Eureka Prometheus Project

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The Eureka PROMETHEUS Project (PROgraMme for a European Traffic of Highest Efficiency and Unprecedented Safety, 1987-1995) was the largest R&D project ever in the field of driverless cars. It received 749,000,000 in funding from the EUREKA member states,[1] and defined the state of the art of autonomous vehicles. Numerous universities and car manufacturers participated in this Pan-European project.

The project culminated in a 'Board Members Meeting' (BMM) on 18–20 October 1994 in Paris.[2] Projects demonstrated ('Common European Demonstrators') were:

CED 1 : Vision Enhancement

CED 2-1 : Friction Monitoring and Vehicle Dynamics

CED 2-2 : Lane Keeping Support

CED 2-3 : Visibility Range Monitoring

CED 2-4 : Driver Status Monitoring

CED 3 : Collision Avoidance

CED 4 : Cooperative Driving

CED 5 : Autonomous Intelligent Cruise Control

CED 6 : Automatic Emergency Call

CED 7 : Fleet Management

CED 9 : Dual Mode Route Guidance

CED 10: Travel and Traffic Information Systems

PROMETHEUS profited from the participation of Ernst Dickmanns, the 1980s pioneer of driverless cars, and his team at Bundeswehr Universität München, collaborating with Daimler-Benz. A first culmination point was achieved in 1994, when their twin robot vehicles VaMP and VITA-2 drove more than one thousand kilometers on a Paris multi-lane highway in standard heavy traffic at speeds up to 130 km/h. They demonstrated autonomous driving in free lanes, convoy driving, automatic tracking of other vehicles, and lane changes left and right with autonomous passing of other cars.[citation needed]

The next culmination point was achieved in 1995, when Dickmanns´ re-engineered autonomous S-Class Mercedes-Benz took a 1000-mile trip from Munich in Bavaria to Copenhagen in Denmark and back, using saccadic computer vision and transputers to react in real time. The robot achieved speeds exceeding 175 km/h on the German Autobahn, with a mean time between human interventions of 9 km. In traffic it executed manoeuvres to pass other cars. Despite being a research system without emphasis on long distance reliability, it drove up to 158 km without any human intervention.[3]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "EUREKA Project E!45 PROMETHEUS". EUREKA website. Retrieved 2015-10-31. 
  2. ^ Board Member Meeting Event Guide. PROMETHEUS. 1994. 
  3. ^ "Long distance drive VaMP 1995 (Munich − Odense, Denmark)". Ernst D. Dickmanns. Retrieved 2016-02-13.