Spirit of Berlin

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Spirit of Berlin

Spirit of Berlin was a driverless car developed by the Freie Universität Berlin, Germany.[1][2]

The autonomous vehicle project by Freie Universität Berlin was initiated in 2007 with the participation in the DARPA Urban Challenge as Team Berlin, a joint team by the Freie Universität Berlin, Rice University, Fraunhofer Gesellschaft (IAIS), and industrial partners (Micro-Epsilon, Berlin Sciences, IBM Germany, IBEO). The participating vehicle Spirit of Berlin was a 2000 Dodge Caravan, retrofitted to be controlled autonomously by a computer. It finished the DARPA Urban Challenge as one of the semifinalists and demonstrated safe unmanned driving in urban traffic.

Spirit of Berlin has a modular sensor setup with most of its sensors mounted on top of the car on a flexible rack. Obstacle processing is done by a combination of Velodyne HDL-64E, Ibeo Alasca XT, Sick LMS, and stereo camera systems. In addition, the car localizes itself with an Applanix GPS/INS unit and RTK correction signals.

After the Urban Challenge the focus shifted to driving in heavy traffic in crowded city environments like Berlin, Germany, itself. Spirit of Berlin handled intercity traffic, traffic lights and roundabouts between International Congress Centrum and Brandenburg Gate. It was the first car licensed for autonomous driving on the streets and highways in the Germany and financed by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.[3]

Spirit of Berlin was also a test vehicle for semi-autonomous control, being remote controlled with an iPhone or iPad app,[4][5] an eye tracking system [6] or a Brain–computer interface.[7] This allowed a half automated mode to be used for handicapped people to participate in normal traffic.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Spirit of Berlin: An Autonomous Car for the DARPA Urban Challenge Hardware and Software Architecture". Freie Universität Berlin. 1 June 2007. CiteSeerX {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  2. ^ AutoNOMOS. "AutoNOMOS Berlin Team". AutoNOMOS. Retrieved 13 January 2014.
  3. ^ Freie Universität Berlin (17 September 2011). "Brandenburg Gate Mission Accomplished - Autonomous Car Navigates the Streets of Berlin". Freie Universität Berlin. Retrieved 13 January 2014.
  4. ^ Miao Wang (March 2010). "Remote controlling an autonomous with an iPhone" (PDF). Freie Universität Berlin. Retrieved 13 January 2014.
  5. ^ Arturo Reuschenbach; Miao Wang; Tinosch Ganjineh; Daniel Gohring (11 April 2011). "Human Machine Interface for Autonomous Cars". Freie Universität Berlin. Retrieved 13 January 2014.
  6. ^ Miao Wang; David Latotzky (March 2010). "Driving an autonomous car with eye tracking" (PDF). Freie Universität Berlin. Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 January 2014. Retrieved 13 January 2014.
  7. ^ "Thought-controlled car demonstrated". gizmag.com. Retrieved 17 January 2014.