Volkswagen’s electric self-driving cars are hitting the streets of Hamburg

Anyone who truly cares about the environment probably shudders a little at the mention of Volkswagen. Nonetheless, Volkswagen has a goal of making automated driving a practical reality by 2025, and is hustling to make that happen. The German Automaker is now testing self-driving versions of its e-Golf in real-world conditions in Hamburg—marking the first time its driverless vehicles have roamed a major German city. They’re Level 4 vehicles (fully autonomous in most situations) that will putt around a roughly 1.9-mile section of a “digital test bed,” but they’ll have to contend with urban traffic like anyone else.

The cars will be loaded to the hilt with sensors, including 14 (!) cameras, 11 laser scanners, and seven radars, not to mention enough computing to rival “15 laptops.” This is still early tech, then, although it will ensure that the car isn’t caught off-guard by pedestrians or less-than-courteous cars. From these Hamburg tests, Volkswagen plans to integrate the lessons learned into “customer-centric services,” so you could see this used in everything from future ride-hailing services to cars you can buy yourself. 

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Volkswagen’s electric self-driving cars are hitting the streets of Hamburg

Anyone who truly cares about the environment probably shudders a little at the mention of Volkswagen. Nonetheless, Volkswagen has a goal of making automated driving a practical reality by 2025, and is hustling to make that happen. The German Automaker is now testing self-driving versions of its e-Golf in real-world conditions in Hamburg—marking the first time its driverless vehicles have roamed a major German city. They’re Level 4 vehicles (fully autonomous in most situations) that will putt around a roughly 1.9-mile section of a “digital test bed,” but they’ll have to contend with urban traffic like anyone else.

The cars will be loaded to the hilt with sensors, including 14 (!) cameras, 11 laser scanners, and seven radars, not to mention enough computing to rival “15 laptops.” This is still early tech, then, although it will ensure that the car isn’t caught off-guard by pedestrians or less-than-courteous cars. From these Hamburg tests, Volkswagen plans to integrate the lessons learned into “customer-centric services,” so you could see this used in everything from future ride-hailing services to cars you can buy yourself. 

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