ALFRIED Visited by Politicians

Wednesday, 06 September 2023 15:44

Baden-Württemberg's Minister of Transport, Winfried Hermann, and Green Party state politician, Dorothea Wehinger, made acquaintance with ALFRIED on Tuesday (September 5) – first on the company premises of ETO GRUPPE in Stockach and then at the RITZ, the regional center for innovation and technology transfer, of IWT Wirtschaft und Technik in Friedrichshafen. 

The acronym ALFRIED stands for "Automated and Connected Driving in Logistics at the Friedrichshafen Test Field" and refers to an innovative, federally funded traffic infrastructure project which ETO GRUPPE is leading as project manager. In the process, intelligent sensors and measuring stations in the form of road marker posts are being installed in Friedrichshafen, where the volume of traffic is being documented. The aim is to direct traffic flows autonomously or in a mixed mode.

Together with the ALFRIED project manager, Dr. Walter Naumann, Baden-Württemberg's Transport Minister, Winfried Hermann, and Green Party politician, Dorothea Wehinger (member of state parliament), completed several test laps on a specially designed course at ETO in a Volkswagen Golf which had been prepared correspondingly. As a precursor to assisted and autonomous driving, the vehicle has been equipped with technology which communicates with intelligent delineators at the ETO test site and shows the driver and passengers the racing line between the virtual delineators.

In future, road marker posts and delineators equipped with this innovative sensor and radio technology could become part of a large-scale network that monitors traffic, weather and road conditions. They would then continuously supply corresponding sensor data to the vehicles participating in the traffic, a control center and the road maintenance departments. In this way, impending traffic jams can be counteracted before they occur. Rear-end collisions in front of construction or accident sites can be avoided and road users can be warned in good time of black ice or glazed frost. Transport Minister Hermann was enthusiastic and convinced. So he said during the visit as part of his summer tour: "This technology could make traffic in Baden-Württemberg and beyond not only far safer and smoother than before, but also more environmentally friendly."

In addition to a tour of the production and training area and the successful test drive on the ALFRIED course on the ETO company premises, Transport Minister Hermann and Dorothea Wehinger were introduced to the ETO product portfolio in the existing market segments, as well as to some of the promising new developments with which ETO is becoming a software developer and Web3 pioneer.

Intelligently networked, software-supported and sensor-based ETO products form the next generation of innovative developments. In the view of ETO CEO Dr. Michael Schwabe, new generations of smart products will make an important contribution to keeping the company future-proof and permanently competitive on the road to success: "We've seen the transformation as an opportunity from the very beginning." That's why ETO has been working intensively on Web3 applications and has launched its own developments. Diversification based on innovative platform technologies is elementary for ETO in the transformation.

Winfried Hermann was visibly impressed by so much creative and innovative power: "Some automotive companies are having a hard time dealing with the challenges posed to them by digitalization, climate change and the end of the combustion engine. ETO GRUPPE is already well advanced here and shows how important a consistent transformation strategy is," the minister summed up. 

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(Back row, f. l. t. r.) ALFRIED Project Manager Dr. Walter Naumann, Division Manager Digital Products & Services Benjamin Bönisch, CEO Dr. Michael Schwabe (all ETO), (Front row, f. l. t. r.) Dorothea Wehinger MdL Green Party Member of the State Parliament for the constituency of Singen and Minister of Transport Winfried Hermann next to a test vehicle for the ALFRIED transport infrastructure project.

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(Back row, f. l. t. r.) ALFRIED Project Manager Dr. Walter Naumann and Division Manager Digital Products & Services Benjamin Bönisch (both ETO), (Front row, f. l. t. r.) Green Party Member of the State Parliament Dorothea Wehinger MdL in conversation with ETO CEO Dr. Michael Schwabe and Baden-Württemberg's Minister of Transport Winfried Hermann next to a test vehicle for the ALFRIED transport infrastructure project.

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(f. r. t. l.) ETO CEO Dr. Michael Schwabe shows Dorothea Wehinger MdL, member of the state parliament for the Greens, and Winfried Hermann, minister of transport for Baden-Württemberg, and the highly automated production of the ETO GROUP in Stockach.






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