Test area for autonomous driving
RWTH Aachen University has opened a new test site for autonomous driving. The test area is located near the city of Aachen. There, self-driving cars will be tested under urban conditions. The site in Aldenhoven is unique in Europe.
The artificially built city on the site of the old Emil-Mayrisch coal mine has a road network of almost 1.5 kilometers. There, autonomous driving can be tested on reconstructed crossroads, parking lots, highways, hills or jogging routes. The researchers hope to gain insights into the challenges that self-driving cars face in everyday traffic.
Autonomous driving to prevent traffic jams
Representatives of 40 companies and institutions participated in the project. The government is funding the project with 3.3 million euros. Both the vehicles and the test site are networked. The data like the duration and brightness of street lighting are evaluated by the researchers. One of the partners is the mobile phone provider Vodafone, because fast data exchange is important for autonomous driving. A 5G mobile radio network could cope with this.
The test site is used by the institutes of the RWTH Aachen University, but other companies can also use the test track. In the long term, this should prevent traffic jams in road traffic. In addition, local public transport in rural areas could be expanded by autonomous buses, since there are no costs for drivers.