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Assessment for Operating Autonomous Vehicles on Public Roads

Functional safety closes the regulatory gap for prototype approval

Assessment for Operating Autonomous Vehicles on Public Roads

Functional safety closes the regulatory gap for prototype approval

prototype approvalS for automated vehicles

In order to test automated vehicles (AV) according to SAE L3 automation (and higher) on public roads, vehicle manufacturers, suppliers or mobility providers, require approval from authorities. But in many countries like Germany, USA and China, approval for SAE L3+ automation for public roads is only possible for those vehicle manufacturers with a special permit. To obtain the permit AV participants must provide a sound safety concept and prove that the vehicle will not compromise road safety.

By obtaining an approval for your automated vehicle prototypes you gain various benefits:

  • Ensure you are legally permitted to test your automated vehicle in public

  • Develop key AV technology which can be tested on real road conditions

  • Validate the overall performance and safety of your developed automation functions thoroughly

  • Create an overall safety concept to achieve a smooth roll-out of your automated technologies

TÜV SÜD helps you to obtain your AV prototype approval

As one of the leading experts in the field of automated driving, TÜV SÜD enables you to obtain permits by supporting you in the development of a safety concept, or by validating your current one. We have successfully applied our approach to a variety of automated mobility solutions, most of which have already been approved by authorities for use on public roads. Our AV permit applies to single prototype vehicles, like automated bus shuttles, prototype fleets or mobility services and are always adapted to your individual needs.

Our support builds on state-of-the-art safety standards such as ISO 26262, and goes beyond standards by considering SOTIF, cyber security and fail operational systems through a holistic safety evaluation. We introduce functional safety as the new ingredient in the approval process.

Our officially recognized TÜV SÜD experts assess key elements of the vehicle’s functional safety, in addition to traditional inspection aspects. If changes to the vehicle are made after the approval is completed, only the updates require an additional permit, rather than the entire vehicle. This offers you an efficient process when further developing your automated vehicles.


TÜV SÜD supports you to obtain approval for public road testing of autonomous vehicles, prototypes and experimental vehicles by providing the following services:

  • Technical advice

    Our global experts provide you with insights into the AV approval process and help you to understand the relevance of single vehicle approval and type approval. Furthermore, we support you in selecting the right regulation for your approval needs.

  • Preparation of documents

    We assist you in preparing relevant documents for the approval application. In addition, an overall check ensures that documentation is complete.

  • Safety concept and test catalog

    We provide you with insights about our inspection procedure. This includes reviewing the existing hazard analysis, safety concept, design review and test catalog, to ensure sufficient functional safety of the prototype.

  • Checklist of requirements

    We clearly document in the checklist that the safety functions are fulfilled by your prototype.

  • AV permit

    Based on the results and the fulfilled safety requirements, we provide a technical report which evaluates road worthiness.


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