Autonomous Vehicles - Introduction to the Special Theme
by Erwin Schoitsch (AIT)
Highly automated and autonomous systems are currently a key issue in many application domains: automotive, transport in general (railways, metro-lines, aircraft, space, ships), industrial automation, health care, cooperating mobile robots and related machines (e.g., fork lifts, off-road construction engines, smart farming, mining, all kind of drones and robots for surveillance, rescue, emergency services, maintenance). Highly automated and autonomous systems play an important role in the ‘digital transformation’ - the strategic and disruptive evolution towards a ‘digital society’, which is the key focus of European Research in Horizon 2020. This is depicted in Figure 1, which is taken from an official presentation of DG CONNECT at various events.