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Driving without a driver: Volkswagen presents Temporary Auto Pilot

At the final presentation of the EU research project HAVEit (Highly Automated Vehicles for Intelligent Transport), Prof. Dr. Jürgen Leohold, Executive Director Volkswagen Group Research, has presented the “Temporary Auto Pilot” by Volkswagen: Monitored by the driver, the car can drive semi-automatically up to a speed of 130 kilometres per hour on motorways. It represents a link between today’s assistance systems and the vision of fully automatic driving.


“Above all, what we have achieved today is an important milestone on the path towards accident-free car driving,” emphasises Leohold at today’s final presentation of the EU research project HAVEit in the Swedish city of Borås. The Temporary Auto Pilot (TAP) bundles semi-automatic functions, i.e. functions monitored by the driver, with other driver assistance systems, such as ACC adaptive cruise control and the Lane Assist lane-keeping system into one comprehensive function. “Nonetheless, the driver always retains driving responsibility and is always in control,” continues Leohold. “The driver can override or deactivate the system at any time and must continually monitor it.”


TAP always offers the driver an optimal degree of automation as a function of the driving situation, acquisition of the surroundings and driver and system states. It is intended to prevent accidents due to driving errors by an inattentive, distracted driver. In the semi-automatic driving mode – referred to as Pilot Mode, for short – TAP maintains a safe distance to the vehicle ahead, drives at a speed selected by the driver, reduces this speed as necessary before a bend, and maintains the vehicle’s central position with respect to lane markers. The system also observes overtaking rules and speed limits. Stop and start driving manoeuvres in traffic jams are also automated. With TAP, it is possible to drive at speeds of up to 130 kilometres per hour on motorways or similar roads. Drivers must still continually focus their attention on the road, so that they can intervene in safety-critical situations at any time.


In contrast to previous research vehicles such as “Junior” and “Stanley”, TAP is based on a relatively production-like sensor platform, consisting of production-level radar-, camera-, and ultrasonic-based sensors supplemented by a laser scanner and an electronic horizon. “One conceivable scenario for its initial use might be in monotonous driving situations, e.g. in traffic jams or over sections of a driving route that are exceedingly speed-limited,” comments Leohold.


About HAVEit


The EU funded R&D project HAVEit (“Highly Automated Vehicles for Intelligent Transport”) was set up to develop research concepts and technologies for highly automated driving. This will help to reduce the drivers’ workload, prevent accidents, reduce environmental impact and make traffic safer. Launched in February 2008, 17 European partners from the automotive and supply sector and the scientific community collaborated on the project. Total investments in HAVEit amounted to EUR 28 million. EUR 17 million of this sum came from EU grants, and EUR 11 million was contributed by the 17 project partners, of which EUR 7 million was invested by the automobile industry.


The HAVEit consortium consists of vehicle manufacturers, automotive suppliers and scientific institutes from Germany, Sweden, France, Austria, Switzerland, Greece and Hungary:

Continental, Volvo Technology AB, Volkswagen AG, EFKON AG, Sick AG, Haldex Brake Products AB, Knowllence, Explinovo GmbH, German Aerospace Center (DLR), Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), University of Athens, Institute of Communications and Computer Systems (ICCS), University of Applied Sciences Amberg-Weiden, Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Universität Stuttgart, Institut für Luftfahrtsysteme, Wuerzburg Institute of Traffic Sciences GmbH, Institut National de Recherche en Informatique et en Automatique (Inria), Institut français des sciences et technologies des transports, de l'aménagement et des réseaux (IFSTTAR).

Article source: www.volkswagen.co.uk

Roadside Assistance

Wherever you are, we're only a phone-call away

Sometimes when you least expect it, you may find yourself in need of help.

So in the unlikely event that your Volkswagen breaks down, or you find yourself stranded in adverse weather conditions, it's good to know you can call on Volkswagen Roadside Assistance, anytime, day or night, every day of the year.

  • Call us, and we'll send our RAC certified Volkswagen Transporter (equipped with the latest specialist tools) to get you back on the road again.
  • All new Volkswagen passenger vehicles are provided with Volkswagen Roadside Assistance in the UK, and European cover for one year (3 years for Phaeton and Touareg).

For more information on Volkswagen Roadside Assistance telephone
0800 777 192.

Article source: www.volkswagen.co.uk

Cost effective Touran wins at Parkers New Car Awards 2012

Volkswagen’s Polo and Touran models have claimed top honours in the Parkers Cost of Motoring New Car Awards 2012, being judged the cars in their respective classes which make motorists’ cash go the furthest.

The Polo Match 1.2-litre TDI three-door won the Small Hatchback category – no mean feat in a market sector which is so price-sensitive – while the Touran S 1.6-litre TDI BlueMotion Technology went on to victory in the hotly contested People Carrier category.

