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Validating Autonomous Vehicles and Driving Functions Safely and Reliably

Driving a vehicle is an extremely complex process, with an infinite number of scenarios that a driver has to cope with. Consequently, transferring the driving task from humans to machines is equally difficult. Autonomous driving (AD) and Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) require radical changes in testing methods and new concepts for comprehensive vehicle Validation, both for physical and virtual testing. Without cooperation across manufacturers and sectors, and without intensive exchange among all stakeholders, it will not be possible to master this complexity. The use of standards to promote and enable exchange and collaboration is an integral part of meeting this challenge.

An interdisciplinary team of experts from 24 organizations around the world has contributed their knowledge to jointly answer questions such as: What is the state-of-the-art in testing driving functions in a rapidly evolving environment? What are best practices for testing and safely deploying autonomous driving features? How can new technologies, such as artificial intelligence, be integrated? How can the industry deal with the fact that there are currently only few legal requirements, but that in the future more or different requirements will decide on the Homologation of vehicles?

The ASAM Test Specification study group, which includes representatives from all stakeholders such as manufacturers, suppliers, testing companies, and research institutes, has published a report providing an overview of different test methods for ADAS and AD and their interaction. One outcome of the project was a "test strategy blueprint" that can serve as a basis for future testing. As a holistic best practice approach, this blueprint can be tailored to the specific requirements of production and other projects, while meeting current regulatory, legal and technical requirements. To develop the blueprint, the group identified detailed use cases for the implementation of a test strategy and aligned them with current standards and standardization initiatives. In the end, the project group derived recommendations for all stakeholders as well as suggestions for further standardization activities.

Benjamin Engel, Chief Technology Officer at ASAM e.V. comments: “When we look at ADAS and AD, we see that collaboration is extremely important. Standards are key if collaboration is to work. The ASAM Test Specification Report is also a call to the industry and other standardization organizations to further drive collaboration and make sure that we reach our common goal of highly automated driving, quickly and safely.“

“Safety is particularly important for software-centered vehicles as well as for autonomous driving functions. To realize safe autonomous driving, many complex and demanding tests need to be performed. The members at ASAM believe that it is valuable and helpful to develop a complete test landscape for the automotive industry, a blueprint and a comprehensive overview of all test procedures that play an important role in the automotive industry.“ summarizes Jann-Eve Stavesand, project leader of the ASAM Test Specification study group.

The report of the project group is addressing all test and safety engineers involved in the Validation of autonomous driving functions and highly automated driving. It also addresses all testing and Homologation organizations that will be entrusted with the Homologation of these functions in the future.

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