AutoDiana: Seat's autonomous car

Diana: Seat's autonomous car

The future of the automotive industry seems to move the human being away from the controls of the steering wheel, giving prominence to calculations and connectivity. The advance of 5G seems key to the long-awaited autonomous driving, the one that allows us to travel without having to be aware of the road and the rest of its users. Legislation is, today, the most complicated challenge for European firms. Something different is happening in the United States, where some states have some scope for testing and trials with autonomous cars. Hence, Tesla’s technology is the most advanced, for now. Seat does not want to leave the piece of the cake to others and, with the collaboration of the Galician Automotive Technological Center (CTAG), it has launched the Diana pilot project. This study will test features that can anticipate Advanced Driving Assistance Systems (ADAS) and we have started to see their first steps.

Before we introduce the vehicle that will serve to put all these advances to the test, we will talk about autonomous driving. Perhaps the technology for the car to go alone, with the appearance of 5G in our lives, is already a reality. However, there are many previous steps that must be fulfilled before letting ourselves be carried away by a machine with four wheels. With the intention of marking this path, there are six levels of autonomy (valued from 0 to 5) of the vehicle classified according to the Advanced Driving Assistance Systems and their partial or total intervention. As Seat explains:

  • There is no automation , the driver controls all the functions of the car and does not have ADAS to intervene in their safety.
  • It has some assistance functionalities , such as power steering or cruise control, but it is the driver who decides whether or not to use these ADAS.
  • The driver continues to control the driving, but the aids can regulate key details such as direction or speed under the supervision of the driver. An example would be emergency braking or lane keep assist.
  • The ADAS system controls all the dynamic aspects of driving (direction, speed and environment) but with vigilance . The driver no longer has to intervene, and the vehicle is able to overcome any incident, but the human must be prepared to act in case of danger. The Seat Diana project is located in this stadium.
  • It is the next step, in which the vehicle is able to perform its functions autonomously in all circumstances. The driver no longer has to be on the lookout and can do other things along the way.
  • Complete automation , the driver stops being a driver and even starts to be picked up by the vehicle itself almost as if it were an individual meter.

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