Major Slovenian players to jointly explore autonomous driving solutions
Ljubljana, 3 April - A major step was taken in Ljubljana on Tuesday towards forming a joint Slovenian ecosystem for the development of solutions for autonomous vehicles. The project includes turning the 11 km of roads in the Ljubljana BTC shopping district into a testing ground.
The district's operator BTC, its project company AV Living Lab, motorway company DARS and national auto club AMZS have signed an agreement on planned cooperation.
The project has also been backed by the Infrastructure Ministry, which hopes to also secure EU funding along with the funds provided by BTC.
BTC CEO Jože Mermal hailed the joining of forces, explaining AV Living Lab will serve above all as a testing ground for urban driving.
AV Living Lab head Daniel Avdagič said the testing of autonomous vehicles began in simulators and continued at testing grounds. It then expands to motorways and only at the end to urban areas.
The motorway segment DARS's domain. The company's Božidar Volk explained that the introduction of new cooperative transport system technologies had begun and that communication between infrastructure and cars included in the pilot project is already expected on the Postojna-Divača motorway segment next year.
DARS plans to provide road and other infrastructure for testing. "This is about the exchange of knowledge, which may also bring a breakthrough internationally," Volk said.
AMZS secretary general France Kmetič highlighted the issue of safety, saying the club had already performed a number of tests to identify the pros and cons of various autonomous driving systems.
"We're not pretending that autonomous vehicles are self-evident. A number of questions are arising, including legal and ethical issues," he noted.