Autonomous Driving in the Real Laboratory: Minister of Transport Hermann Informs Himself about Activities in Heilbronn at BUGA

Autonomous parking in car parks, automated logistics processes and visions for the city of tomorrow: Minister of Transport Winfried Hermann informed himself about activities in Heilbronn at Bundesgartenschau on Monday.

Image source: FZI Research Center for Information Technology

Heilbronn, May 27, 2019, – One year after the official launch of the Test Area Autonomous Driving Baden-Württemberg, Minister of Transport Winfried Hermann visited Heilbronn on Monday. After a welcome speech on the premises of Bundesgartenschau (German Federal horticulture show), which forms with its urban exhibition the prelude to the new neighbourhood Neckarbogen as "city of short distances" with car sharing and modern energy management, he gained insights into the work of the test area and the research on intelligent mobility solutions for logistics processes. The State Government the funds Test Area Autonomous Driving Baden-Württemberg with a total of around EUR 5 million.

Minister of Transport Winfried Hermann stated during his visit in Heilbronn: "The new, digital technologies open up various opportunities for the development of new vehicles and forms of use. Real laboratories are a highly attractive testing form. Innovations can be tested under realistic conditions. It thus becomes detectable that not everything that is technically possible is also a practical progress. And it can also be found out, how the transport system can be made more efficient, safe and sustainable in the future. Cars can be better used through smart technologies, for example in car sharing concepts, and the public transport can be made more flexible."

Prof. Dr.-Ing. J. Marius Zöllner, manager of the Test Area Autonomous Driving Baden-Württemberg explained for the consortium: "Heilbronn is very valuable for users of our real laboratory due to its wide offers." In addition to diverse sorts of routes, a car park for the testing of automated parking is available to test area users. Furthermore, Heilbronn brings the topic of logistics into the test area project: "We will gain important insights from the research of automated logistics processes on the Test Area Autonomous Driving Baden-Württemberg," states the Member of the Board of Executive Directors of the FZI Research Center for Information Technology.

"The Heilbronn University facilitates the extension of the portfolio though the research on automated freight transport and thus helps to develop further test scenarios," stated Prof. Dr. Raoul Zöllner from the Heilbronn University. He emphasised also the municipal commitment: "I am particularly pleased that the city of Heilbronn supports our joint project additionally on own means. This demonstrates the great importance of autonomous driving also for the urban development," adds Zöllner.

The Lord Mayor of Heilbronn Harry Mergel agreed to that: "I am also very pleased that we were able to present high-tech made in Heilbronn to the Minister here in Heilbronn," emphasised the head of administration. From the beginning, for 3 years now, the administration supported the research project and got involved into the further development of mobility.

"It is a particularity of this Bundesgartenschau that it connects gardening and nature with current future topics as garden and urban exhibition. How does mobility of tomorrow look like, how does digitalisation change our everyday life? These topics played already a role in the concept assignment of the premises for the urban exhibition," said BUGA-Manager Hans-Peter Faas during the tour with the Minister.

The Minister of Transport also informed himself about the project buga:log in Heilbronn. The professors Dr. Tobias Bernecker and Dr. Nicola Marsden from Heilbronn University explained that in the project buga:log persons living in the urban exhibition can already sent their parcel post automatically via special vehicles – on the desired day and time.

Conclusively, the car park in the future quarter "Im Wohlgelegen" was visited. The car park equipped with an intelligent infrastructure, serves for the testing of autonomous parking. The team of Prof. Dr. Raoul Zöllner captures traffic data by means of sensors in real time and can thus develop, for example, highly accurate 3D maps of the areal. Users of the test area receive information about the traffic light circuits and movements in the bus, city and urban railway transport.

About the Test Area Autonomous Driving Baden-Württemberg

In the Test Area Autonomous Driving Baden-Württemberg (TAF BW), companies and research institutes can test future-oriented technologies and services for networked and automated driving in everyday traffic, for example automated driving of cars, buses or commercial vehicles such as street cleaning or delivery services. In addition, regulatory and legal framework conditions can be updated. For this purpose, traffic areas of all kinds were prepared, highly accurate 3D maps were developed as well as sensors for real-time acquisition of the traffic and its influencing factors were installed amongst others during the construction phase.

The leading Ministry of Transport provided EUR 2.5 million for the conception, planning and construction of the test area. The construction of the test area started in 2016, the launch took place in May 2018. The Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts (MWK) and the Ministry of Transport (VM) fund the research on the test area with the project "smart mobility" with further EUR 2.5 million.

The city of Heilbronn contributes EUR 180,000 to the construction of the test area. Moreover the city provides further EUR 250,000 for the maintenance of the five-year operation and equips the traffic lights on selected junctions with highly-modern technologies, in order to enable interconnected and autonomous driving. Heilbronn hopes to gain insights on the way to an intelligent traffic management system, especially in order to avoid traffic jams and reduce pollutants. The urban settlement Heilbronn invests around EUR 30,000 into the installation of the infrastructure necessary for autonomous parking into the car park "Im Wohlgelegen".

Further information can be found at: www.taf-bw.de

Press contact Heilbronn

Stadt Heilbronn
Christian Britzke
Phone: +49 7131 562288
Email: pressestelle@heilbronn.de

Press contact of the consortium

FZI Forschungszentrum Informatik
Julia Feilen
Phone: +49 721 9654-943
Email: feilen@fzi.de