Research Areas

Test method for an integral crash test with active safety functions such as an emergency braking and steering assistant

Keywords: integral safety; crash tests; crash scenarios; minimising crash consequences, pre-crash recognition, smart airbag, automated emergency braking (AEB); automated emergency steering (AES); safety concepts of automated vehicles;

The introduction of automated driving functions will increase the demands placed on the safety of pre-crash recognition. New systems and algorithms for pre-crash recognition are being studied in general research projects, and relevant safety actuators, such as smart airbags, are being developed for this. The safety potential thus gained must be tested and approved using modified test methods. This involves defining new crash scenarios in which the vehicle is actively driven and safety functions such as AEB and AES are active. This enables predictive crash severity algorithms to be verified before they are employed in road traffic. In the course of these projects, test vehicles are built, safety component prototypes tested, associated test methods defined and the test infrastructure (crash system) adapted for the purpose.

Projects: “AWS-AES: All-wheel steering for autonomous emergency steering“ (application submitted); “SAFE” integral protection system for automated driving and electromobility (here, the test method sub-project); “VorSicht” predictive safety systems for automated driving (application submitted).

Car2X communication with the aid of simulation, HIL and real-life tests

Keywords: performance measurements; tests; HIL test bench; simulations, real-life tests; Car2X protocols and applications
Description: It is anticipated that Car2X communication will effect a sustainable improvement on vehicle safety, transport efficiency and travel comfort. A communication system between vehicles as well as with the transport infrastructure is available in the form of IEEE 802.11p or ITS-G5. Further developments in the 4G mobile network (Cellular V2X) are currently under development. In addition to applications for providing the driver with information and warnings, increased attention is being given to use cases for supporting communication in vehicle automation, in which massive quantities of sensor information are transmitted (e.g. in cooperative environment perception). In addition, there is an increased integration of other road users (i.e. pedestrians and cyclists).
Studies can be performed in complementary test environments to evaluate and optimise Car2X communication systems, involving the use of simulations, HIL test benches, and real-life testing. Simulation allows a broad examination of use cases and protocols to be performed on powerful computing clusters. This enables, for instance, the simulated safeguarding of Car2X applications. The performance of experimental prototypes for Car2X can be tested in HIL environments. In real-life tests, Car2X platforms are integrated in the vehicle with the sensory system and can be tested under controlled conditions on a test site as well as in real road traffic.

Safeguarding automated driving functions using a mixed-reality test environment

Keywords: mixed, virtual and augmented reality, user acceptance, automation trust, interaction with vulnerable road users, SAE J3016, ISO 26262

Description: Due to the large number of electronic components and software systems they contain, automated vehicles are required to cover an almost infinite (and in reality barely achievable) number of test kilometres in order to obtain vehicle approval in the conventional way. One way of reducing the amount of test effort is to employ virtual testing. However, it is then essential that the results obtained are robust and equivalent to those that would be produced under realistic conditions. For this reason, several research projects have been initiated that are concerned with creating various test environments that enable reproducible vehicle testing to be performed in a mixed reality (partly virtual and partly real-life) environment – for instance the hazard-free evaluation of vehicle-pedestrian interaction. This approach aims not only at successfully virtualising parts of the vehicle tests hitherto performed in real life but also in identifying problems in the human-machine interface by integrating future consumers at an early stage (in the form of test participants) to suggest solutions for promoting the acceptance of automated vehicles by society as well as by individuals.

Sensor simulation with a focus on weather conditions

Keywords: sensor, simulation, weather, disturbance, camera, Lidar, Radar

Description: The non-reproducibility of the environment and accompanying difficulty in reconstructing scenarios is one of the greatest challenges of endurance testing. Unfavourable weather conditions in particular, such as rain, fog and the position of the sun, can lead to critical sensor effects and to incorrect decisions subsequently being taken by an automated system. The safeguarding of safety systems draws on the aforementioned mixed reality test environment, enabling testing both in real life under reproducible conditions and virtually in simulation environments.
Statistical and dynamic tests can be made at variable rain intensities using an indoor rain unit developed in-house and validated with measurements taken under natural conditions. The use of a test hall for testing purposes ensures stable general conditions. In addition, by employing disturbance models, it is possible to perform purely virtual testing of algorithms to determine weather effects.
A considerable increase in a system’s robustness can be effected by conducting tests at an early stage.

Safeguarding functions and HW using HIL for automated driving systems; benchmarking

Keywords: HIL test bench; environmental models, simulation and testing; environment sensors

Description: Multi-sensor environmental detection and capturing systems are the decisive technical enablers in automated vehicle functions. The basic safeguarding of their controllers using HIL, the time and cost-efficient testing of the associated sensors, and the entire process chain of environmental model and driving strategy in the laboratory are all factors that will be of major importance in the future launch of safe products. In addition, the laboratory environment enables comparisons of different methods and software modules in automated driving in the form of benchmarking.

“Automotive Security”

Keywords: IT security, penetration testing, attacker modelling, secure communication
Description: IT security represents a major challenge in the automobile industry at present. The scope for attacking vehicles is also rising with the increased interconnection of vehicles and an increasingly large proportion of complex software in modern vehicles. The research area of automotive security considers the overarching IT security system for vehicles. The aim is to consider IT security throughout a vehicle’s entire development and product life cycle for functional groups overall. The key research area of automotive security is currently focusing on:
• Security testing of automotive hardware and software, e.g. by means of automotive penetration testing, fuzzing
• Model-based automotive security and test case generation from security models (e.g. attacker models for autonomous driving)
• Safe vehicle communication (e.g. Secure Car2X, Secure CAN)
• Reputation systems for vehicles



Prof. Dr. Christian Birkner
Test methods in vehicle safety
Andreas Festag
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Hans-Joachim Hof
Prof. Dr. Werner Huber
Prof. Dr. techn. Priv.-Doz. Andreas Riener

Research Assistants

Sanjana Biank, M.Eng.
Pascal Brunner, M.Sc.
Sinan Hasirlioglu, M.Sc.
Thomas Hempen, M.Sc.
Dipl.-Ing. Fabio Reway
Georg Seifert, M.Sc.
Dipl.-Ing. Philipp Wintersberger

Test Engineers


Scientific Head of Division “Test Systems and Methods"
Prof. Dr. techn. Priv.-Doz. Andreas Riener
Phone : +49 841 9348-2833
Room : Z455
E-Mail :
Technical Head of "Test Systems and Methods"
Thomas Hempen, M.Sc.
Phone : +49 841 9348-6421
Room : P303
Fax : +49 841 9348-996421
E-Mail :