During the annual EUCAR conference 2011 (November 8 to 9), hosted on the premises of Autoworld Brussels, Volkswagen presented one of the interactIVe demonstrator vehicles to Siim Kallas, Vice President of the European Commission.
Prof. Dr. Jürgen Leohold, head of Volkswagen Group Research and a member of the EUCAR Council, stated that “Volkswagen sees the project as an important contribution to further reduce fatalities and injuries on the roads. The stated corporate goal is to improve the systems for accident avoidance and severity reduction in the smaller vehicle classes. Thus, the Volkswagen Group assumes its responsibilities in contributing to the democratization of vehicle safety.”
As an extension of the emergency braking systems Volkswagen develops in interactIVe a system for accident mitigation, with the additional possibility of a steering intervention. This steering action intends to minimize the consequences of an accident when the driver can no longer act to avoid it.
In addition to reducing the collision speed it also improves compatibility with the collision opponents. A major challenge is the consideration of collision scenarios that go beyond rear-end collisions. Accidents with oncoming traffic and cross traffic are considered.
In a high accident risk situation, the driver is first warned of an impending collision to facilitate a human response to avoid the collision. If this response fails to materialize and the collision becomes unavoidable, the system decides, based on a variety of parameters, on a damage-minimizing trigger strategy to control steering and brakes a few hundred milliseconds before impact.