Over in Europe, a consortium of 29 partners has kicked off a research project called AdaptIVe (Automated Driving Applications & Technologies for Intelligent Vehicles), aimed at achieving breakthrough advances that will lead to more efficient and safe automated driving.

The group, which is led by Volkswagen, consists of ten major automotive manufacturers, suppliers, research institutes and universities as well as small and medium-sized businesses. Automotive names on the list include BMW, Daimler, Renault, Peugeot Citroen Automobiles, Fiat, Volvo and Ford.

Expected to last a period of 42 months, the partners will develop and test new functionalities for cars and trucks, offering both partially-automated and highly-automated driving on motorways, in urban scenarios, and for close-distance manoeuvres.

The focus of AdaptIVe will be on achieving ideal cooperative interaction between the driver and the automated system by using advanced sensors, cooperative vehicle technologies and adaptive strategies, in which the level of automation is dynamically adapted to the situation and driver status.

Seven cars and one truck are set to be deployed for the project, and will demonstrate various combinations of automated functions. In addition to addressing technology development aspects, the project – which has a budget of 25 million euros and is funded by the European Commission – will also explore legal implications for manufacturers and drivers, in particular regarding product liability and road traffic laws.