In a world first, the Valeo Cruise4U autonomous vehicle is setting off on a road trip through the European heartland. The five-week trip will see Valeo Cruise4U drive nearly 13,000 kilometers around Europe, building on the success of a series of recent journeys, around France less than a year ago, the United States last summer and 24H on the Paris beltway just one month ago.
The road trip will involve driving in automated mode through the major metropolitan centers in Western Europe, from the United Kingdom in the north to southern Spain. Once activated by the driver, the automated driving system designed and developed by Valeo will take over the vehicle's steering, acceleration and braking in real traffic conditions.
Valeo Cruise4U kicked off its journey in the United Kingdom, where it travelled from Edinburgh to Plymouth. It will now continue its expedition on the European mainland, crossing through Germany (including Berlin, Karlsruhe and Munich), the Netherlands (making a detour via Amsterdam), the Czech Republic (stopping off in Prague), France and Spain, where it will turn go as far as Seville before heading back to Paris.
The road trip will be an extraordinary technological feat. To drive incident free through six countries in automated mode, the vehicle will have to adapt to different traffic symbols and surroundings, a huge variety of weather conditions and highly diverse driving styles.
The journey will also offer a unique opportunity to observe the software's incredible ability to make sense of the vehicle's environment in real-world conditions and to test such Valeo-developed autonomy features as Traffic Jam Chauffeur and Highway Chauffeur, which allow the vehicle to take over the task of driving in specific situations. The European road trip will therefore provide a chance to fine-tune the latest settings and help make autonomated driving a future mobility solution accessible to all.
Valeo Cruise4U's capacity to adapt to a broad spectrum of changing conditions is the result of a unique combination of a Valeo camera, a host of radar and laser scanner technologies (of which Valeo is the unique automotive supplier to master the technology and which are installed around the vehicle to form a "cocoon" capable of detecting obstacles at distances of between 10 centimeters to more than 200 meters) and smart software that processes all incoming information in real time and uses it to adjust the vehicle's driving. This data is then saved to enable the software to further improve its performance.
With this European road trip, Valeo, the leader in the driving assistance systems market and designer of Valeo Cruise4U technology, is taking another step toward making automated driving available to everyone.
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Valeo is an automotive supplier, partner to all automakers worldwide. As a technology company, Valeo proposes innovative products and systems that contribute to the reduction of CO2 emissions and to the development of intuitive driving. In 2015, the Group generated sales of 14.5 billion euros and invested over 10% of its original equipment sales in research and development. Valeo has 148 plants, 19 research centers, 35 development centers and 15 distribution platforms, and employs 88,800 people in 32 countries worldwide. Valeo is listed on the Paris stock exchange and is a member of the CAC 40 index. Valeo est coté à la Bourse de Paris et fait partie de l'indice CAC 40.