Now in their second year, the Parkers New Car Awards were designed by the experts at the car-buying website to help purchasers identify ‘the cars that make your cash go further’.  The winners, rather than being based solely on the opinions of a panel of judges, are determined through the data produced by Parkers’ ‘cost of motoring’ tool – car-costs.parkers.co.uk.  This uses objective data to identify all the different elements involved in keeping a car on the road for three years and covering 30,000 miles, including depreciation, taxes, service, maintenance and repair, fuel consumption and breakdown cover.

Commenting on the awards, Kieren Puffett, editor of Parkers says: ‘With the cost of motoring continuing to rise, customers are keener than ever to secure the best deal when buying a new car; yet motorists are often unaware of the unseen and long-term costs involved.  Last year’s awards revealed a huge disparity in what motorists pay over the first three years of owning a new car and many people were surprised by the results.’

He added: ‘To win one Parkers Cost of Motoring New Car Award is a real achievement, but to win two is outstanding.  These awards are a clear demonstration that the Volkswagen Polo and Touran provide car buyers with exceptionally competitive running costs, strong residual values and fuel efficient engines.’

Article source: www.volkswagen.co.uk

New gear box makes Volkswgaen up! The automatic choice in the city

The award-winning Volkswagen up! now really is the automatic choice in the city car sector, thanks to the addition of a new automated manual gearbox (ASG) which is available to order now.

Costing just £595, the automatic gearbox is available on both three- and five-door Move up! and High up! models (excluding BlueMotion Technology versions). As well as being cost-effective, the new five-speed ASG gearbox is extremely efficient, with improved fuel economy and lower CO2 emissions when compared with its manual counterpart.

The ASG is an automated version of the five-speed manual gearbox in the up!. The driver simply uses the gear lever to select D (Drive), N (Neutral) or R (Reverse) (there is no P (Park)) and the gearbox switches to the optimum gear for the situation. The gear shift points have been calculated to help achieve maximum fuel efficiency, depending on road profile and throttle position. The driver can also change up or down manually using the gear lever. Steering wheel paddle shift is not available on the up!.

The new gearbox is space-efficient, with the activation systems taking up a minimum of room, and has also been optimised to be as light as possible: at around 30 kg, it weighs just three kilograms more than the manual version. Two electromechanical actuators are positioned directly on the gearbox, and control the gate selection and engage or disengage the gears. A further electric motor is used to control the clutch.

The simplicity of the ASG gearbox makes it more efficient than a torque-converter automatic gearbox, while the lower costs make it more appropriate for a great value city car than Volkswagen’s sophisticated DSG gearbox.

The up! with ASG is available to order now, with deliveries to customers expected to start in October. A fully electric version of the up! will join the range in late 2013.

The up! is the World Car of the Year 2012, What Car? Car of the Year for 2012, and has also been named TopGear magazine’s Small Car of the Year.

Article source: www.volkswagen.co.uk

The new Volkswagen Passat Alltrack: rugged and ready to order

With its raised ride height, 4MOTION four-wheel drive and rugged body enhancements, the new Passat Alltrack has everything you need to venture off the beaten track; but customers need venture no further than their local Volkswagen Retailer to order one, ahead of the first cars arriving in showrooms in the UK on 28 May.

Based on the popular and versatile Passat Estate, the Passat Alltrack’s 4MOTION four-wheel drive and raised ride height give it greater agility off-road, while body enhancements provide some protection from scrapes when covering rough terrain.  These features endow the Passat Alltrack with the practicality of an estate car and much of the versatility of a conventional SUV, while a high standard specification level adds more than a touch of luxury.

Just one trim level is available in the UK, with a choice of two drivetrains: a 2.0-litre TDI 140 PS with six-speed manual gearbox, priced at £28,475 (RRP OTR), and a 2.0-litre TDI 170 PS with six-speed DSG transmission, priced at £31,025.  Standard equipment includes Alcantara upholstery, 2Zone electronic climate control, RNS 315 touchscreen satellite navigation, DAB radio, MDI iPod connectivity, Bluetooth telephone preparation, cruise control, front and rear parking sensors, tyre pressure monitoring system and 18-inch Canyon alloy wheels.  A Driver Alert System that monitors the driver’s responses to raise awareness of fatigue is also standard, as is ESP (Electronic Stabilisation Programme).

Options include climate seats with massage function; High Beam Assist, which automatically controls dipping of the headlights; Side Scan Lane Change Assist, which monitors the vehicle’s blind spot; Lane Assist; ACC Adaptive Chassis Control; Automatic Distance Control with City Emergency Braking function; Park Assist (second generation); an interior ambient lighting pack; a rear-view camera; and an electrically deployed towbar.

The Passat Alltrack has a generous towing capacity of 2,000 kg (braked, 12 per cent incline), 200 kg more than an equivalent Passat Estate.

Article source: www.volkswagen.co.uk