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Automotive E-ssentials

Your regular update for technical and industry information

TÜV SÜD Granted AV Permit to Motional

Motional, a global leader in driverless technology, has been granted a TÜV SÜD AV Permit for driverless test operation of a subset fleet of robotaxis on public roads in Las Vegas, NV. TÜV SÜD’s assessment focused on aspects including vehicle safety, functional safety, and cybersecurity. Motional opted voluntarily for the independent safety and security evaluation, which extended over an 18-month period.

AV permit“In the US there is no statutory requirement for third-party assessment before permission to test automated vehicles on public roads is issued. The fact that Motional still approached us for assessment is a clear demonstration of their trust in our expertise in this field,” says Christian Gnandt, Vice President Automated Driving at TÜV SÜD, continuing, “We were very happy to have the opportunity of drawing on our extensive knowledge while expanding our experience at the same time.”

The robotaxis developed by Motional operate in regular road traffic along defined routes in Las Vegas. Instead of a human driver behind the wheel, the safety concept provides for a “safety steward” in the front passenger seat, who has the ability to stop the car in the event of an emergency. “In this project we drew on the full scope of our experience gained from the approval of the first driverless public bus in Germany and adapted it to fit the project on hand,” adds Gnandt.

Familiar with legal requirements

AV Permit is TÜV SÜD’s contribution to the product development and documentation of automated vehicles (AV) around the globe from its status as third-party partner. The assessment covers issues such as active and passive vehicle safety, functional safety, and safety of use as well as cybersecurity. In addition to detailed and in-depth review of the design documents, the services also cover preliminary inspections and vehicle testing. They are rounded off by comprehensive dynamic trials to test driving functions in a variety of real and simulated scenarios. The process ultimately ensures that the vehicle always responds in a safe and reliable manner.

TÜV SÜD's experts have been working successfully for many years with the competent authorities, including approval authorities around the world, on facilitating market access for vehicles with automated driving functions. Their efforts include proactive engagement in the development of new standards and regulations harmonized at international level.

Ensuring secure connectivity

Key safety aspects, particularly for connected vehicles, also span cybersecurity and secure interaction with the infrastructure. TÜV SÜD's experts accompany the entire process of vehicle and component development right from the start, also taking these sensitive topics into consideration. Their activities include extensive threat and risk assessments based on internationally recognized industry standards, tests to verify the effectiveness of the protective mechanisms used, and detailed advisory services and documentation. This process results in an extensive safety report that is in conformity with the latest requirements and international best practices. “Our AV Permit is a service package offering OEMs and TIER 1/2 manufacturers highly practical assistance with the conception and design of automated vehicles,” explains Christian Gnandt.


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