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TÜV SÜD supported the development and approval of the first autonomous bus in Germany

The driverless public bus services in Bad Birnbach now also connect the train station in Leithen with the city centre – a big step forward for public transport in the spa town, and a further milestone in the development of autonomous driving. TÜV SÜD's experts have played a substantial role in the development and approval of the driverless buses right from the start, with TÜV SÜD's AV (automated vehicle) Permit service package at the heart of design and development activities.

TÜV SÜD supported the development and approval of the first autonomous bus in GermanyWithin the scope of this full-service offer, TÜV SÜD's experts assist customers worldwide with the entire approval process and provide advisory services from an early stage of planning. Focal topics of AV Permit are vehicle safety and functional safety, cybersecurity and the applicable requirements of local law governing autonomous vehicle approval. TÜV SÜD’s involvement with the first autonomous bus to run in public service in Germany underlines the company’s leading position as a technical services and inspection body in the design and development of autonomous driving.

The project in Bad Birnbach demonstrates how the mobility of tomorrow will look like and that autonomous driving is actually working in everyday life. In providing our AV Permit services we have accompanied the process right from the start. We have worked with partners such as Deutsche Bahn and ioki, the Deutsche Bahn subsidiary for innovative mobility solutions, as well as manufacturer EasyMile and representatives of the municipality of Bad Birnbach, to bring the “Peoplemover” on the road as a regular service.

Familiar with legal requirements

Through AV Permit, TÜV SÜD contributes its broad international expertise as a third-party partner to the product development and documentation of automated vehicles around the globe. The services address various areas including vehicle safety, functional safety and cybersecurity. In addition to detailed and in-depth document review, they cover preliminary inspections and vehicle testing. The services are rounded off by comprehensive dynamic trials in which driving functions are tested in a host of different situations, both real and simulated. The process ultimately ensures that the vehicle always responds in a safe and trustworthy manner. A detailed TÜV SÜD safety report addressing the safety of use and functional safety of the vehicle then closes the regulatory gap to approval for road use. For years TÜV SÜD's experts have been working successfully with the competent authorities, including approval authorities around the globe, on facilitating market access for vehicles with automated driving functions. These efforts also included their proactive participation in the development of new standards and regulations harmonised at international level.

Ensuring secure connectivity

Key safety aspects, particularly for connected vehicles, also include 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 recognised industry standards, tests to verify the effectiveness of the protective mechanisms used and detailed advisory services and documentation. This process likewise results in an extensive safety report that is in conformity with the latest requirements and international best practices. To realise the second stage of this project in Bad Birnbach, the experts relied on smart traffic signals that enabled the automated vehicles to function safely even on more complex sections of the route. With AV Permit, we have developed a service package that offers highly practical assistance to OEMs and TIER 1/2 manufacturers with the concept and design of automated vehicles.

Facilitating market access

TÜV SÜD has accompanied the development of highly automated driving across various disciplines right from the start. In the VVM (verification and validation methods for autonomous systems) research association, for example, TÜV SÜD's experts work with 22 partners on developing compliant and efficient verification and validation methods for fully automated driving functions in autonomous vehicle systems. In the "Driver Assistance Systems" special committee at the Federal Ministry of Transport, TÜV SÜD's experts are assisting in revising the relevant standards. TÜV SÜD and the German Research Centre for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) are working on the development of a ‘TÜV for algorithms’ and operating a proving ground for companies in collaboration with the test field operator for autonomous driving in the German state of Baden-Wuerttemberg and the Karlsruhe Transport Authority. In addition to their work in national committees, TÜV SÜD's experts are representatives of CITA (International Motor Vehicle Inspection Committee) and thus also engaged in the development of harmonised regulatory requirements within the United Nations (UN).

At international level, too, TÜV SÜD is involved in many automated driving development projects – such as CETRAN (Centre of Excellence for Testing & Research of AVs at Nanyang Technology University in Singapore). TÜV SÜD's experts are also participating in the development of the world's first standard for the approval of fully automated vehicles in Singapore, TR 68. Together with the Society of Automotive Engineers International (SAE), the China Automotive Technology and Research Centre (CATARC), the Shanghai Intelligent Automotive Centre (SIAC) and the International Transportation Innovation Centre (ITIC), they have established an international alliance (Alliance for Mobility Testing and Standardisation, IAMTS) to develop and harmonise globally standardised test methods and uniformly approved standards related to automated driving. With over 40 partners from industry, universities and governments worldwide, TÜV SÜD's experts also work on joint projects aimed at advancing automated and connected driving. 

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