Lower Saxony, whose economy is closely linked with the automotive industry, continues to be a driving force in innovation and now wants to officially clear selected stretches of road for experiments with driverless vehicles.
A 280-km route in the Hanover-Wolfsburg/Braunschweig-Salzgitter region is to be set aside as the "Lower Saxony test field" , on which plans are afoot to test the automated and connected driving technologies made-in-Lower Saxony – after all, the automotive industry, which coordinates its activities locally in the ITS automotive nord network, is the federal state’s largest employer . As stated in the pertinent announcement, work on setting up the test field, which will incorporate parts of the A2, A7, A39, A391, B3, B6, and B243 roads, as well as parts of downtown Braunschweig, is due to start this year.
Lower Saxony’s research partner for this project is the German Aerospace Center (DLR). On March 7, DLR Director Karsten Lemmer and Minister of Economic Affairs, Labor, and Transport for the Federal State of Lower Saxony Olaf Lies signed a "Memorandum of Understanding". The federal state has secured a competent partner in the DLR: As far back as mid 2014, the Braunschweig-based research center launched its Application Platform for Intelligent Mobility (AIM). The research facility already has a research intersection, a reference route equipped with cognitive computing communication technology, a series of driving simulators, and additional systems and test stations.