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TÜV SÜD: automotive testing at 130 km/h for future type approval

Three years ago, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy launched the PEGASUS project with the aim of delivering standards for making highly automated vehicles safe. The project partners are now presenting their results. TÜV SÜD participated in the project right from the outset and was the only testing and inspection organisation among a total of 16 partners from science and industry. The key tasks of the TÜV SÜD experts were to specify and develop test scenarios, carry out tests on proving grounds and work together with the other stakeholders in the field of functional safety. The key result delivered standardised methods and tools for the inspection and testing of highly automated vehicles, including proving-ground tests at 130 kilometres per hour.

AS-pegasus“TÜV SÜD has always stood for guaranteed safety in mobility. This was also the rationale behind our participation in the PEGASUS project. And we are very excited that we can now also make a crucial contribution to the development of highly automated driving. We have developed the first de facto standards; in other words, we have designed standardised methods for assessing and verifying highly automated driving functions for the homologation of highly automated vehicles – a big success for our partners in the project”, emphasises Patrick Fruth, CEO of the Mobility Division at TÜV SÜD. This ‘PEGASUS standard’ primarily gives OEMs security and reliability in vehicle and component development. Now TÜV SÜD can support manufacturers in the run-up to type approval from an early stage in design and development, offering a wide range of tests and contributing to road safety for motorists in particular as well as all other road users. After all, trust in tomorrow's automated mobility is inspired by standardised test and validation methods as well as test scenarios for highly automated vehicles. “New technologies need to win people's trust in order to be successful. As an independent third-party organisation, we are ensuring that autonomous driving will be safe right from the start, and our participation in the PEGASUS project plays an important role in this context”, points out Fruth.

Automotive testing at speeds of 130 km/h for future type approval

What driving scenarios need to be tested to guarantee safety? How do we carry out the tests? What information and data are needed? What do the tests look like in practice – test benches, simulations, test-case databases, proving grounds, road traffic and so on? Are the results valid, and how can they be incorporated into the production process? All these questions quickly show that enormous demands are imposed on test methods and test standards for the type approval of automated driving functions. As a testing and inspection organisation involved in the homologation of vehicles with highly automated driving functions, TÜV SÜD has operated at the interface between research, industry, regulatory and technical requirements right from the outset. Given this, the key task of the ten experts in TÜV SÜD's PEGASUS team has been to develop and validate test methods and test scenarios, with development of proving-ground tests as their focal area in this context. Peter Salzberger, PEGASUS Project Leader at TÜV SÜD, explains, “Our developments for PEGASUS included a series of methods and tools that enabled us to test vehicles at speeds of up to 130 kilometres per hour for future type approval. In our tests we simulate relevant traffic situations, such as those encountered on motorways, at the proving ground, focusing on ensuring a high degree of reproducibility. To do so we use a technology that we developed within the scope of the PEGASUS project. This technology involves automated vehicles which are monitored and controlled from a mobile control station using an array of radio, tracking and control systems. TÜV SÜD's experts have also defined general specifications and safety requirements for proving grounds for highly automated driving functions, including methods for the development of test scenarios.

Digital homologation

From proving ground to test bench: In view of the numerous traffic situations requiring testing, simulation plays a critical role in the future homologation of highly-automated vehicles. TÜV SÜD experts estimate that there are up to 100 million scenarios for every fully automated driving function. Conventional road tests for this vast number of scenarios would be far too costly and time-consuming. The digital homologation of the future, therefore, will rely on virtual test methods – in other words, simulation – to augment the established test methods. Another subproject of the TÜV SÜD experts in the PEGASUS consortium involved creating a database of results of physical tests for use in simulations. Further subprojects included functional safety as well as the definition and evaluation of the risks involved in automation.

International expertise

TÜV SÜD has accompanied the development of highly automated driving in various fields from the earliest days. As a member of the special committee on driver assistance systems at the German Federal Ministry of Transport, TÜV SÜD experts are helping to revise the relevant standards. Together with the German Research Centre for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI), TÜV SÜD is developing a ‘TÜV for algorithms’ and operating a proving ground for companies in collaboration with the operator of the autonomous driving proving ground in the federal state of Baden-Wuerttemberg and the Karlsruhe Transport Authority.

TÜV SÜD is also involved in many international development projects on automated driving – 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. 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 work on joint projects aimed at advancing automated and connected driving.

The huge success of PEGASUS has extended beyond technical safety and public acceptance of automated driving. As a testing and inspection organisation, TÜV SÜD has also benefited enormously from the results of the project. Fruth notes, “The PEGASUS project has expanded our expertise enormously. We will be able to incorporate the knowledge and experience we have gained in this project into all our future HAD projects.

The PEGASUS research project

The name of PEGASUS stands for ‘projects to establish generally accepted quality criteria, tools and methods as well as scenarios and situations for the approval of highly automated driving functions’. From January 2016 to June 2019, the partners in the joint project have been developing generally accepted methods and tools to make highly automated driving functions safe. Partners in the project funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy are: Audi AG, ADC Automotive Distance Control Systems GmbH, BMW Group, Continental Teves AG & Co. oHG, Daimler AG, Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V., fka GmbH, iMAR Navigation GmbH, IPG Automotive GmbH, Opel Automobile GmbH, QTronic GmbH, Robert Bosch GmbH, Technische Universität Darmstadt - FZD, TraceTronic GmbH, TÜV SÜD Auto Service GmbH, VIRES Simulationstechnologie GmbH and Volkswagen AG.

Further information about PEGASUS at

Caption: Fast-paced type approval of highly automated vehicles.

Press-contact: Vincenzo Lucà


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