Volkswagen displays driverless system "Temporary Auto Pilot"

German auto maker Volkswagen on Thursday displayed its breakthrough Temporary Auto Pilot system, which drives a car semi-automatically up to a speed of 80 mph.

The system bundles semi-automatic functions, such as adaptive cruise control and lane-departure warning, into one function, all under the driver's supervision, Volkswagen automaker said.

"TAP offers the driver an optimal degree of automation as a function of the driving situation, acquisition of the surroundings and driver and system states," VW said in a statement.

The new system was unveiled at the final presentation of the EU-funded research project HAVEit (highly automated vehicles for intelligent transport).

Describing the Temporary Auto Pilot as ''An important milestone on the path towards fully automatic and accident-free driving,'' Prof Dr Jürgen Leohold, executive director Volkswagen Group Research, said, ''Nonetheless, the driver always retains driving responsibility and is always in control,'' continues Leohold. ''The driver can override or deactivate the system at any time and must continually monitor it.''

According to VW, TAP is intended to prevent accidents due to driving errors by an inattentive, distracted driver. In the semi- automatic driving mode – referred to as pilot mode, for short – TAP maintains a safe distance to the vehicle ahead, drives at a speed selected by the driver, reduces this speed as necessary before a bend, and maintains the vehicle's central position with respect to lane markers.