Automotive E-ssentials

Automotive e-ssentials

Your regular update for technical and industry information

Your regular update for technical and industry information

PEGASUS Project Results for highly automated vehicles

Three years ago, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy launched the PEGASUS project with the aim of delivering standards for making highly automated vehicles safe. As the only technical service organisation among a total of 16 partners from science and industry TÜV SÜD participated in the German government’s PEGASUS project. The key tasks of the TÜV SÜD experts were to specify and develop test scenarios, carry out tests on proving grounds and work together with the other stakeholders in the field of functional safety. As a result standardised methods and tools for the inspection and testing of highly automated vehicles have been delivered, including proving-ground tests at 130 kilometres per hour.

TÜV SÜD: Fast-paced type approval of highly automated vehiclesWith the participation at the PEGASUS project, TÜV SÜD delivered a crucial contribution to the development of highly automated driving. Our experts have developed the first de facto standards; in other words, we have designed standardised methods for assessing and verifying highly automated driving functions for the homologation of highly automated vehicles – a big success for all project partner. This ‘PEGASUS standard’ primarily gives OEMs security and reliability in vehicle and component development. Now TÜV SÜD can support manufacturers in the run-up to type approval from an early stage in design and development, offering a wide range of tests and contributing to road safety for motorists in particular as well as all other road users. After all, trust in tomorrow's automated mobility is inspired by standardised test and validation methods as well as test scenarios for highly automated vehicles. New technologies need to win people's trust in order to be successful. As an independent third-party organisation, TÜV SÜD is ensuring that autonomous driving will be safe right from the start, and our participation in the PEGASUS project plays an important role in this context.

Automotive testing at speeds of 130 km/h for future type approval

What driving scenarios need to be tested to guarantee safety? How do we carry out the tests? What information and data are needed? What do the tests look like in practice – test benches, simulations, test-case databases, proving grounds, road traffic and so on? Are the results valid, and how can they be incorporated into the production process? All these questions quickly show that enormous demands are imposed on test methods and test standards for the type approval of automated driving functions. As a testing and inspection organisation involved in the homologation of vehicles with highly automated driving functions, TÜV SÜD has operated at the interface between research, industry, regulatory and technical requirements right from the outset. Given this, the key task of the ten experts in TÜV SÜD's PEGASUS team has been to develop and validate test methods and test scenarios, with development of proving-ground tests as their focal area in this context. The TÜV SÜD developments for PEGASUS included a series of methods and tools that enabled us to test vehicles at speeds of up to 130 kilometres per hour for future type approval. In our tests we simulate relevant traffic situations, such as those encountered on motorways, at the proving ground, focusing on ensuring a high degree of reproducibility. To do so we use a technology that we developed within the scope of the PEGASUS project. This technology involves automated vehicles which are monitored and controlled from a mobile control station using an array of radio, tracking and control systems. TÜV SÜD's experts have also defined general specifications and safety requirements for proving grounds for highly automated driving functions, including methods for the development of test scenarios.


Digital homologation

From proving ground to test bench: In view of the numerous traffic situations requiring testing, simulation plays a critical role in the future homologation of highly-automated vehicles. TÜV SÜD experts estimate that there are up to 100 million scenarios for every fully automated driving function. Conventional road tests for this vast number of scenarios would be far too costly and time-consuming. The digital homologation of the future, therefore, will rely on virtual test methods – in other words, simulation – to augment the established test methods. Another subproject of the TÜV SÜD experts in the PEGASUS consortium involved creating a database of results of physical tests for use in simulations. Further subprojects included functional safety as well as the definition and evaluation of the risks involved in automation. 


The PEGASUS research Project

The huge success of PEGASUS has extended beyond technical safety and public acceptance of automated driving. As a testing and inspection organisation, TÜV SÜD has also benefited enormously from the results of the project and we could expand our expertise enormously. We will be able to incorporate the knowledge and experience we have gained in this project into all our future HAD projects.


The name of PEGASUS stands for ‘projects to establish generally accepted quality criteria, tools and methods as well as scenarios and situations for the approval of highly automated driving functions’. From January 2016 to June 2019, the partners in the joint project have been developing generally accepted methods and tools to make highly automated driving functions safe.

Partners in the project funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy are: Audi AG, ADC Automotive Distance Control Systems GmbH, BMW Group, Continental Teves AG & Co. oHG, Daimler AG, Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V., fka GmbH, iMAR Navigation GmbH, IPG Automotive GmbH, Opel Automobile GmbH, QTronic GmbH, Robert Bosch GmbH, Technische Universität Darmstadt - FZD, TraceTronic GmbH, TÜV SÜD Auto Service GmbH, VIRES Simulationstechnologie GmbH and Volkswagen AG.

For further information about PEGASUS please visit the official PEGASUS website

If you should have any questions with regard to our participation and test results, please contact us under [email protected]


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