Bertha does it matter

Sunnyvale (USA), November 28, 2014

I admit, I was a bit queasy. But Bertha took only a few intersections in order to deprive me of my fear. Bertha is a S-Class and it runs completely on its own. About a year ago she did on the legendary Bertha Benz route from Mannheim to Pforzheim so well that the technicians they cute enough, sided with the name of the car pioneer. Now I'm sitting in the back seat of Bertha, the S 500 Intelligent Drive is, and will fully autonomous journey around Sunnyvale. Fits somehow, because Sunnyvale is located in the Future Paradise Silicon Valley, where the Group maintains a development center. The location is chosen as, finally allowed California exclusive test drive on public roads without any human intervention.

Technology available today already largely

Were it not for this huge computer screen that shows all possible clues at the edge of the track, where Bertha based, you might think you were sitting in a bog standard S-Class. What you do not necessarily see at first glance, the amount of ultrasonic and radar sensors or stereo cameras front and rear, with whom Bertha is scanned through the traffic. And of course the monster machine that brings together the vast amounts of data and converts it into meaningful movement commands. Dr. Jörg Hillenbrand, who is involved in the development of unmanned Mercedesse explains that much of the technologies used to have in the current S-Class. The moves, for example in traffic, also already largely autonomous emergency braking or lies down when it detects a dangerous situation.

A little wobbly

Bertha recognizes all dangerous situations. And, although the road in the US a good piece looks different than here in Germany. The streets are much wider and often five or six lanes. Moreover lights are on the opposite side of the street. Nevertheless, Bertha fighting undeterred by difficult intersections. Even the dreaded threading or motorway junctions are not a problem ( so that it is most German motorists a corresponding step ahead ). Still go that acceleration and braking maneuvers bit too wooden of the hand and it very carefully and slowly approaching when turning, the intelligent S-class was doing exceptionally forgiven. The more often the log line is driven and evaluated, the safer the actions are ultimately mastered.

sensitive data

At least as important as autonomous driving itself, is handling the gigantic mass of data that arise here. It is a very sensitive issue, the manufacturers and authorities will employ far more in the future than they should be nice. Bertha computer draw per second to 100 megabytes of data. To save all that would be the sheer insanity. Therefore, people and other cars on Bertha screen are only dimly visible. In order to reconstruct possible Unfallhergänge, there is the so-called event recorder, which records the last 30 seconds of riding in a ring buffer and then deletes it immediately. This works as a continuous loop. On the question of what happens when two autonomous vehicles collide, but still had no ready answer reasonable at Mercedes. It will be interesting to how future deal here with the question of guilt.

Time and space as the largest luxury

At the moment, the pilot can still overrule his autonomous driving cars and simply enter a pinch himself bravely in the iron, but eventually he should and his fellow inmates can completely forget about the road and do whatever else there is no time: Working with the children play or just relax. Mercedes designers have designed for a new interior that looks more like a lounge in 2050, as a cockpit, as we know it. All chairs can be rotated at will, there's plenty of displays ( even in the doors ) that even bring the outside environment inside and a large table that serves as headquarters for the jumble of multimedia features. It is operated via touch or gestures. Whether you're sitting in your living room or in the car should in future be almost the same. Time and space are for the Swabians and for the future researchers who employ them in Sunnyvale, our greatest asset in an ever closer, urbanized world.

Autonomously from 2030?

Or even in the countless American suburbs, where the population already accounts for almost everything in the car: Long distances to the office, long distances for errands or an hour in the series are present, collect only the offspring of the school. Mega Cities and suburbs ?? both explode in terms of population in the future, especially in the United States. According to Daimler - trend researcher Fred Kim more than 40 million people in the United States by 2030 more than life now. In addition, 96 percent of Americans own a car and spend as described, much more time in it than we Europeans. Time they can also use more meaningful. So it is quite likely that Bertha's descendants first hit in the United States. By 2030, Mercedes wants to have the first autonomous driving cars on the road. (sw)