Volkswagen’s system is called Temporary Auto Pilot (TAP) and uses a series of cameras and sensors to control the vehicle at speeds upwards of 80 mph. The system combines and refines existing semiautonomous features such as lane-keep assist and adaptive cruise control into a single program that accelerates, brakes and steers. It differs from previous VW autonomous vehicles such as Stanley, famous for its role in the DARPA Challenge, in that it still requires driver supervision and made of mostly production-ready components.
“What we have achieved today is an important milestone on the path towards accident-free driving,” said Volkswagen Group research president Dr. Jürgen Leohold. When engaged, TAP signals the vehicle to maintain a speed consistent with traffic and speed limits, while steering within lane markers and braking as needed.