Continue driving despite malfunction: How driverless shuttles can get safely from A to B.

Project 3F presents results for automated driving in the low-speed range.

• On course: vehicle can continue driving despite deviations on the specified route and technical failures in the system

• On board: Transport of people and goods tested on test tracks in Renningen and Aachen

• The team: Six partners involved in the publicly funded project

Renningen – Transporting visitors from the tram stop to the exhibition center, supplementing public transport, transporting containers with packages in the logistics center: all of these are possible areas of application for driverless shuttle vehicles. The prerequisite is that they get safely from A to B – in two senses: safe and reliable. This is where the 3F project “Driverless and fault-tolerant vehicles in the low-speed range” started and focused on reliability. “The aim was to develop solutions so that automated shuttle vehicles can travel safely, even if there is a technical malfunction or obstacles suddenly appear,” says Steffen Knoop, project manager in research and advance development at Robert Bosch GmbH.

Specifically, the issue was that in the event of an error, the system would not fail completely, but the vehicle could continue to drive. In addition to Bosch as lead manager, three other companies, a university and a research institution were involved in the project, which was funded by the Federal Ministry of Economics with 4.3 million euros: Finepower GmbH, StreetScooter GmbH, RA Consulting GmbH, FZI Research Center for Information Technology and RWTH Aachen University.

In the project, Finepower was responsible for the development of the two DC/DC-converters for setting up the vehicle electrical system – a central converter from 400V to 48V and the decentralized converters from 48V to 12V.

The complete (German) press release of the leading project partner BOSCH can be found here.

Here you can see the video in which the project framework and the concept of the vehicle is presented.
[Finepower decentralized DC/DC-converter at 1:18]