Interview with Zsolt Szalay, PhD. on the Future of Autonomous Vehicles

Zsolt Szalay, PhD, head of the Department of Automotive Technologies at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics, shared his thoughts on the future of autonomous vehicles and related research in Hungary in an interview with the online magazine

The Role of Autonomous Vehicles in Hungary

Dr. Zsolt Szalay emphasized that autonomous driving technology plays a crucial role in the future of the Hungarian automotive industry. Hungary aims to become not only a vehicle manufacturer but also a hub for vehicle technology development, supported by ZalaZONE testing infrastructure.

University Involvement and Education

Dr. Zsolt Szalay highlighted the significant focus of BME on collaborating with industry players and conducting research in the field of autonomous vehicles. To this end, they launched a master’s program in Autonomous Vehicle Control Engineering, tailored to meet the needs of industry partners.

Technological Developments and Innovation

During the interview, Dr. Zsolt Szalay presented achievements in cooperative environment sensing and autonomous vehicle control at dynamic limits. The latter research enables autonomous drifting, which has a substantial social impact by reducing the number of accidents.

Legal Challenges and Regulation

Dr. Zsolt Szalay also addressed the legal environment challenges, emphasizing that regulations must keep pace with the rapid technological advancements. Hungary plays a pioneering role in testing autonomous vehicles, as the entire road network has been available for this purpose since 2017.

The Future of Autonomous Vehicles

According to Dr. Zsolt Szalay, achieving full autonomy in vehicles is still a distant goal, but Level 4 autonomous driving, allowing the driver to hand over control on highways, could become available by the end of the decade. This means that even while driving to Lake Balaton, we can read or correspond in the car, with the autonomous system fully in control.

The full interview is available in Hungarian on the online magazine