Date posted 22 September 2020
Release date 18 September 2020
Research project to develop attention and activity assistant for automated driving
Trucks are the mainstay of logistics. In Germany, three quarters of all goods are transported by road. Time pressure, long working hours, and monotonous convoys are part and parcel of the truck driver’s everyday routine. If the driver is distracted, overtired, or reacts too slowly, the consequences can be disastrous. Automated driving functions are key to avoiding accidents and dangerous situations. They alert drivers and support them in critical situations, and are increasingly in a position to assume monotonous and fatiguing tasks. At the same time, people remain irreplaceable even at subsequent levels of automation: they must be able to take control if necessary. What is the ideal way to coordinate the interaction between vehicle and driver? This was the focus of the TANGO project over the past three and a half years. TANGO stands for “Technologie für automatisiertes Fahren, die nutzergerecht optimiert wird” in German. Its English equivalent is “Technology for automated driving, optimized to the benefit of the user.”
The project focused on partially and conditionally automated driving (SAE Levels 2 and 3). It produced a prototype for an “attention and activity assistant” – a virtual companion that keeps the driver alert, counteracts fatigue, and makes driving as pleasant as possible. In addition to Bosch, which acted as consortium leader, the project’s other participants were Volkswagen, MAN Truck & Bus, University of Stuttgart, Hochschule der Medien, Spiegel Institut, and CanControls. TANGO was funded with a grant of some five million euros from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi).