Autonomous Driving: Handover between Driver and Autopilot Works

The project PAKoS demonstrates how human drivers and digital pilots can cooperate in the future – driving demonstration on the test track in Bad Sobernheim. Autonomous driving can increase the safety as well as the comfort in road traffic – even if there will still be driving situations in the medium term, in which humans can act with a better overall view than machines. To recognise such situations and to hand over the control from the vehicle to the driver anticipatorily and reliably as well as to develop an automated vehicle that adjusts to the driver's needs, were the aims of project PAKoS coordinated by the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). After three years of development, the project now presents the prototype of the human-machine interface in a driving demonstration on the test track in Bad Sobernheim on Friday, November 15, 2019. Representatives of media companies are cordially invited, please register at presse@kit.edu.

Is the driver ready to take over the steering wheel? Cameras help autonomous systems to react to the situation in the vehicle interior. (Photo credits: PAKoS)

"Autonomous vehicles will not only relieve the driver in the future, but also occasionally take over the entire vehicle control," explains Dr. Michael Flad from KIT, project manager of the interdisciplinary research association "Personalized, adaptive cooperative systems for automated vehicles" (PAKoS). As a result, it will be necessary to give and take the vehicle control between the driver and the autonomous system, for example, in front of construction site entrances with no clear driving lanes and speed limitations or in front of uncharted private premises. For a safe transfer of the vehicle control during the ride, the automated vehicle has to recognise where the current driver attention is and adjust to it. The system can use this, in order to adjust the driving behaviour to the driving or to manage the control transfer safely and comfortably.

Via cameras in the vehicle interior and optionally via sensors on the steering wheel, the PAKoS system identifies the driver state and attention. It assesses the current capability of the driver as well as his requirements of the automated ride: Does he look onto the street or into a book? Does he speak into a mobile phone or does he rummage in his bag on the passenger seat? Information and instructions are being multimodally exchanged between driver and vehicle, in order to support common actions like the transition between autonomous and manual driving. Additionally, the driver can personalise the driving behaviour according to his needs via an app. The concept is now prototypically presented in a demonstration vehicle.

Driving demonstration of the project PAKoS

Friday, November 15, 2019 between 11:00 a.m. and 03:00 p.m. in the Industriepark Pferdsfeld, 55566 Bad Sobernheim, Germany.


11:00 a.m.

Project Manager Dr. Michael Flad, KIT

11:30 a.m.Presentation of the project: Objectives and results
12:30 p.m.Driving demonstration and possibility to get a lift
Simultaneously:Exhibition of the partners and opportunity for expert interviews

A registration is required. Please register at: presse@dont-want-spam.kit.edu

Cooperation between driver and vehicle: the project PAKoS

At KIT, three institutes contribute to PAKoS: The Institute of Control Systems (IRS) takes over the regulatory realisation of the handover. Central questions are the modelling of the
haptic interaction between the driver and the vehicle and the thus to be identified optimal support for humans. The Institute for Anthropomatics and Robotics (IAR) deals with the video-based recognition of the driver's complex activities and interactions. The aim is to develop real-time procedures under real-time conditions. The Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS) coordinates and conducts in the project the technology assessment that accompanies closely the entire research and development process. Moreover, generalised, innovation-related recommendations are elaborated for decision-makers.

The unique characteristic of the project PAKoS is the development of a holistic and continuous concept for an individualised and personalised cooperation between drivers and automated vehicles, which is necessary for the authorisation of highly automated vehicles in the future. Safety and security, data protection as well as social aspects are also considered in the project. Apart from KIT and its innovation partner the FZI Research Center for Information Technology, the  Technical University of Munich, the Fraunhofer Institute of Optronics, System Technologies and Image Exploitation, the Bayerische Motoren Werke AG, Spiegel Institut Mannheim GmbH & Co. KG, mVISE AG and Stadtmobil Car Sharing are also involved in the joint project PAKoS. The project has an overall budget of approx. EUR 4.2 million and around EUR 3.1 million were funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).

Further information

Please find more details about the KIT Mobility Systems Center at: http://www.kit.edu/research/6720.php

Being the "Research University in the Helmholtz Association", KIT creates and imparts knowledge for the society and the environment. It is the objective to make significant contributions to the global challenges in the fields of energy, mobility and information. For this, about 9,300 employees cooperate in a broad range of disciplines in natural sciences, engineering sciences, economics, and the humanities and social sciences. KIT prepares its 25.100 students for responsible tasks in society, industry, and science by offering research-based study programs. Innovation efforts at KIT build a bridge between important scientific findings and their application for the benefit of society, economic prosperity, and the preservation of our natural basis of life.

This press release is available in the Internet at: www.sek.kit.edu/presse.php

The photo is available for download in the highest quality available to us at: www.kit.edu and can be requested at: presse@kit.edu or +49 721 608-21105. The use of the picture is permitted only in the above mentioned context.

This year, KIT calls its milestones and the long tradition in research, science and innovation to mind this year with its anniversary logo. On October 1, 2009, KIT emerged from the fusion of two of its precursory institutes: In 1825, the Polytechnical School, later the Karlsruhe University (TH), was founded and 1956, the Kernreaktor Bau- und Betriebsgesellschaft mbH, later called Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe GmbH.

Press contact

Monika Landgraf
Chief Press Officer, Head of Corporate Communications
Kaiserstraße 12
76131 Karlsruhe, Germany
Phone: +49 721 608-21105
Email: presse@dont-want-spam.kit.edu

Further press contact

Kosta Schinarakis
Editor/Press Referent
Phone: +49 721 608-21165
Email: schinarakis@dont-want-spam.kit.edu