delivery services. In addition, the regulatory and legal framework can be evaluated and updated. To this end, during the set-up phase, traffic areas of various types were prepared, high-precision 3D maps were generated, and sensors and computers for real-time recording of traffic and its influencing factors as well as communication units were installed. The legal, organizational and insurance framework for operating the infrastructure and potential applications of autonomous mobility was also created.

The consortium consists of the cities of Karlsruhe, Bruchsal, and Heilbronn, as well as the research institutions FZI Research Center for Information Technology, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences (HKA), the Fraunhofer Institute of Optronics, System Technologies and Image Exploitation IOSB, and Heilbronn University of Applied Sciences. The development of the test field is supported by a large number of partners from industry and science in Baden-Württemberg. The operation with security control center, IT administration, sales, accounting and controlling is made possible by the Karlsruhe Transport Authority (KVV) as an external and neutral operating company.