Tuesday, 10 January 2017 09:00

Australia is set to play an important role in the development of self-driving cars for Mercedes-Benz.

The brand has said it will fly out a team of crack engineers this year to prepare a new E-Class sedan for capturing data from Australian roads. The team will record information ranging from local behaviour in real-world driving situations to wildlife activity and the varying quality of local roads.

Mercedes-Benz test and validation guru Jochen Haab will lay the groundwork for a survey of Australian roads that will take in thousands of kilometres across several months of driving.

That data, in turn, will inform the behaviour of future autonomous vehicles.

Mercedes-Benz spokesman Jerry Stamoulis says Australia will be taking a part in testing Mercedes-Benz vehicles.

"This will be an ongoing project," he says. "It's an exciting opportunity for us to improve the system now and in the future."

Part of the project will surround the behaviour of Australian wildlife, making sure that the car's collision prevention programs are capable of handling fauna such as kangaroos.

Speaking with Drive at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Mercedes-Benz image expert Marius Cordts says his team will need to teach future models about the size, shape and behaviour of Australian wildlife before cars completely take over driving duties.

"It's definitely something we will add," he says.

"Especially when it comes to kangaroos, for example. If you I want to start the project in Australia then you must add kangaroos to your training database.

Source: www.drive.com.au, 5 January 2017

 

"That's why all this testing is very important - that you know that these things exist, that you collect the data and you train the network to adopt it."

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