Estonian first self-driving car made it’s first autonomous ride with VIP passengers

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20. September we had our first official autonomous driving which was great success!

Demo drive took place in the university campus by bringing two main presenters in the TalTech anniversary Vision Conference.

Our first official passengers were TalTech rector Jaak Aaviksoo and Vice-President of the European Investment Bank, former Finnish prime minister, Alexander Stubb. It was first ever autonomous driving experience for good Estonian friend Alexander Stubb and second ride for our rector, who had a test ride a day before.

They made one stop during their ride, where the rector introduced our new amphitheater, which was opened last week, then  the ride continued by bringing the passengers to the university to open the TalTech Digital vision conference.

Thanks to our excellent team and we will enter now into new stage of development.

 

Full video of the ride

 

Shorter promo video

In detail of the development process, a journal paper can be read

For more papers follow my contributions in https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Raivo_Sell

Thanks to Silberauto and TalTech doctor of honor Väino Kaldoja, our industrial partner of the project.

 

Demonstration of the self-driving car in Paide Opinion Festival

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Estonian’s first self-driving vehicle, which project started one year ago from now, was demonstrated on 10th of August in Paide Opinion Festival. Discussions were about the process so far and what are the next stages, including further development on the prototype and building TUT smart city.

More reading, interviews with the team and videos can be found in media section.

Controller software development

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Controller hardware and software development team has been in the self-driving car project from the beginning. We started with 2-3 persons in the team that has been growing to 7-persons team already. Our main objective is to develop a low level controller software, that includes taking over all main car driving signals, refine them if necessary, or develop from the scratch. Thereby we must assure that driving would be smooth and safe. Therefore part of our team is working on development of car kinematics simulation environment that helps us to develop driving algorithms more efficiently. As low level software must be reliable in every aspect then one dedicated person is working on software testing. We are also connecting pipe between the high level software team and electronics team because car must react immediately to all upper layer commands.

Outdoor tests have been started

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Starting from the end of January outdoor test have been started. First tests are done with the robot platform UKU made by our students already 10 years ago. The robot UKU is now reconfigured and upgraded to meet our self-driving car project requirements. Now in February we have good opportunity to test our systems also in winter conditions, specially in snow and minus degrees.

See short video here