At the concert of the “Digital-Greats“ once again – UniTyLab presents the BMBF-Project with autonomous driving at the CeBIT 2018

At the concert of the “Digital-Greats“ once again – UniTyLab presents the BMBF-Project with autonomous driving at the CeBIT 2018

CeBIT 2018 with new concepts

The eagerly awaited new CeBIT concept once again attracted numerous interested visitors to Hanover this year. The trade fair for digital trend themes in 2018 was a mix of an expo, conference and a networking event. Over 2800 participating exhibitors, around 120,000 visitors and numerous speakers on 10 stages in all received exciting insights into the trend topics artificial intelligence, robotics, VR and AR as well as future mobility or security during the five-day event.

UniTyLab displays BMBF-Project KoFFI

After the successful CeBIT premiere of UniTylab from Heilbronn University last year, the anticipation of a renewed presence in Hanover was already very high among the participants in the run-up to the event.  At the joint stand of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the experts from Human-Technology Interaction demonstrated their BMBF-funded ‚KoFFI‘ project. The ambitious research project on ‚Autonomous driving and driver-vehicle interaction‘ aims to improve future cooperation between humans and highly automated vehicles and to strengthen confidence in technology in the long term. A currently controversially is discussed topic with great potential.


At the exhibitor stand in Hall 27, however, the theoretical exchange on ‚Future Mobility‘ and the KoFFI project did not stop there. The driving simulator was in the luggage and was the eye-catcher of the stand. Numerous trade fair visitors wanted to experience how it feels to be in a potential vehicle of the future. „Just letting go of the steering wheel and trusting the technology is a big challenge for most participants – and then in these weather conditions,“ reports Long Pham, a researcher at UniTyLabs responsible for the Virtual Reality driving simulator in the KoFFI project. The demo of the driving simulator, which was specially completed for the CeBIT appearance, puts the driver in a fog scenario in which the vehicle decides to overtake other vehicles on the track in poor visibility conditions. How do visitors react in the cockpit? What feelings are they expressing? „The reactions are very different. But that’s also exciting because the direct feedback from the participants is definitely of interest for further research project,“ Pham continues.

Minister Karliczek tests the driving simulator at the joint stand

In addition to technically oriented school groups and representatives from the industry and research, who all wanted to feel like passive drivers, one participant, in particular, showed great interest in the research project and the driving simulator: The federal minister for education and research, Anja Karliczek, extensively informed herself about KoFFI at the joint stand and naturally wanted to get behind the wheel. The most prominent visitor felt visibly at home there. “The minister was delighted with the simulation in the fog and the technical possibilities in virtual reality. She didn’t want to get out of the cockpit at all.” said Professor Doctor-Engineer Gerrit Meixner, managing director of UniTyLab, with a smile on his face and once again has a very positive summary of CeBIT: „Together with our colleagues from the BMBF, we made the best possible use of the opportunity here in Hannover to present our promising research projects to a broad public, a specialist audience and Federal Minister Karliczek. In addition, as a research institute, we have made good contacts and played an excellent role in the concert of the digital greats“.

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