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The history of autonomous driving at Volkswagen

Automatically bound for the future
Famous role model: when he hit cinema screens in 1968, Herbie the Love Bug could already do what the developers at Volkswagen are working on today: cope independently in traffic – and take the wheel if necessary.
Prof. Dr Walter Zimdahl: “We had the idea of using a camera as a substitute for the human eye and connecting it to an electric steering system.”
Hands off the wheel: Dr Walter Zimdahl tests the automatic steering in a Golf Mk2. The camera takes over the job of the human eye in this process.
Hands off the wheel again: the Volkswagen Touran was the first model that could park and manoeuvre independently with Park Assist.
The next stage: with the autonomously driving car ‘Caroline’ based on a B6 Passat, the Technical University of Braunschweig demonstrated what is possible with the aid of cameras, lasers and radar in 2008. Unveiled in 2010, its successor ‘Leonie’ was even able to find its way independently through urban traffic.
The self-driving car – or ‘SEDRIC’ for short – from the Volkswagen Group was developed for autonomous driving from the every outset.