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Skoda tests ‘Follow the Vehicle’ project where a person can drive two cars at a time –

As part of ‘Follow the Vehicle’ project, Skoda and Technical University of Ostrava are collaborating on new technologies for assistance systems, aiming to have autonomous cars following a manned lead vehicle.

Currently, two correspondingly configured Skoda SUPERBs iVs are undergoing test drives on Technical University of Ostrava’s campus, said the automaker in its report.

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“Follow the Vehicle’ showcases our current assistance systems’ high technical standard and impressively illustrates the opportunities these systems are capable of unlocking, when combined with other relevant technologies in the field of autonomous driving,” Škoda Auto Board Member for Technical Development Christian Strube said.

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“The project also allows us to commit to our role as a promoter of technical education in the Czech Republic. We are delighted to be working with students and researchers from the VŠB – Technical University of Ostrava, who – with their ideas, expertise and devotion – are instrumental to the project,” he added.

Skoda claims that ‘Follow the Vehicle’ project is ‘two cars, one driver’. “The lead vehicle is driven by a human, determining route, speed, lane, and other parameters. Data required for steering input, acceleration, and braking is transmitted to the autonomous car by radio, which follows the lead vehicle at a distance of up to ten metres,” the firm said.

Among other details, the firm said that before the start of the journey, both vehicles are provided with a digital code.

Speaking about the specifications, Skoda said the vehicles are equipped with state-of-the-art technology in the fields of smart city and intelligent transport systems. Data is exchanged via ETSI ITS-G5, the standard for vehicular communication, and the 4G, LTE and 5G mobile networks, it added.

“Standard factory –installed as well as special sensors, radar- and camera-based systems and a specially fitted communication unit for data processing allow the SUPERB iVs to identify images and 3D objects. They read a variety of different data, such as the vehicle’s current location and driving-related parameters. The system monitors the car’s surroundings and current traffic in real time,” Skoda said.