Remote-controlled cars? Vay relies on TÜV SÜD for safety

22 December 2022

What if I could order a car that would arrive at my location by remote navigation? It sounds like a vision from the distant future, but is actually one of the many exciting projects driving new mobility. When the car arrives I take the wheel and drive away, just like any normal rental car. The idea of using remote control for delivering cars to, and collecting them from, customers comes from Berlin-based startup Vay Technology GmbH. Vay is on track to launch the first teledriven fleet without on-board safety operators on public roads in Hamburg. Vay’s partner for safety and security is TÜV SÜD. TÜV SÜD’s automated driving experts reviewed the concept and performed extensive tests and technical inspections for single-vehicle approval, focusing on vehicle safety, functional safety, cybersecurity and wireless connectivity.

ts-pr-vay“Vay’s idea excited us from the very start, as it basically closes the gap between automated driving and car sharing. Our AV-Permit service package will help get Vay’s technology on the road”, says the TÜV SÜD project lead, Julia Kronberger. The AV-Permit service package is used by the experts to support the development of automated vehicles worldwide. The service package and its third-party expert reports will create the basis for single vehicle approval.

Within AV-Permit, the automotive experts will verify vehicle safety, functional safety in accordance with ISO 26262 and cybersecurity in accordance with ISO/SAE 21434 and other standards, to close the regulatory gap. Mohamed Fares Abid, Engineer Automotive Cybersecurity at TÜV SÜD, says, “As the vehicle can be fully remote-controlled, cybersecurity is paramount in this case. Given this, Vay’s risk assessment identified the communication path between the vehicle and its telestation as critical. Verification that this communication and the connected systems are protected against cyberattacks is thus essential.”

Pilots in Hamburg

To date, TÜV SÜD has validated several Vay vehicles for teledriving operations within the scope of individual vehicle approval. In addition to design examination and vehicle tests, the vehicles are put through their paces in extensive dynamic tests which verify their driving functions in a wide-variety of real-life scenarios. The ultimate objective of all the tests is to establish that the vehicle reacts correctly and reliably in every scenario. A detailed TÜV SÜD expert report on the vehicle’s functional safety and cybersecurity then closes the regulatory gap for approval for road use.

Drivers in the cockpit

In remote operation, the vehicle’s braking, steering and acceleration are under the control of a professionally trained teledriver. The teledriver sits at a “teledriving station” developed by Vay, a replica of a driver’s cab complete with steering-wheel, brake and accelerator pedals and a cockpit with screens on which the teledriver monitors the traffic around the remote-controlled vehicle. As teledriving is carried out wirelessly, the experts from TÜV SÜD paid special attention to the radio connection and the hazards resulting from a potential connection failure or external attack.

In the – highly unlikely – event of the wireless connection being interrupted despite its built-in multi-level security and redundancy, the vehicle will move to “fail-operational mode”. Fabrizio Scelsi, co-founder of Vay explains, “We performed extensive threat and risk analyses based on internationally recognised industry standards. They also included aspects such as manipulation of the radio connection with the vehicle and compliance with the pre-defined safety zone around the vehicle at all times.” The effectiveness of these safety mechanisms is verified through physical tests. As for vehicle safety and functional safety, the experts also provide an extensive technical report on cybersecurity at the end of the process. “Our international expertise in fields such as single-vehicle approval, in particular for automated vehicles, makes us the number one partner for the realisation of innovative ideas like Vay’s concept. And the TÜV SÜD Octagon is visible proof for all that these vehicles have been tested by third-party specialists”, emphasises Alexander Ersoy, Head of Automotive Security and Connectivity HAD at TÜV SÜD.

Caption: Offering ample space for extensive testing: the runway of the old Tegel Airport.

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Press-contact: Vincenzo Lucà

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