The Test Field Autonomous Driving Baden-Württemberg is a laboratory with real conditions for testing mobility concepts. It aims to promote the development of future-oriented solutions for individual transport and local public transport.
Companies and researchers can test their technologies and services for networked and automated driving in everyday traffic. With automated cars, buses or commercial vehicles such as street cleaning or delivery services.
In contrast to other projects in Germany, the test field, which went into operation in May 2018, covers all types of public roads: motorway sections, state and federal roads, inner-city routes with cyclists, pedestrians and trams as well as 30 km/h zones, residential areas and multi-storey car parks. The test field routes are located between Karlsruhe, Bruchsal and Heilbronn.
The test field is operated by the Karlsruhe Transport Association. The Karlsruher Verkehrsverbund (KVV) also uses the test field itself to trial new forms of local public transport, such as autonomous mini buses.
Automated driving has long since ceased to be a dream of the future. In the coming years, highly automated vehicles will find their way into the traffic of our cities and bring their occupants to their destination without any active intervention or pick them up independently.
Autonomous vehicles are equipped with numerous cameras, sensors and special hardware such as GPS antennas and laser scanners. In addition, there are complex software systems that bundle and evaluate all information. In this way, the most comprehensive possible picture of the vehicle environment can be created and the exact position of the vehicle can be determined. The on-board computer automatically derives suitable maneuvers from the collected information. The vehicle thus reacts automatically to traffic signals and situations - for example, it stops at a red traffic light or allows pedestrians to cross the road at a crosswalk. This should not only work in cities, but also on country roads and multi-lane motorways, as well as in all weather and road conditions. The safety of all road users has top priority.
Autonomous vehicles can network with so-called car-to-car systems in order to exchange information. This enables cars to avoid traffic jams or rear-end collisions.
A particular focus of the Test Field Autonomous Driving Baden-Württemberg is local public transport (ÖPNV). In the coming years, the state of Baden-Württemberg intends to significantly expand its rail and bus transport in the state as part of a public transport offensive. The planned measures also include intensive testing of concepts with automated, driverless mobility services.
Autonomous driving offers new perspectives for bus call systems in the area and as a connection to the railway. At the Test Area Autonomous Driving Baden-Württemberg in Karlsruhe, the first minibuses are being tested that can transport passengers automatically and without a driver.