The ‘V-Charge’ research project has won the Auto Bild / Computer Bild 2015 Connected Car Award. Participants in the ‘V-Charge’ project in addition to Volkswagen Group Research are the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich, the Technical University of Braunschweig, Robert Bosch GmbH, the University of Parma and Oxford University. The award was presented to Dr. Volkmar Tanneberger, Volkswagen Brand Head of Electrical and Electronic Development and Prof. Dr. Thomas Form, Volkswagen Group Research Head of Electronic and Vehicle Research, representing all the partners, at CES in Las Vegas.
‘V-Charge’ stands for Valet Charge and is pointing the way to the intelligent future of automated parking and electric vehicle charging.
In the USA especially valet parking is very popular: at your destination you hand your car over to a valet, who parks it for you. If required, the valet also brings it round later and hands it back to you. There’s no time-wasting search for somewhere to park.
The ‘V-Charge’ project picks up on this idea, focusing on automated searching for a parking space and charging of the electric vehicle. The really clever feature being that the vehicle automatically looks for a vacant parking space that has the necessary charging infrastructure and inductively charges its battery. Once the charging process is finished, it frees up the charging bay for another electric vehicle and looks of its own accord for a conventional parking space. Pedestrians, cyclists and other vehicles get recognized by the cameras and ultrasound sensors integrated within the vehicle, allowing it to move about in ‘mixed mode traffic’.
The Connected Car Award covers all aspects of automotive connectivity and has been awarded by Auto Bild and Computer Bild since 2013. Experts from both magazines had pre-selected a shortlist, from which the readers were able to determine their favorites in nine categories via online voting.