Inside Stanford’s Volkswagen Automotive Innovation Lab


We are standing right at the beginning
of a revolution that is going to radically change everything about
transportation. Change the way that we move, the way that we get goods and
services and who has access. This is a space on campus where students can take
the ideas that they have in their head that can shape the future of
transportation and turn those ideas in a reality by actually putting them to work
on some of our test vehicles. This is Trudi. Trudi has a whole host of sensors
that we can use to sense the environment and the idea is to understand how
automated vehicles can interact safely with pedestrians and other road users. This is Shelley. Shelley is a
self-driving racecar. Shelley’s nearing retirement now but over her racing
career she has managed to achieve a faster lap time than even a champion
amateur racecar driver. One of the big challenges with automated
vehicles is that it’s hard to bound the problem. So if you think about all the
crazy things that you’ve ever seen on the road, somehow we have to have the car
able to handle those and there’s no way to come up with a list of every
single possibility. This is X1. X1 is a lot of fun because each of the four
wheels steers independently and you can actually go out and watch each of the
wheels turning and simulating the motion that we want. This is Sunday the latest edition
of solar cars built by the Stanford Solar Car Project. As you may be able to
tell it’s the smaller members of the team who actually do the driving. Underscoring all of our research is really the question of how do we make
cars safer. So these are simulator stations that can be used to test out
some preliminary ideas and this is our main driving simulator so we can do a
variety of experiments here that we wouldn’t want to do on the real road. Done properly this is going to be a huge revolution I think it’s going to change
every industry in the next 10 to 20 years I think if we have the will to do
that.