Volkswagen is using its research subsidies wisely.

The German automaker is working on a system called Temporary Auto Pilot (TAP) which can semi-automatically drive a car on its own under limited conditions.

TAP works by combining other functions like ACC adaptive cruise control and Lane Assist (which helps keep the car within a lane) into an integrated system. Always monitored by the driver, and always leaving her/him the ability to override the system when needed, TAP can drive a car 'semi-automatically' at speeds of up to 130 km/h (81 mph) on a highway.

The system was developed by VW as part of the EU funded R&D project HAVEit ("Highly Automated Vehicles for Intelligent Transport") where the TAP system was presented as a complete project.

Said Volkswagen's Executive Director for Research, Prof. Dr. Jürgen Leohold:

"[This is] an important milestone on the path towards fully automatic and accident-free driving."

Sounds great. Hey, how about an onboard toilet?

Gallery: Volkswagen's Temporary Auto Pilot makes for a self-driving car

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