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With the advent of automation and connectivity, inspection of vehicle safety – one of the core tasks of Technical Services – is undergoing fundamental change. As a result of automation, most driving tasks will be handed over to the vehicle control system, while connectivity will allow even the safety features of a vehicle to be changed flexibly in future by means of over-the-air updates. The responsibilities of Technical Services can be divided into two types of activities: pre-market and post-market activities.
In pre-market activities, i.e. in design, development and production, conformity with regulations and type approvals will continue to be of central importance. With increasing safety requirements and simultaneously increasing complexity of vehicle systems, it will be necessary to regularly check conformity through all development and production steps. This makes good sense not only from a consumer safety perspective; it also minimises risk for the industry and reduces time to market. As a current example, the introduction of the WLTP demonstrates that agility is vital in adapting quickly to restrictive regulatory changes.
Technical Services can accompany the industry through the entire development and production process and continue to provide neutral and critical support, in systematically assessing the regulatory conformity of your products. In this case, the test methods must be adapted or developed to fit the latest technological requirements. The use of simulation and data-based methods in both verification and type approval will become absolutely imperative for achieving scalability in testing sufficiently critical scenarios of automated driving. What will be new is that the simulation can and must make a reliable regulatory and legal statement.
Post-market activities must include rapid implementation of any vehicle-software updates that become necessary due to the identification of safety-related malfunctions or hacker attacks. This requires lean digital approval procedures. Software-update processes must comply with strict and uniform standards and regulations to exclude risks during over-the-air updates. Technical test centres may change from periodical technical inspection to continual inspection, focusing on non-product-specific safety features, i.e. on characteristics that all vehicles – irrespective of their brands – must fulfil to ensure road safety. Given this, access by inspection organisations to authentic and unaltered vehicle data is essential to ensure provision of independent and trustworthy safety inspections which are in the interest of industry, consumers and society.
TÜV SÜD is investing in the development of test methods for automated and connected driving. The Highly Automated Driving team of TÜV SÜD carries out in-house projects and collaborates with both industry and regulatory bodies. Well-known examples include funding projects such as PEGASUS (Germany) or CETRAN (Singapore). TÜV SÜD prioritises the internationalisation and harmonisation of regulations and standards and adopts the role of intercultural link between the various regulatory cultures (Europe, USA, China, Japan). Safety and consumer trust in automated and connected driving as technologies of the future will only be achieved if we can establish far-reaching harmonisation of regulations, standards and test methods.