FME introduced prototype of autonomous vehicle

A team of experts led by associate professor Ľuboš Magdolen from the STU Faculty of Mechanical Engineering is developing technologies for autonomous cars. We had the opportunity to see and “experience” the test vehicle in Orechová Potôn at the Slovakia Ring circuit, where it was shown to invited guests on Monday, June 29, 2020, including the Minister of Transport Andrej Doležal.

Goal: testing of autonomous technologies
The Faculty of Engineering of STU together with Siemens, Mobility & Innovation and SLOVAKIA RING AGENCY signed a memorandum of cooperation on the same day; they will collaborate on research and development of intelligent autonomous vehicles, alternative drives and progressive constructions of means of transport. In the memorandum, they declare the goal of building a joint modern research and development workplace for smart mobility with transnational significance in Slovakia. The memorandum is the result of a successful project of integration of autonomous technologies into an electric car called SimRod, which took place in the past months at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering of STU in Bratislava in cooperation with Siemens. The intention was to enrich the vehicle with autonomous technologies and test how it will behave when driving without a driver in selected scenarios from real life. The functionality of the autonomous technologies, which were integrated into the SimRod electric car with the help of the SimCenter software from Siemens, by a team from the Faculty of Engineering at STU, was demonstrated at the Slovakia Ring motoring complex.

STU initiative, Siemens, Mobility & Innovation and SLOVAKIA RING AGENCY, s.r.o. dealing together with research and development in the field of intelligent mobility is in line with the efforts of the Government of the Slovak Republic, which in the program statement declared an effort to support science, research and innovation, as well as an ambition to move the country towards a knowledge-based economy. “Today, more than at any time in the past, the future of Slovakia depends on how we can move from industrial production to economic activities with higher added value and how we will be able to educate and maintain talented people. Our cooperation on the development of an autonomous vehicle and the effort to establish a development center for intelligent autonomous technologies responds to both of these needs – it supports the shift to a knowledge-based economy and creates conditions so that our talented people do not go abroad,” said Vladimír Slezák, CEO of Siemens s.r.o.

Experts from three STU faculties collaborated on the development
For the STU Faculty of Engineering, the project of integrating autonomous technologies into the SimRod electric car and the subsequent collaboration on the development of intelligent vehicles is an opportunity to improve the education of students, who can thus gain practical experience, including working with cutting-edge software for simulations and the creation of so-called digital twins. “The door is also opening for us to establish cooperation with other industrial enterprises that are interested in research and development,” said Dr.h.c. prof. Ing. Ľubomír Šooš, PhD. , dean of the Engineering Faculty of STU.

The project has a broad interdisciplinary dimension, in addition to engineers, computer scientists from the Faculty of Informatics and Information Technologies of STU and experts from the Faculty of Civil Engineering of STU participate in the development.

The intention of the joint project of STU, Siemens, Mobility & Innovation and SLOVAKIA RING AGENCY, s.r.o. is not to compete with tech giants like Google or Tesla. “We want to find partial topics that could also be implemented in Slovakia within the possibilities offered by our industry,” said doc. Ing. Ľuboš Magdolen, CSc., head of the Department of Automobiles, Ships and Internal Combustion Engines at the Institute of Transport Technology and Design at SjF STU, who led the team for the integration of autonomous technologies into the SimRod electric car.

“The goal of the project is not so much to build an autonomous car as to provide space, either physically or virtually, for the teams that deal with it,” Vladimír Slezák from Siemens specified the ambitions of the project.

Original text in slovak language: